Larson, Metea Valley beat Waubonsie Valley, grab Eola Bowl Trophy
During Metea Valley's Homecoming game against archrival Waubonsie Valley Friday night, Mustangs senior Noah Larson played every snap from scrimmage at quarterback and linebacker and a few on special teams as well.
Though Larson threw for 106 yards and the go-ahead touchdown, rushed for 102 yards and the clinching touchdown, recovered a fumble, registered a sack, knocked down a pass on a blitz and pooched a punt, Metea Valley coach John Parpet thought his co-captain needed to do one more thing.
As soon as the postgame handshakes ended, Parpet ordered Larson to grab the hefty Eola Bowl Trophy that belonged to the Mustangs after a 17-7 DuPage Valley Conference victory in Aurora.
"He was like, 'That's your trophy over there,' " Larson said. "Go get it and bring it to the fans.' Us seniors only have 'X' amount of games left and we all really wanted it. Our fans were huge and this is just a huge rivalry with Waubonsie. They're our biggest rival. This is incredible."
As the Mustangs (1-4, 1-1) screamed, hugged and flung water everywhere to celebrate beating their rival located 4 miles south on Eola Road, the Warriors (0-5, 0-2) trudged toward their bus after a draining game that had both sides keyed up from start to finish.
The Warriors thought they set the tone by marching for a score on the game's first drive. Quarterback Luke Elsea swung a quick pass to the right for Tyler Threat, who skipped out of two tackles and raced 33 yards for a 7-0 lead just 2:05 into the game.
But after amassing 45 total yards on that opening drive, Waubonsie Valley managed just 59 more yards the rest of the night. Metea Valley forced three turnovers and the Warriors never quite clicked on their multiple deep shots down the field.
"They did a great job making adjustments," said Waubonsie Valley coach Tom Baumgartner. "And that Larson kid? Tough as nails, he is."
Metea had only Nico Carrier's 25-yard field goal through the first three quarters. But Larson (24 carries, 102 yards) and Devan Draughon (13 carries, 58 yards) kept rushing well enough that it lured more defenders toward the line.
Then the Mustangs sprung a play-action pass and Larson found Christian Smith uncovered in the middle of the field for a 36-yard touchdown and a 10-7 lead with 10:45 left.
Larson clinched matters with 2:14 left on a 4-yard blast through the right side as the Mustangs ran the same play on eight of their last nine snaps.
"We got in a typical single-wing formation and just ran power down their throat," Parpet said.
"There was a man on their line who was screaming, 'It's the same play! It's the same play!' " Larson said. "And we'd run it and get 7-8 yards. And I walked to my coach and said, 'Run it again. I'm going to get it into the end zone.' "