MEEKER I The Cowboys are getting off to a slow start in 2011. The team, with only five seniors, seems to improve on some parts of the game each week, but has slipped in others. The score was 20-0 late into the third quarter against Monte Vista with Meeker driving, only to have penalties and a couple of interceptions stall their drives, plus one of the interceptions led to a return for a TD. The second interception led to another short scoring drive and the Cowboys were out of it.The Cowboys had a series of long drives in the second half but failed to score. Added to the two interceptions thrown were two other fumbles of the football. Four turnovers never help a team get where it is attempting to go and these miscues were no exception to the rule as Meeker falls to 0-2 for the season.There were some highlights for the team, with junior LB Tala Atoafa recording 14 tackles (Cowboys record held by Kurtis Dunbar with 20 in one game in 2006), followed by Scott Smith with nine, his twin brother Alex followed with eight. Freshman Jake Phelan contributed eight tackles. Alex Smith scored the only Cowboy TD with an outstanding catch of a pass thrown by freshman Raul Lopez for 20 yards. Junior Nathan Walsh threw 22 times and completed 13 for 158 yards. The 13 completions was only the sixth time that 13 or more passes were completed in a Cowboy game. The record is held by Joe LeBlanc, who completed 20 passes in one game in 2006. LeBlanc also completed 18 in a game, followed by Trevor Matrisciano’s 15 in 2010, LeBlanc’s 14 (2006) and Wix, who quartered the 1940 team.Kevin Eli had nine receptions, which tied the school record held by Juan Villalpando who caught nine in a 2006 game. Scott Smith, with a couple of really good catches, caught five passes for 69 yards. Other tackle leaders for the game include Reno Roybal and Collin Cochran with six, J.R. Crawford, Walsh, Willis Begaye and Charles Scherbarth with five each.The Meeker roster includes 25 players, of whom 14 started the first game, 15 the second, 19 players played in the open game and 22 saw action this game. Alex Smith leads the team with 262 plays, followed by Scott Smith with 260. Kevin Eli is third with 255 plays, Tala Atoafa with 251, Nate Walsh 248, Reno Roybal 234, J.R. Crawford 228, Collin Cochran 200, Sebastian Clark 159, Ethan Overton 158, freshman Jake Phelan 148, Willis Begaye 142, freshman Joe Newman with 95. I have always felt that 100 plays allowed a player to have good experience in playing the game and they often start doing things at a higher and faster rate after this total has been reached. Of the 22 players who saw action in the first two games, 16 have 60 or more plays. The top five total play men are underclassmen. We have three freshman with 60 or more plays.We will saddle up and play more men each and every game. A note of interest was the fact that Tala Atoafa had the seventh longest run by a Cowboy from scrimmage when he went 78 yards last week in the opening game. He trails Toby Casias, who went 93 yards in 2009, Justin Jacob’s 88-yarder (2005), Deloy Cook 81 (2002), Jacob Stewart 80 (1994), Andy Coryell 80 (1995) and Jacob Stewart’s 79 yard run in 1994.nnn
If any reader has knowledge of other records set by a Cowboy football player, please contact Ron DuPree at Meeker High School. We are attempting to add to the background of football history at this school.
By Ron Dupree
Special to the Herald Times