MHS Cowboys taken down by Grand Valley Cardinals

MEEKER I The 2012 Meeker Cowboys took a hit Friday night, both by the score (6-49) and the injury bug. The visiting Grand Valley Cardinals allowed the ‘Boys an opening touchdown drive and then shut down the Meeker 11 from the end zone the rest of the night.
The team opened the game with an 8-play, three-first down drive that covered 75 yards, capped off with a touchdown pass from Dylan Mobley to Alex Smith. The 17 yard throw was on target and Smith made an outstanding catch while falling into the end zone. The try for the extra point kick was not successful.
The large visitors started to move the football with machine-like consistency mid-way through the first quarter and continued their march to the end zone throughout the rest of the game. The Cardinal backfield contained a couple of 200 pound backs that could run and they provided a strong running attack vs the Cowboys. Their 235 fullback ran with both power and quickness and the Black and Gold had trouble holding him down. Grand Valley compiled 306 rushing yards in the game and 17 first downs.
The Meeker Cowboys suffered a few bruises alone the way, especially in the defensive line, which at the start of the season was one of the strong points of the team. The Class 2A Cardinals took advantage of this area throughout the night running for most of their yardage between the tackles.
The Black and Gold threw for 65 yards and gained 107 yards rushing. They recorded nine first downs. The leading receiver, Alex Smith, had three catches for the night, giving him 11 total for the season and 126 yards. Dylan Mobley, making his second high school start, hit seven of 22 passes with one interception. He was under hard pressure most of the night. Mobley, a junior, has thrown for 253 yards this season. Sebastian Clarke led Meeker’s rushing attack, gaining 50 plus yards. He had a strong 23-yard run to set up the first score of the night. Clarke has totaled 247 yards rushing in the Cowboys’ two games. He also had taken over the punting duties after sophomore Raul Lopez was injured from the first game. Freshman T.J. Sheldon ran for 40 yards in eight carries and was the leading tackler with 13 stops. Sheldon has 110 yards rushing for the year and is the second leading tackler with 16 for the year. J.C. Henderson had a key interception that stopped an early Cardinal drive.
Scott Smith, the Cowboys’ leading tackler, with 18 for the season, left the game in the first half and finished the evening with five tackles. Fernando Olivas, Aaron Cochran and Nate Walsh also added five tackles each to the team total. Freshmen Devon Pontine, T.J. Shelton and Noah Overton have been pressed into service on both the offensive and defensive sides of the ball. Pontine has played very well and has five tackles for the season. The Cowboys should be proud of the young men that filled in during the last two games. They are gaining valuable experience and playing well. We hope to be well and experienced for the opening of the conference race later in the year.
A total of 31 different players have seen varsity game action for the team this season. Alex Smith leads in total plays with 231, followed by Clarke with 230. T.J. Sheldon has 221, Devon Pontine 188, Noah Overton 177, Scott Smith 167, J.C. Henderson 167, Joe Newman 141, Fernando Olivas 125, and linebacker Aaron Cochran with 119 plays. Aaron and Fernando each have 12 tackles for the season.
The offensive line has been filled by Devon Pontine, Noah Overton, Joe Newman, Austin Brown, Ruben Royball, Ricky Jeffrey, Adrian Shroyer, Kash Atwood and Nakoma Bailey. Austin Brown and Adrian Shroer are the only seniors. Joe Newman, a 6’6” 242 pound sophomore; Brown, Royball, a 195 pound sophomore and Jeffrey, a 252 pound junior, are all starters from last season. These young men blocked for the record 27 first downs in game one and show they have outstanding ability.
Our defensive line has contributed 62 total tackles to this year’s defensive effort. That is a very high total for a defensive line and shows their merit to the team. Our inside linebacker have totaled 28 stops and our outside backers have totaled 12 for the season.
Seniors have played 724 plays, juniors 820, sophomores 438 and freshmen 631. The junior class leads in total plays with 31 percent, followed by seniors at 27 percent, freshmen at 24 percent with sophomores totaling 16 percent of all plays.
Seniors lead in tackling, with 45 percent of the total. Juniors come in second with 23 percent, then freshmen, 20 percent, and sophomores at 10 percent.
Juniors lead in rushing, with 69 percent coming from this class. Freshmen are second with 27 percent.
Interceptions in the two games are by three different men, with Tristin Pelloni leading the way with two, followed by T.J. Shelton and J.C. Henderson with one each.
The Cowboys play on the road this Friday, Sept 7, at Coal Ridge, another 2-A school. Game is at 7 p.m.
Did you know?
The most shutouts in a season was six in 1967, with coach Ed Duffy’s team, followed by the 1968 team which was coached by Meeker’s own Bob Tucker.