The McDonell football team hits the road for the second time in three weeks on Saturday when the Macks travel to White Lake/Elcho to face the Wolverines in a Saturday 8-man matinee at 1 p.m.

White Lake/Elcho earned its first victory of the year last Friday with a 64-24 triumph against Saint Mary Catholic. The Wolverines opened with a 32-18 defeat at Marion/Tigerton on Aug. 23.

“They’ve got some big play ability. The quarterback has a good arm,” McDonell coach Jason Cox said of White Lake/Elcho. “They’re try to pound you with run and then try to set up play action is what they’re going to do offensively. So we have to stay disciplined in everything we do defensively.”

White Lake/Elcho also plays an independent schedule and the two schools are actually located nearly 45 minutes apart. Elcho is north of Antigo while White Lake is east of Antigo and the trip to the contest in Elcho is one of McDonell’s longest road excursions of the season.

The Macks (1-1) suffered their first loss of the season last Friday at Dorais Field, falling to Wausau Newman 51-12. Wausau Newman’s potent offense was on display as the Cardinals scored 51 first-half points and quarterback Ben Bates threw for 243 yards and four touchdowns in the game. The Cardinals piled up nearly 500 yards of total offense and looked the part of a team that entered the game ranked second in the state in the WisSports.net State Coaches Poll.

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“(We told them after the game) this game didn’t go very well for us because we’re not really on that level yet. This is something to emulate and shoot for,” Cox said of the matchup with Newman. “We want to be able to play with a team like that in a couple of years so the guys just have to keep working hard so that one day they can be the Newmans of the world so that we are the team that other teams are worried about.”

McDonell opened the year with a 42-40 win at Port Edwards and plays its next two games on the road. McDonell is off next week before returning to action at Chequamegon on Sept. 20. As the team starts to get into the heart of its schedule, Cox is looking for its effort to remain strong throughout a game while its fundamentals also remain at a high level.

“Now we’re getting to the point where we can focus on executing better,” Cox said, “doing the little things right, running crisp routes, having proper footwork all over the place so that when we go against good teams and we don’t have room for error, we’re much better prepared to compete with them instead of having to rely on athleticism and effort.”

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