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Football: Mead takes one step closer to playoff berth with win

Mavericks handle Mountain View 42-14

  • Mead High School senior running back Eli Mackey (28) pushes through the arm-tackle of Mountain View High School junior cornerback Dylan Goode (12) on Thursday, Nov. 5, 2020, in Mead, Colo. (Timothy Hurst/Staff Photographer)

  • Tim Hurst/Staff Photographer

    Mead High School junior quarterback Gavin Garrettson (4) celebrates a rushing touchdown with senior running back Nathan Bailey (26) during a game against Mountain View High School on Thursday, Nov. 5, 2020, in Mead, Colo.

  • Mead High School junior quarterback Gavin Garrettson (4) is tackled by Mountain View High School defenders Riley Cogan (53) and Triston Mayes (7) on Thursday, Nov. 5, 2020, in Mead, Colo. (Timothy Hurst/Staff Photographer)

  • Mountain View High School senior receiver Alex Hurr (3) stiff-arms Mead High School senior cornerback Brayden Keys (3) on Thursday, Nov. 5, 2020, in Mead, Colo. (Timothy Hurst/Staff Photographer)

  • Mead High School junior running back Evan Morris (7) is tackled by Mountain View High School junior defense back Landon Schneider (21) on Thursday, Nov. 5, 2020, in Mead, Colo. (Timothy Hurst/Staff Photographer)

  • Mead High School junior running back Evan Morris (7) runs up the gut against Mountain View High School on Thursday, Nov. 5, 2020, in Mead, Colo. (Timothy Hurst/Staff Photographer)

  • Mountain View High School senior Ben Trubia (11) takes off from the pocket for a first down during a game against Mead High School on Thursday, Nov. 5, 2020, in Mead, Colo. (Timothy Hurst/Staff Photographer)

  • Mead High School junior quarterback Gavin Garrettson (4) hands off to seniors running back Nathan Bailey (26) during a game against Mountain View High School on Thursday, Nov. 5, 2020, in Mead, Colo. (Timothy Hurst/Staff Photographer)

  • Mead High School senior defensive tackle Ethan Nielson (92) and senior defensive end Jason Pelzel (9) sack Mountain View High School senior quarterback Ben Trubia (11) on Thursday, Nov. 5, 2020, in Mead, Colo. (Timothy Hurst/Staff Photographer)

  • Mead High School junior running back Evan Morris (7) reels in a long touchdown reception against Mountain View High School on Thursday, Nov. 5, 2020, in Mead, Colo. (Timothy Hurst/Staff Photographer)

  • Mountain View High School senior running back Triston Mayes (7) pushes through the tackles of Mead High School defenders Brendan Klover (8) and Raul Chavarria (89) for a touchdown on Thursday, Nov. 5, 2020, in Mead, Colo. (Timothy Hurst/Staff Photographer)

  • Mountain View High School senior Ben Trubia (11) attempts a pass against the Mead High School defense on Thursday, Nov. 5, 2020, in Mead, Colo. (Timothy Hurst/Staff Photographer)

  • Mead High School junior Corby Tecu (24) celebrates with teammates after a touchdown reception against Mountain View High School on Thursday, Nov. 5, 2020, in Mead, Colo. (Timothy Hurst/Staff Photographer)

  • Mead High School senior running back Brayden Keys (3) reels in a reception before being tackled by Mountain View High School junior cornerback Aaron Baumann (19) on Thursday, Nov. 5, 2020, in Mead, Colo. (Timothy Hurst/Staff Photographer)

  • Mountain View High School senior running back Ramiro Castillo (32) is tackled from behind by Mead High School sophomore linebacker Brady Borger (44) on Thursday, Nov. 5, 2020, in Mead, Colo. (Timothy Hurst/Staff Photographer)

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Nathan Bailey is a key to the No. 4 Mead football machine.

In a 42-14 win over visiting Mountain View Thursday, he executed everything coaches asked of him, including multiple touchdown passes in the first half off trick plays. An interception capped off a career night for the Mavericks’ two-way standout.

“(In practice) it’s a lot of, ‘Hey coach, what do you need me to do? What can I do for the team?’” Bailey said. “It’s not about the personal stats, it’s about how I can perform my best in a role that will help the team.”

Combined with junior signal caller Gavin Garrettson, the Mavericks racked up 497 yards in the win. Their defense also held an opponent under 20 points for the fourth time in five tries — all wins.

Mountain View’s options were limited after falling behind 14-0 in the game’s first two minutes. Mead’s ability to onside kick midway down the field enabled a quick two possessions. During film, Mead head coach Jason Klatt found a hole in Mountain View’s unique kick return alignment and took advantage.

“They put some pressure on us,” Mountain View head coach Bart Mayes said. “(Mead) had a great game plan in all three phases of the game. The last three weeks, we’ve put ourselves in a hole. You can’t do that against real good teams — Mead’s ranked for a reason.”

The game was a must-win for the Mountain Lions, who were looking to make a run to the playoffs in an abbreviated season after going 3-7 last season. On the outside looking in, Mayes still appreciates the fight his team showed, scoring their second touchdown of the game in the fourth quarter.

Injuries and sickness cost the Mountain Lions two of their three options at quarterback this year. Starter Ben Trubia went down with an injury in the third quarter but returned to the field the next drive — another sign of the team’s grit.

“Ben stepped in really well for us last week and did some really nice things,” Mayes said. “We’ve got a super group this year and they’ve been working their tails off in this crazy world we’re in.”

At 4-1, with their only loss coming to No. 1 Roosevelt, Mead heads into the final stages of the year with cautious optimism. Only eight teams get into the Class 3A playoffs, but Mead appears to be a team that is sitting well in all the necessary polls and indexes.

“I just love our guys,” Mead head coach Jason Klatt said. “They compete, they battle, they’re getting better each week. We don’t really care about the wins and losses.”