Third-string running back Caleb Brown has a huge game for Naperville Central in win over DeKalb – Shaw Local

DeKALB – With the regular starter injured and the backup twisting his knee against DeKalb, third-string running back Caleb Brown made the most of his opportunity in the backfield.

Brown rushed 33 times for 143 yards and two scores as the Redhawks topped possession time in a 26-0 win at DeKalb on Friday in the Barbs’ comeback.

“(Due to) some injuries we needed him to play tonight and he had an amazing night,” Naperville Central coach Mike Ulreich said. “We felt good what our offensive line was doing moving the ball and Caleb had some great tough runs.

The Redhawks (5-2 overall, 3-1 DuPage Valley Conference) went 74 games in the game. They only had two practices in the second half. The first was a 17-play, 65-yard drive capped by a pass from Christopher McCormack to Logan Devick for a 20-0 lead in the third quarter. In the fourth quarter, they had a 20-play, 85-yard drive capped off by an 8-yard score from Brown.

The Redhawks were six of seven that day on fourth downs and 8 of 16 on third downs. They ran 74 plays for 336 yards, with McCormack going 12 of 16 for 85 yards through the air and rushing 20 times for 79 yards and a score.

“Offensively they do a decent amount in the running game, they make it really tough and they have a mobile quarterback,” DeKalb coach Derek Schneeman said. “A lot of their fourth tries were fourth and second, fourth and third. This is not where you want to be.

The Barbs (4-3, 2-2) struggled to keep their offense on the field and had just 105 yards in the game. Talen Tate ran eight times for 56 yards. On the first play of the game, he had a 40-yard run called up for a penalty.

DeKalb went three or four times on four of his first five drives in the game.

“We spin Jamari [Brown] and Talen, and we had too many three outs in the first half, Schneeman said. “When you have that, it screws everything up. We talked about sticking to the schedule this week and last week and doing a better job. We succeed when we stay ahead of the chains and give Jamari and Talen time to work. And tonight, Naperville Central pulled us out.

Naperville Central started scoring on their first drive, rushing for 66 yards in 10 plays. The Redhawks scored on a McCormack keeper on a fourth-and-2 of 19, faking a transfer and staying intact for the score.

DeKalb started the next drive with a 30-yard run from Talen Tate that got called up, and the Barbs ended up throwing. The teams traded three strikeouts and then the Redhawks put together another long scoring streak, capped by a third and a goal from 2 by Caleb Brown.

“We are very mindful of the team aspect of the game, and an important aspect of that is that your offense has to control the game,” Ulreich said. “The offense did a great job. We were frustrated with one of the turnovers we gave but we keep pushing the attack to control the football game and we are getting there.

The Barbs again went to three, but LaBrian Carrington intercepted McCormack on the Naperville Central player’s first play. The Barbs could not capitalize, however. Naperville Central started a 75-yard drive in the final minutes of the half and tackled the DeKalb 4, but McCormack was stuffed in for a 2-yard game on the final play of the half.

Despite lopsided statistics at halftime, DeKalb trailed 13-0 at the break. The Redhawks rushed 38 plays for 146 yards, while DeKalb rushed 16 plays for 10 yards in the first half.

“[Tate] ran really hard and I thought he was going to break a few,” Ulreich said. “But it starts with our three guys up front. And we play strong, fast and physical football. And these guys play really well together.

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