Cowboys beat Rams, 34-9

Meeker freshman T.J. Shelton follows teammate Sebastian Clarke against Roaring Fork. Shelton led the Cowboys with 188 yards rushing, helping his team defeat the Rams 34-9 and set a school record with 541 total offensive yards. Meeker will play their final game of the regular season Friday in Hotchkiss.

Meeker freshman T.J. Shelton follows teammate Sebastian Clarke against Roaring Fork. Shelton led the Cowboys with 188 yards rushing, helping his team defeat the Rams 34-9 and set a school record with 541 total offensive yards. Meeker will play their final game of the regular season Friday in Hotchkiss.
MEEKER I The Cowboy defense rose up and stopped the Roaring Fork attack to put the Black and Gold in position to register a conference victory against the largest enrollment team in Class A. The “D” held the visiting team to only 60 yards rushing and 36 passing for the night. The Cowboy “D” limited the larger opponent to only three first downs, which is an outstanding accomplishment in any game.
The ‘Boys were led on defense by Raul Lopez with nine tackles, followed by Scott Smith with seven, Willis Begay six, Aaron Cochran five, J.C. Henderson four, Devon Pontine three, Tala Atoafa three, Fernando Olivas three and J.R. Crawford.
The defensive line did an exceptional job for entire night. Jake Phelan also had a key interception that stopped a Roaring Fork drive.
The defense, led by coach Aaron Zielinske, had seven tackles behind the line-of-scrimmage Friday, which pushes the 2012 team to 54 BLOS total, behind the all-time leading record of 79 by the 1989 team.
The offensive team had a record-setting night, gaining 541 yards in total offense. This broke the total offense record of 532 yards in one game by Bob Tucker’s 1975 team. The Cowboys rushed for 430 yards and threw for 111. The 430 rushing yards placed fourth on Meeker’s all-time record, behind the 1993 team, who gained 451 yards in one game.
Leading in rushing was T.J. Shelton, who ran for 188 yards on 15 attempts. This was the 18th best total in history, behind the record setting 288 yards by Justin Jacob in 2004. Jake Phelan ran for 120 yards while throwing for 111 yards. Clarke ran 15 times for 72 yards. Tala Atoafa ran seven times for 30 yards. The thing that stood out on the offensive side of the ball was the fact that six different positions on offense were involved in reaching the record total of 541 yards. The quarterback, fullback and tailback positions each gained more than 100 yards rushing plus the two wide out receiver positions combined for 111 yards passing. Add in the blocking back totals and we have a complete team record. This shows outstanding team work, which included the offensive line, led by coach Brandon Aven.
The entire fourth quarter was manned by backups and the number of different offensive linemen that contributed to this record setting assault was nine, led by senior tackle Austin Brown, Joseph Newman, Nakoma Bailey, Devon Pontine, Kash Atwood, Ruben Roybal, Tyler Pollock, Noah Overton and Ty Dunham. Eight of these men are 10th graders or younger.
Jake Phelan has produced three straight games with more than 200 total yards by the quarterback position. His 231 yards was 12th on the all-time list. Phelan threw for three touchdowns in this game, two to Scott Smith and one to Alex Smith. Phelan also scored one touchdown. Both Scott and Alex told the coach that they could beat the defender on certain patterns, basically calling the right play and these calls led to two touchdowns. Well done!
Alex moved up on the all-time receiving chart, and has now totaled 26 catches to rank 10th on the all time list. His yards catching now totals 13th for the all-time chart with one game left.
Did you know? The 2012 team has played 36 different players in a varsity game, and 29 of these young men are underclassmen. In total plays Jake Phelan is the leader with 852, followed by Clarke with 823, J.C. Henderson 814, Alex Smith 800, Scott Smith 791, Devon Pontine 754, T.J. Shelton 730, Nate Walsh 571, Noah Overton 568, and Joe Newman with 500.
We have played 22 men in more than 100 plays and 25 over 50 as we build for the future.