EUREKA – One of the main objectives for the Heart of Illinois Conference large division football hosts on Sept. 20 was to establish the ground game.
Eureka went over 200 yards for the first time on the season. That fueled them to a 20-0 homecoming victory over Deer Creek-Mackinaw at McCollum Field.
“I thought we ran the ball better this week especially our power run game,” Hornets’ coach Jason Bachman said. “I felt like my o-(offensive) line moved people around. Sometimes, it’s hard to get points on a disciplined team. We only had the ball two times in the first half.”
One of those possession resulted in the lone score of the first half. On third-and-goal at the DCM 8, Matt Martin found the coach’s son, Jett Bachman (five receptions, 79 yards), on a slant. Cade Gold added the point after just three seconds into the second quarter.
The Hornets (4-1, 1-1) smothered the DCM (2-3, 0-2) run game, as the Chiefs were held to minus-five yards the entire game on 32 attempts. In fact, the guests had negative 13 yards of total offense in the second half. Eureka sacked DCM quarterback Zack Horve five times, as four Hornets recorded at least one.
“I was pretty happy with the defensive performance,” Jason Bachman noted. “The second half, we started to wear them down. We swarmed to the ball really well. We brought nine hats to the ball almost every play and that’s our goal.”
Hunter Gladson (13 rushes, 89 yards) reached the end zone from 11 yards out and Gold’s kick upped the lead to 14-0 with three minutes and 23 seconds left in the third quarter.
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Matt Martin, who ran for 109 yards and 21 carries, connected with Aden Sears on a 42-yard pass midway through the fourth to pad the advantage.
“I felt our offense had to score. Making big plays is what we’re after,” said Coach Bachman with regards to the second half. “The recipe for success was a 15-possession drive for a touchdown and a 14-possession drive for a touchdown. Matt and Hunter both ran the ball well.”
Martin threw for 131 yards despite completing just seven of 16 passes.
With the Chiefs’ run game doormat, that forced them to pass. And when they did, it was to their backfield personnel.
“Read your keys man,” summed up Bachman. “It ultimately comes down to that. Those play-action passes are tough to read. We did a good job of recognizing them.”
Jared Farney had two of the sacks, while Joel Baer, Thomas Cahill and Andrew King each had one.