Cowboys fall to Monte Vista

Face Center Vikings Saturday

MEEKER I The Monte Vista Pirates shook off the five-hour drive and used Meeker miscues to leave town with a 14-10 victory over the hometown Meeker Cowboys last Friday night.
The Cowboys will next travel to Olathe on Saturday to take on the Center Vikings in another non-league contest. Meeker last played Center in the 2004 playoffs in Meeker, with the visiting Vikings winning the quarterfinal contest.
Meeker’s defense started out strong Friday night as the visitors won the flip and received the kick. Meeker’s linebacker Alema Atoafa turned in a strong performance both offensively and defensively as he gathered the first three tackles of the game. The Cowboys took possession of the ball with 8:16 in the first quarter but senior quarterback Trevor Matrisciano was intercepted in the second offensive play for the first Meeker error. Both defenses dug in and neither team was allowed to move the ball much in the first period.
In the second period, Meeker’s Jared Franz picked off the Pirates’ Bradshaw only to see his effort go for naught as Monte picked off the second errant Cowboy pass in the next series. This time the Pirates capitalized on the turnover as Montoya scored from seven yards out and Bradshaw added the two-point conversion for an 8-0 lead for the visitors. Meeker put together a drive amid several penalties on the next series, but saw it stall out on the Pirate 19. Victor Villalpando connected on the 36-yard field goal with yards to spare as the Cowboys cut into the lead 3-8. Another good defensive stand by the Cowboys allowed them the ball back. A couple of pass completions, one to senior tight end Jake Nieslanik for a timely first down found Matrisciano completing the drive by scrambling in for the Cowboy touchdown from seven yards. Villalpando’s extra point kick gave the Cowboys their first lead of the game 10-8 to end the first half.
Either the halftime break or some timely words of wisdom from the coaching staff took hold for Meeker as the offense came out firing to start the third quarter. The M and N connection (Matrisciano to Nieslanik) worked again with a big 24-yard gain for the ’Pokes. Matrisciano gained another 25 yards only to see his effort go for naught with another Cowboy penalty. With the penalty bug running rampant against the Cowboys, their drive was stalled and Monte Vista took over. Neither team threatened much throughout the rest of the third as it ended with the Cowboys up 10-8.
The Pirates took over on the 37 yard line to start the final stanza. Solid running by the visitors found Montoya scoring his second touchdown of the night from two yards out to complete the 63 yard drive. Bradshaw’s attempt for two was foiled by the Cowboy defense, but the visitors held a slim 14-10 lead. Meeker’s next drive ended on downs as the ’Pokes tried some chicanery with a fake punt only to see it come up short. With 5:13 left in the game, Meeker was given one last opportunity. A good mixture of running and passing was helped by a pass interference penalty as Meeker was knocking on the door from 12 yards out with 2:28 remaining. However, the Cowboys were unable to get any farther as the Pirates stopped Atoafa’s effort to get the first down by about one foot. The Pirates were then able to run out the clock to preserve the victory.
Game time for Meeker’s game Saturday at Olathe is 1 p.m.