A punishing ground game and a hard-hitting defense carried Metamora to a 17-10 victory over Class 8A South Elgin Monday at Malone Field.
Senior Charlie Nowotnik rushed for 92 yards on 28 carries and junior Dekota Doerr had 99 yards on 14 carries to lead the Redbirds over the Storm (0-2).
Metamora managed the clock on its final drive and shut down South Elgin’s final drive with 1:32 to seal the victory.
Metamora got on the board first when Tyler Deatherage, Kyle Reeder and Austin McVey blitzed South Elgin quarterback Zachary Gross at the 20-yard line.
Gross backpedaled and threw the ball away as he crossed the goal line. It was ruled intentional grounding in the end zone, which resulted in a safety and 2 points for the Redbirds.
Metamora scored on its next possession, a 12-play drive capped by a 14-yard touchdown run by McVey. Junior quarterback Bryan Burk ran in for the two-point conversion to make it 10-0.
Metamora led 10-0 at the end of the first quarter, but South Elgin kicked a 23-yard field goal on its first drive of the second quarter to make it 10-3.
Metamora fumbled on its next possession and South Elgin recovered the ball at the Metamora 40-yard line. The Storm scored to make it 10-10 with 1:07 left in the half.
Nowotnik carried the ball seven straight times during a long Metamora drive. On fourth down and 4 from the South Elgin 9 yard line, the Redbirds went for it, instead of attempting a field goal, but they fumbled on the exchange and South Elgin took over on downs.
Two South Elgin penalties and a sack by McVey and Jordan Cansino pushed the Storm back and they were forced to punt.
The score remained tied going into the fourth quarter.
On fourth and four, after an incomplete pass by Burk, South Elgin was called for roughing the passer, which gave the Redbirds an automatic first down.
On third and one, Doerr broke free for a 23-yard run down to the SE 2 yard line. Nowotnik then ran in for a touchdown to make it 17-10 with 7:53 left.
South Elgin reached the Metamora 42 yard line, but was pushed back after two penalties and was forced to punt with 4:50 left.
Metamora controlled the ball from 4:46 to 2:17 before punting.
With 1:56 left, a pass interference penalty on Metamora moved South Elgin to the Metamora 20-yard line. After three straight incomplete passes, Metamora took over on downs.
The Redbirds let the cock run out for the last 1:27.
“It was a great win,” said senior defensive back Chase Scott. “A total effort from everybody. It sure helped us put that loss (week one at Bloomington Central Catholic) behind us.”
• Read more about this game, including comments from Metamora coach Pat Ryan and other players in Tom Batters’ column in the Sept. 14 edition of the Woodford Times.