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Pantagraph staff

Deer Creek-Mackinaw High School continued its regular-season dominance, while Fisher and Mahomet-Seymour made surprising playoff runs to highlight Pantagraph area football performances this season.

They had a combined 30-7 record, with Dee-Mack and Mahomet-Seymour placing four players each on the revamped All-Area team.

Since 1986, Intercity and Area players have been featured together on the All-Area squad. This year, only players outside of Bloomington-Normal were considered for the All-Area team.

The Pantagraph has resurrected the All-Intercity team, which was chosen annually prior to 1986. That squad will be announced Tuesday.

Dee-Mack extended its regular-season win streak to 29 games under veteran coach Jim McDonald, earning a third straight Midstate Conference title.

Ranked No. 1 in Class 1A throughout the year, the Chiefs finished 11-1 following a quarterfinal playoff loss to eventual runner-up Cambridge.

Dee-Mack overcame an illness to two-way star Benny Frietsch. The senior was diagnosed with Hodgkin's lymphoma in September and missed four games while undergoing treatment. Wearing specially designed pads, he returned in week 8 to catch a touchdown pass in a 28-0 win over Ridgeview.

Frietsch's impact was reflected in the Midstate coaches voting him first-team all-conference at receiver and defensive back despite missing nearly half of the regular season.

Frietsch, Adam Krejci (offensive line), Doug Martin (defensive line) and Brock Jones (punter) were All-Area picks from Dee-Mack.

Mahomet-Seymour equaled that number of selections after repeating as Corn Belt Conference champion and advancing to the Class 4A semifinals.

The Bulldogs went 11-2 despite losing a number of stars from their 11-1 team of 2004, including four-year starting quarterback Bodie Reeder.

Led by All-Area performers Brandon Tarter (running back), Jack Tennant (offensive line), Jared Bosch (linebacker) and Steven Fetzer (kicker), Mahomet-Seymour reached the semifinals for the first time since 1986.

Fisher continued an amazing turnaround under Coach Matt Leng by registering its first playoff victory. All-Area receiver Kyle Wantland and his teammates won in the second round as well before falling to Tuscola in the Class 1A quarterfinals.

The Bunnies' 8-4 record included two wins over LeRoy, ending a 16-year drought against the Panthers.

Heyworth also stopped a dry spell, making the playoffs for the first time since 1993. The Hornets reached the postseason three years after lacking enough players to field a varsity team.

Other area playoff qualifiers were Prairie Central, Pontiac, Lexington, LeRoy, Ridgeview, El Paso-Gridley, GCMS and PBL.


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