DECLO — Speaking on the Magic Valley Sports Podcast on Wednesday, Buhl High School football coach Seth Blick said his team’s goal was to compete and keep alive the possibility of something special happening against Declo on Friday.
By taking a 26-0 lead through one quarter, Declo senior running back Keegan Duncan and company made sure that didn’t happen.
Duncan and senior quarterback McKay Breshears headlined a myriad of Hornets who stepped their game up in a 68-0 thrashing of the Indians at Declo’s homecoming game Friday night.
“We could have had some hiccups, but I think we played as good as we’ve played all year,” Declo head coach Kelly Kidd said. “Maybe we should have homecoming week every week.”
Declo (4-0), the No. 1-ranked team in the 2A state media poll, began the contest in methodical fashion. A seven-play, 64-yard drive concluded by a 13-yard Duncan touchdown scamper gave the Hornets a 7-0 lead less than three minutes in.
On the third official play from scrimmage for Buhl (0-3), Duncan opened the floodgates by picking off junior quarterback Jade Juker and taking it 56 yards to the house. The Boise State commit followed it up by scoring rushing touchdowns of six yards and 53 yards, followed by 75-yard and 15-yard touchdown receptions thanks to pinpoint tosses by Breshears.
All of this happened by the 5:30 mark in the second quarter.
“As far as Keegan Duncan, you put him on the field and he is a horrible mismatch for anybody,” Kidd said.
Junior wide receiver Sam Mallory ripped off a 51-yard touchdown run to cap off a dominant first half in which Buhl’s only first down came via a roughing the passer penalty. Declo led 48-0 at the break.
Duncan did not make another contribution in the game as several other Declo players received chances to impress. His numbers, in just one half of football: 114 yards on seven carries with three rushing scores, 139 yards on three receptions and two scores through the air.
Add in his interception return and Duncan accounted for 309 yards and six touchdowns in the first half.
“As a team, we have our roles, and when we all do those roles, it opens up,” Duncan said. “Tonight, it opened up for me, and I wouldn’t have done it without the other guys on the field.”
Breshears’ first-half numbers were staggering, as well: 7-for-9 for 209 yards and two scores. He added a six-yard touchdown run about five minutes into the third quarter before his night was done.
Kidd heaped praise on his offensive and defensive lines, which were able to manhandle Buhl’s lines all night. Breshears was complimentary of the front five on offense, while senior lineman Tyson Matthews said it was a strong group effort from his unit, and he hopes Duncan is happy with the blocking he received.
“I don’t think we could have done much better,” Matthews said.
Blick had said his team could keep up with Declo if the Indians won the battle in the trenches. With the Hornets running wild and his offense’s only two first downs in the entire contest coming by way of penalties, Buhl (0-3) was overmatched by Declo’s stout fronts on both sides of the ball.
“We’re going to have to go back to the drawing board a little bit,” Blick said. “That definitely was not our best showing. When you don’t have your best showing against a really good football team, that’s what happens.”
As the second half wound down with a running clock, sophomore running back Gabe Matthews and senior back Traver Larson added one more touchdown each, ensuring Declo’s blowout would grow even larger.
Prior to Friday’s game, Kidd said it was a unanimous opinion among players and coaches that Declo had not yet played its best game. While he believes this was their best game so far, his players aren’t convinced they’ve hit their stride.
Matthews estimates his team is playing at 85 percent of its capabilities. He hopes they can step it up to 90 percent by next week.
“I wouldn’t even say (85 percent),” Duncan said. “We should be rolling everyone we play with the team we have this year. We have the potential to be the best football team that’s ever come out of this high school.
“In my opinion, I’d say we’re at 50 percent.”