A few key first quarter errors by East Peoria helped the Metamora football team secure a 53-21 Homecoming win on Friday.
However, the evening didn’t start out smooth for the Redbirds. On the opening kickoff, the Raiders’ Sean Mulhern bobbled the kick before returning it 92 yards for a touchdown down the left sideline.
Metamora then responded with three touchdowns of its own to go up 19-7.
The first touchdown came off a 21-yard run by Gage Patton to tie the game up at 7-all.
East Peoria then fumbled the ball at its own 44-yard line. After a penalty and sack, it looked like Metamora would have to punt away. The punt was blocked, though, but touched by an East Peoria player on the way down, giving the Redbirds the opportunity to recover with a fresh set of downs.
On the next play, Metamora’s Brendan Nachtrieb lateraled the ball to Nick Holman, who threw a 44-yard TD pass to Brady Fairfield.
After another turnover by East Peoria, Metamora marched down the field before Nachtrieb punched the ball in from the 1-yard line with 5.9 left in the first quarter.
The second quarter saw East Peoria pull within five after an 8-yard TD pass to Nate Nieukirk.
Metamora then fumbled the ball on its own 48-yard line, but East Peoria would eventually have to punt back to Metamora.
The Redbirds again marched down the field and scored on another 1-yard run by Nachtrieb, giving them a 27-14 lead they would not relinquish.
After halftime, the Redbirds posted the lone score in the third quarter off a 9-yard Lucas LaHood run to go up 34-14.
Patton added a 18-yard run in the fourth, followed by a Ryan Patterson 72-yard run for a pair of touchdowns.
After East Peoria scored one final touchdown, Patterson then added another long 52-yard run for the final touchdown of the game.
Overall, the Redbirds had 561 yards of offense. Dekota Doerr ran for 140 yards on 12 attempts, while Patterson had 152 yards on nine attempts.