The streak continues for the Deer-Creek Mackinaw football team. The Chiefs have held their first three opponents scoreless for the first three games — 144 minutes — on the way to outscoring opposing teams 140-0, including Friday’s 61-0 drubbing of Heyworth.
Still, the Chiefs (3-0, 1-0) know their biggest challenge is ahead of them. Dee-Mack’s opponents through the first three weeks of the season have compiled a 1-8 record and face a tough road to the playoffs one third of the way through the season.
“I didn’t expect it, but we also have to be honest; the three teams we’ve played so far are struggling a bit offensively,” Dee-Mack head coach Job Linboom said.
Dee-Mack led 54-0 at halftime Friday and tacked on one more touchdown early in the fourth quarter with a touchdown by the third-string unit.
Quarterback Derrick Baker tossed a TD and Ethan Stedman scooped and scored on a fumble recovery.
The large margins of victory this season has allowed Linboom to go to his bench in the second half, but Baker and fullback Jared Reese have been the faces of consistency for Dee-Mack’s first-team offense.
“Our first team offense has scored on 19 of 20 possessions and hasn’t committed a turnover yet. Obviously it doesn’t get much better than that,” Linboom said.
Reese rushed six times on Friday as the team piled up 395 rush yards and seven touchdowns on the day. He increased his season total to 443 yards, has found the end zone seven times and is averaging 14.29 yards per carry. Preston Lester (197), Jacob Carnicle (118) and Sam Cleaver (115) have all eclipsed 100 yards this season.
“You look at (Reese) and he only had six carries Friday night, and he’s supposed to be our meal ticket and we still scored 60 points,” Linboom said. “Overall, I’m pretty pleased with the balance that everyone’s contributing and I think our offensive line is doing a really good job.”
At the forefront of the defensive push is two-year starter, junior defensive lineman Hunter Mull. Mull has six tackles — five for a loss of yards — and three sacks on the season to help control the trenches for the Chiefs.
“He’s just a physical package. He’s about 6-foot-2, close to 6-foot-3, solid 225 pounds, so he’s got good size,” Linboom said. “He can also move. He’s got a tremendous motor. When you combine the physicalness and mentality, you’re going to have a really good defensive player.”
Dee-Mack faces a big test this week against IHSA Class 2A No. 9 El Paso-Gridley at home. Linboom and his team are looking forward to the challenge of facing off with a state-ranked team.
“We’re looking forward to see what El-Paso can bring,” Linboom said. “This team really needs a challenge at this point. I think you can have these types of games for a while and then your players can take things for granted and maybe let a few things go here and there and it’s a little harder to focus in practice.”