Cowboy gridders drub Leadville, play top team Friday

MEEKER I After a 50-8 defeat of the Leadville Panthers, the Meeker Cowboy football team remains undefeated in five games. However, they will put it on the line Friday in Starbuck Stadium as they host the defending state champion Paonia Eagles.

The kickoff for the game in Leadville was delayed one-and-one-half hours because of lightning, but the Cowboys made up for it by scoring more than 40 points in the first two quarters, starting the running clock before halftime.
“It was not a normal routine for us, but they came out and performed well,” head coach Shane Phelan said of the late start.
The Cowboys jumped out to a 20-0 lead after the first quarter and added 24 points in the second to start the running clock before the second quarter was played.
“The defense played really well,” head coach Shane Phelan said of his Cowboys, who only allowed one touchdown, very late in the fourth quarter. “They gave us a short field several times, we recovered three fumbles and Raul (Lopez) picked one up off the bounce and ran it in for a touchdown.”
The Cowboys also scored several times on offense, including a 47-yard touchdown pass from senior quarterback Jake Phelan to classmate Cade Rowlett. Phelan completed five of nine passes to four different receivers, for 100 yards. He also rushed for a touchdown.
Running back T.J. Shelton carried the ball six times for 93 yards and two touchdowns and freshman backup quarterback Logan Hughes also rushed for a touchdown.
Defensively, Casey Turner, Ruben Roybal and Chase Rule led the team in tackles, each getting in on nine, while Lopez was in on seven tackles and Jacob Henderson added six. Devon Pontine and Phelan each recorded five tackles. Phelan, Lopez and Conner Pfister all recovered fumbles.
The Cowboys will now host the undefeated, returning state champion Paonia Eagles in Starbuck Stadium on Friday, with the kickoff scheduled for 7 p.m.
“They are the defending state champs, a big, fast and strong team,” Coach Phelan said of his team’s next opponent. “We are excited about the opportunity to play them.”