Cowboys pound Bruins 33-0; remain undefeated

Meeker senior Trapper Merrifield (4) blocks for classmate Garrett Frantz, who intercepted a pass against the Cedaredge Bruins, returning it more than 20 yards to give his team good field position. Merrifield also helped his team win 33-0 by catching his ninth touchdown pass of the season and Frantz also recovered a fumble. Bobby Gutierrez photo

MEEKER | The Cowboys defeated the Cedaredge Bruins 33-0 last Friday in Starbuck Stadium to remain undefeated in seven games and is currently ranked second in 1A by The Cowboys have also won three Western Slope League games, as have the Paonia Eagles (currently ranked sixth), who will be Meeker’s next opponent this Friday with the league championship on the line.
The Cowboys took the opening kickoff and scored four plays later for the only touchdown of the first quarter.
Senior quarterback Logan Hughes, who has thrown for more than 1,200 yards so far this season, connected with his number one receiver, Trapper Merrifield, who has caught all nine of Hughes’ touchdown passes, for a 44-yard gain on the first play from scrimmage.
Senior running back Doak Mantle, who had another 100-yard rushing game, put Meeker on the scoreboard after a 10-yard run but he was unable to score the two-point conversion.
Meeker recovered a fumble to end the Bruins’ first possession but they turned it over on downs at the 11-yard line. The Cowboys’ defense forced Cedaredge to punt but Meeker couldn’t pick up a first down on fourth down, turning the ball over on downs again.
Mantle would score again early in the second quarter but they would be stopped at the one-yard line just before half time to lead 12-0 at the break.
“We didn’t execute well in the first half,” head coach Shane Phelan said. “We had multiple opportunities in the first half, we just couldn’t capitalize on all of them, but I was happy with the way the kids responded after halftime.”
Merrifield returned a punt 54 yards for a touchdown, which was called back because of a penalty, but Mantle moved the ball down field and Hughes ran in for a touchdown from nine yards out. Hughes connected with Stephen Walsh for a second time to add the two-point conversion to give their team a 20-0 lead.
Meeker senior Garrett Frantz intercepted a pass on Cedaredge’s next possession and the Cowboys quickly capitalized when Hughes connected with Merrifield for a 44-yard touchdown. Hughes ran in the extra points and Meeker led 26-0 at the end of the third quarter.
Meeker backups played most of the fourth quarter and it was Jorgen Stagg who scored the final touchdown for the Cowboys and senior Jerrick Garza kicked the extra point.
Hughes completed eight of 13 passes for 188 yards and one touchdown, as well as one rushing. Merrifield, Mantle (who rushed for 100 yards on 18 carries), and Walsh all caught two passes, while senior Jacob Pelloni and sophomore Jacob Shelton each caught one.
Tannen Kennedy and James Amick led the Cowboys on defense with nine tackles each. Garza and Tevin Pelloni were each in on six tackles, while Mantle was in on five, as was Jacob Pelloni. Amick, Garza and Ryan Phelan all sacked the quarterback and Kennedy also had an interception, as did Frantz, who also recovered a fumble.
Coach Phelan is expecting a tough game in Paonia Friday against the always-competitive Eagles.
“They are a typical Paonia team, big, strong and they do a lot of things well,” Coach Phelan said. “We have to play good fundamental football, take care of the ball and put forth a big effort.”