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MEEKER I The Meeker Cowboys high school football team is now 4-0 after shutting out the Lake County Panthers 46-0 in Starbuck Stadium on Friday. The team now faces four tough opponents, starting with the Eagles in Paonia on Friday.
“The kids did well,” head coach Shane Phelan said of his team’s most recent win played in the rain, snow and wind. “It was a little challenging, the ball was a little slick, but we overcame the weather adversity and figured out a way to impose our will a little.”
The Cowboys received the opening kickoff, then had to punt the ball after three downs. But after forcing the Panthers to punt, Meeker started pushing.
Quarterback Jake Phelan, who led the Cowboys with 111 yards rushing, moved the team down the field then handed the ball off to T.J. Shelton, who scored from five yards out. Phelan connected with Raul Lopez on the two-point conversion and Meeker led 8-0, with 5:45 left to play in the first quarter.
On the Panthers’ next possession, Phelan intercepted a pass and returned it 20 yards before Shelton scored his second touchdown, this time from 16 yards, then added three yards and two points to give his team a 16-0 lead.
Meeker’s defense held the Panthers on a fourth down attempt, taking over at the 22 year line. They capitalized less than 30 seconds later.
Phelan connected with Tristin Pelloni, who made it to the one-yard line, from where Phelan ran it in on the next play. Meeker did not convert the extra points but took a 22-0 lead.
Meeker’s defense forced the Panthers to punt again, and Phelan scored again to give the Cowboys a 30-point lead with eight minutes to play in the first half.
Rain and snow could not keep the Cowboys on the ground, as Phelan completed two more passes in the first half, the first a 37-yard touchdown pass to Lopez and the second to Tony Collins, good for a two-point conversion and a 38-0 lead at halftime.
“We stayed balanced, which was important to our offense,” Coach Phelan said.
The clock began to run early in the third quarter, after Meeker forced another Panther punt to start the third quarter. They scored on their first offensive play in the second half, when Shelton ran for a 58-yard touchdown. Phelan connected with Matt Frantz for the two-point conversion and a 46-0 lead.
Shelton finished with 108 yards rushing while he and Lopez led the team with 10 tackles and Casey Turner was in on eight. Taylor Slaugh and Willis Begaye were each in on seven tackles and Begaye recorded a sack. Phelan and Noah Overton each were in on six tackles.
The Cowboys have the four toughest teams in the league remaining on the schedule, playing in Paonia and Carbondale and hosting Cedaredge and Hotchkiss in October.
Paonia is a good team with a new coach,” Coach Phelan said of his team’s next opponent. “It will be exciting. Paonia is always good, and I know our kids are looking forward to it.”