Cowboys head to Hotchkiss Friday for last game of regular season

The Meeker Cowboys earned another win, 14-7, against a tough Olathe team last week. They'll head to Hotchkiss Friday for the final game of the regular season. TIFFANY JEHOREK PHOTO
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MEEKER | Week 10 wrapped up with a 14-7 win on the road for the Cowboys against the Olathe Pirates. Head coach Shane Phelan said, “We did some good things, pulled it together in the second half, and put up a win against a good opponent.”
The first half of the game was fast, finishing in about 39 minutes and the Cowboys only had three possessions. This allowed Olathe to run the clock, combined with three stalls and the Cowboys inability to punch it in. At the half the game was tied 0-0.
“Sluggish,” is how Phelan described the boys in the first half, but the second half picked up and the boys were able to put together a series of strings and stops.
The Pirates came out and put up six points right away plus a field goal for a total of seven in the third quarter. Answered by six points rushed in by Ryan Phelan and a two-point conversion by Tannen Kennedy, the score was 8-7 for Cowboys late in the third.
“We stayed positive and aggressive,” Phelan said. “Trying to get better each week, we have some things to work on.”
Defensively the Cowboys were strong throughout the game, Brennan Jensen and James Amick were responsible for two sacks and 15 tackles collectively. Luis Villalpando then added 11 more assists and helped hold the Pirates to seven points. The fourth quarter was “a little more exciting than I would have liked,” commented Phelan. Stephen Walsh ran it in for six more for a score of 14-7 and Andy Kracht intercepted the ball with just shy of three minutes remaining. Meeker had possession of the ball and penalties creating long yardage caused a four and out for the Cowboys, allowing the Pirates one more shot at a score. Olathe’s second possession, with one minute and 33 seconds left, Kracht intercepted again, his third for the night. Phelan then took a knee for the final possessions and ran the clock out.
For the final regular season game this Friday, the Cowboys are traveling to Hotchkiss to take on the Bulldogs. When asked what to expect, Phelan commented, “It is another well-coached league opponent to play against. We are getting used to that pass, this is our third game over it this season.” On the field the Cowboys need to be ready as the Bulldogs have a good running back and throw well when they have time. “They are one of the more balanced teams in their run and pass offense,” Phelan said. “This game we will get our offense going again.”
The JV was also back at it, playing the first ever eight-man football game in Meeker High School history. The typical eight-man field is only 40 yards wide, compared to the 53.5 of the Starbuck Stadium 11-man field, which can pose challenges. Roaring Fork made the trip for this Cowboy first, but they fell short and Meeker was victorious 34-8. This was the final game in the 2018 JV football season.

By TIFFANY JEHOREK | Special to the Herald Times