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Football: No. 2 Mead tops Holy Family to keep home win streak alive

Jake Wachter scores on offense and defense to lead Mavs efforts

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MEAD – Walking into the Mead High stadium must feel like entering a haunted corn maze to opposing football teams right now.

Undefeated and ranked No. 2 in the CHSAANow.com poll, the Mavericks (8-0, 3-0) haven’t lost a game at home in over a year and kept that home winning streak alive with a 34-7 win over Tri-Valley League rival Holy Family on Friday night. The Mavericks have simply punished visitors over that span and have been particularly cruel to rival offenses.

The Mavericks defense has allowed just 8.6 points per game this season and Friday’s lone touchdown conceded to a talented Tigers offense accounted for the first points the Mavericks defense has allowed in the past three games.

“Our defense has been playing really good,” Mead senior Jake Wachter said. “Our teamwork is what it all comes down to. We work well with each other and that’s what helps us the most. We’ve all been stepping up and we’re rolling right now.

Holy Family (3-5, 1-2) won the first four meetings between the two teams since Mead High reopened but Mead (8-0, 3-0) has now won the last three.

Pacing an offense that averages 42.8 points a game, Mead’s tailback tandem of Wachter and Nathan Bailey, who is currently sidelined with a broken hand, combined for 1,309 yards and 18 touchdowns on 126 carries through seven games and the Mavericks entered Friday’s game with the ninth-most total rushing yards in Colorado.

Wachter scored the game’s first touchdown with a long run in the first quarter. One play after the Mavericks blocked a 35-yard field goal attempt, junior running back Brayden Keys scored on an 80-yard run. Keys scored his fifth rushing touchdown of the season in the second quarter and the Mavericks defense halted the Tigers’ third drive of the game courtesy of a Prestin Tillema interception.

Up 21-0 at halftime, the Mavericks scored on a 70-yard interception return by Wachter on the opening drive of the third quarter. The Mavericks finished with four takeaways on the night.

“It feels like we’ve been on the road forever,” Mead head coach Jason Klatt said. “I was starting to think our whites were our home jerseys. It was great to face a good team and get a win at home tonight because we love being at home. They did a great job of keeping us off balance and keeping the ball away from our offense. I was proud of our guys and, all-in-all, it’s a good night to be a Mead Maverick.”

Holy Family quarterback Calahan Carter entered Friday’s game as the state’s third leading passer, having completed 113 of 188 pass attempts for 1,874 yards and 17 touchdowns with just five interceptions. It took until just 2 minutes, 35 seconds remained in the third quarter before he hit Liam Gray with an 8-yard scoring pass to put Holy Family on the scoreboard.

Mead will play Denver North next Saturday at All-City Stadium in Denver. Holy Family will host Northfield next Friday.

At their current pace, the Mavericks appear to be on a collision course with Frederick (8-0, 3-0) for a true league championship game between unbeatens in the regular-season finale on Nov. 8.