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MEEKER | Sunday the Cowboys officially moved into the playoffs for the seventh year in a row. This came after a commanding victory over the Paonia Eagles, 47-0. It was the Cowboys third shutout of the year.
Forty points were scored in the first 10 minutes and 30 seconds of the game, initiating the mercy rule and a running clock.
The first six were put up by Jeremy Woodward with only 35 seconds ticked off of the game clock. On Meeker’s second play Woodward ran it in for six and Ryan Phelan met Braydon Garcia for the extra two, it was 8-0 the Cowboys, and they never relented.
The Eagles, on their second play of the game, and still on their 20 yard line, had a bad snap, giving Phelan time to get in the backfield and cause a fumble that was recovered by Dax Sheridan.
On the Cowboys second down, Colby Clatterbaugh ran it in for six and Phelan added two more, making it 16-0 in just four snaps.
On Paonia’s first play after the kick return, they threw an interception to Kelton Turner, who then carried it two more times for 25 yards each time, and scored to make it 22-0. Clatterbaugh caught for the extra two with 6:54 left in the first.
The game was dominated offensively and defensively by the Cowboys. Woodward scored two more times, Clatterbaugh and Turner added extra points, and Phelan caused another fumble.
In the second quarter the final points were added to the board by Porter Hossack with 7:54 seconds left in the first half, John Hampton Hightower then kicked it in and the score was 47-0.
“I am really pleased how the boys came out from the start and performed well,” commented head coach Shane Phelan, “It was a total team effort and we got everyone in.”
Beginning in the second quarter the JV began to substitute for the varsity, and by the second half it was all JV all the way, still shutting down the Eagles.
Rushing was led by Woodward with 108 yards, Turner with 71, Dagon Dade with 57, and Hossack with 54. Receiving, Garcia added 20 yards and was the only one in double digits, the game was won on the ground.
Defensively the tackles were spread and contributed by many. Leading was Elijah LeBlanc and Brendan Clatterbaugh each with four, then Phelan, Connor Blunt, Casey Brink, C. Clatterbaugh, Judd Harvey and Ethan Drake, all with three.
On Sunday when the brackets were posted and the chips fell, Meeker sat in the seventh position and will travel to Strasburg to take on the Indians this Friday at 7 p.m..
“We are really excited we made the bracket,” said Phelan, “We are now excited we get to go compete against one of the better teams in 1A.”
Strasburg has been in the championship game every year since the Cowboys last met them in 2016. “Strasburg has a really good team and good football program,” commented Phelan, “their running back is good, the quarterback is good, their line is good and they are well coached.”
No fans will be allowed to attend the game. The game will be livestreamed by Strasburg on YouTube at https://youtu.be/8RM3QazdUy0.