RANTOUL — The latest entry in The Chase is Rantoul High School.
The Eagles attacked their venture full speed Friday but ended with the same unsatisfying result that four previous high school football teams had encountered.
Mahomet-Seymour's Chase Diedrich can be contained — for a play now and then — but when all of a game's totals are tabulated, he appears uncatchable.
Diedrich had rushed for 108 yards less than four minutes into the Corn Belt Conference game, and when the game beat the drizzle to a conclusion, the senior had scored four touchdowns while amassing 285 yards rushing in the Bulldogs' 60-18 runaway.
It wasn't by design that the area rushing leader was called upon so frequently (23 times) in a first half that required 80 minutes to finish.
"Rantoul had a great game plan and had some new defensive fronts," M-S coach Keith Pogue said. "We had to rely on him. We had to adjust. Chase was our answer."
In truth, the 185-pound Diedrich was far from a one-player wrecking crew. Senior Marshall Graham recovered a Rantoul fumble in the end zone for the game's first score and intercepted a Terry Deaville pass in the end zone to thwart a drive when the Eagles were moving after falling behind 26-12.
Graham also turned both of the passes he caught from Brad Izatt into TDs, intercepted a second-half pass and started the game with a 92-yard kickoff return, an end zone-reaching run that was nullified by a holding penalty.
"He is the fastest kid in the Corn Belt. We have to use him as a weapon," Pogue said. "He has a sense of how to get into the end zone."
M-S, ranked sixth in Class 5A, became playoff eligible with its fifth successive win. Rantoul (1-4) must win all of its final games to keep its postseason hopes alive.
Deaville nearly matched Diedrich's first-half offensive production. The area passing leader threw for 218 of his 260 yards before intermission, starting with a razzle-dazzle 19-yard pass to Chris Deaville, who lateraled to Cord Church, who scampered the final 60 yards for a game-tying score at 8:52 of the first period.
Rantoul coach Shane Carter refused to comment after the game, but Pogue talked about Deaville.
"He presented a tremendous challenge and is a talented quarterback," Pogue said. "The Rantoul kids fought their hearts out."
Church finished with nine receptions. Chris Deaville caught eight passes and Jackson Carver five. Terry Deaville was 22 of 36.
M-S' defense was led by Garret Risley and Kyle Dollahon with nine tackles apiece. Austin Armetta had eight stops, Micah Rounds seven and Daniel Roberson — who scored the final TD — seven.