Rick Armstrong’s football notebook: Metea sees red after not scoring TD

SHARE Rick Armstrong’s football notebook: Metea sees red after not scoring TD

Metea Valley ventured into Bartlett territory five times Friday but didn’t have much to show for it, letting one slip slide away in a 14-3 loss to the Hawks.

The five drives ended at the Bartlett 39-, 20-, 30-, 12- and 30-yard lines, and the only points for the Mustangs came on a 37-yard Michael Sfikas field goal with the wind at his back to end the half. Later, he missed from 28 yards kicking into the wind.

While glad to get some momentum from the field goal, coach Ben Kleinhans was quick to point out, “we were down in the red zone and not scoring (a touchdown), I thought, was big. We got down there and couldn’t punch it in. (Bartlett) got tough and we got in some long yardage situations and couldn’t get it done.

“I was extremely happy with the defense. They gave the offense the ball back numerous times with a chance.

“We pride ourselves on playing good special teams and [Friday], we weren’t good on special teams. And we pride ourselves on playing pretty good on offense and we were not good at all.”

A muffed kickoff return in the first half gave Bartlett good field position but the Hawks couldn’t take advantage, missing a 29-yard field-goal attempt into the wind.

“It’s an off night, it happens,” Kleinhans said. “We’ve gotta have a better week Monday through Thursday to get ready for next Friday than we did this week. But confidence will come back.”

Running back Bryson Oliver, who entered the game as the area’s leading rusher with 396 yards, did not play in the first two offensive series for the Mustangs. In his place, Maurice Barkley had four carries for 31 yards, including a nice 26-yard run for the team’s only first down of the half until the final two minutes.

“We just wanted to give ‘Mo’ Barkley a little run there,” Kleinhans said. “He had a pretty good week of practice and we wanted to get him some carries at the start.”

Oliver was limited to minus-four yards rushing in his seven carries before getting 30 in four carries on the drive that led to the field goal. He finished with 122 yards.

“We try to divide the season into thirds and now we’re 1-2 and it makes the second third extremely important,” said Kleinhans, whose team is hoping to make the playoffs for the first time in the school’s short history.

“We’ve just got to pull together tight and learn from this.”

Metea Valley is at home Friday against 0-3 West Aurora, another team hungry for a win.

Movin’ on up

All four of the area’s ranked teams continue to climb in the Sun-Times’ Super 25.

Undefeated Waubonsie Valley (3-0) moved up two spots from No. 9 last week to No. 7 after a 49-6 win over East Aurora. Geneva also has won three straight and rose two spots from No. 20 to 18 after rolling past Streamwood 46-12.

Oswego and Batavia are both 2-1 and moved up one spot to Nos. 22 and 23, respectively.

Topping the charts

Yorkville running back Mike Kurtz ran 39 times for 251 yards in Friday’s win over Rochelle, moving him to the top of the area rushing chart. Kurtz has 65 carries for 523 yards, passing Oliver, who has 89 carries for 518 yards.

Batavia’s Canaan Coffey and Kaneland’s Connor Fedderly top the receiving leaders with 19 each. Coffey’s catches have accounted for 294 yards, Fedderly’s 229.

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