County’s junior high FB teams play it close

Meeker’s Justin Giao and other Cowboy captains shake hands with their Rangely counterparts before the beginning of Saturday’s A-team game. Meeker prevailed over its county rival, 14-12.

Meeker’s Justin Giao and other Cowboy captains shake hands with their Rangely counterparts before the beginning of Saturday’s A-team game. Meeker prevailed over its county rival, 14-12.
Meeker’s Justin Giao and other Cowboy captains shake hands with their Rangely counterparts before the beginning of Saturday’s A-team game. Meeker prevailed over its county rival, 14-12.
RANGELY I In Saturday’s football games between the county’s two junior high schools, Meeker came out on top both times.
But the home-team Rangely Panthers didn’t go down without putting up a fight, especially in the eighth-grade game.
In the opener, Meeker’s B team (seventh-graders) won 24-0, while in the A game (eighth-graders), the Cowboys held on to outlast Rangely 14-12.
Saturday’s games were the first of the season for Meeker, while Rangely opened the season the week before against Vernal, Utah.
The Panthers threatened to score at the end of the second game Saturday, driving to inside the Meeker 10 yard line, but came away with no points.
“We made two critical mistakes that cost us 10 yards in penalties and we couldn’t capitalize,” said Rangely coach Tim Webber. “We were marching right down to the end zone, but the kids got hurried, because we were running out of time.”
Meeker’s defense stiffened when it needed to, keeping the Panthers out of the end zone.
Cowboys’ coach Jason Browning was proud of his teams defensively, with the B team shutting out the Panthers.
“In both games, (the defense) was fantastic,” Browning said. “They had the ball at least twice in the fourth quarter on our end of the field (in the eighth-grade game), and we were able to come up with stops. Travis Mobley coaches the defense, and he’s a guru.”
Both schools’ coaches came away feeling good about their respective teams, and were complimentary of their opponent.
“Both games were real good,” said Meeker coach Browning. “Rangely has significantly improved. They have some good young athletes. I was really impressed with Rangely’s kids.”
Rangely’s coach Webber returned the compliment.
“It was anybody’s ballgame,” Webber said of the eighth-grade game. “It’s fun playing those kind of games, win or lose. The Meeker guys, they’re just a good bunch of kids. We had a good time playing those guys. Both teams played a great game. You can’t take anything away from either team. I told my guys, I’m not disappointed in you at all, seventh or eighth grade. It’s really not a loss, because you learned a lot.”
Next up for Rangely is another home game against Steamboat Springs on Saturday, with the seventh-graders starting at 10 a.m., followed by the eighth-grade game.
Meeker is on the road again Saturday, playing at Craig, with the first game scheduled for 9 a.m. The Cowboys’ first home game will be Sept. 26 against Steamboat Springs.