MEEKER | Friday under the lights of Starbuck Stadium 20-plus members of the 1968 state runner-up Meeker Cowboys football team were on hand to watch the the 2018 football team defeat the Grand Valley Cardinals 36-7. Fifty years ago that Meeker team was responsible for starting the “culture and traditions that we have in our program,” said head coach Shane Phelan, “it was neat to have them on the field to celebrate their success of 50 years ago.” The game against the Cardinals was the first league match of the year, another win, and the Cowboys are headed into the week with a record of 2-2.
Coming off of a loss and a second bye week for this season, Phelan said, “We were sloppy on our end, lots of penalties. We need to clean up penalties and missed assignments—we have things to work on and improve.”
Ryan Phelan led the Cowboys in scoring with 14 points running in two touchdowns and a two-point conversion. With a total of five touchdowns on the evening, it was Jake Shelton, Andy Kracht and Jeremy Woodward each responsible for six points, with Shelton running in a two-point conversion.
“It was a pretty balanced game, with the passing a nice complement to the run game, and defense also did well,” commented Phelan.
The Cowboys ran a total of 343 yards, 169 in passing, the offense was balanced by the defense which had 84 tackles and held the Cardinals to seven points.
“Anytime we can be balanced, we are successful,” Phelan said.
The Cardinals, also plagued by mistakes, had four fumbles and only recovered one. The others were recovered by James Amick and Jeremy Woodward. Amick, who led the defense with 14 tackles, caused a safety late in the fourth quarter, and added two points, bringing the score to 36.
In week seven the Cowboys are on the road traveling to Cedaredge to take on the Bruins. The second league match of the season, the Cowboys are taking it “one game at a time,” according to Phelan. The only guarantee for the Cowboys to make it into post-season play is for them to be league champions. Cedaredge, Paonia, Olathe and Hotchkiss stand in the Cowboys’ path. The Cedaredge record “does not indicate how good they are,” commented Phelan, they fell to Olathe, but only by a point, 7-6; their defense and offense matched well. Play starts at 7 p.m. on Oct. 5.
The JV was also in play with two games, on Sept. 24 they traveled to Craig to take on the Bulldogs. They were unable to squeak out a victory losing 26-20. On Oct. 1 they traveled to Grand Junction to play the Grand Junction High School freshman team. They were hanging in at half time, only behind by two points, 8-6, but in the end they fell 19-6.
By TIFFANY JEHOREK | Special to the Herald Times