Cowboys slay Holyoke Dragons in quarterfinal

MEEKER I The Cowboys make it to the quarterfinals! 

The Holyoke Dragons came to Meeker and together the teams put on a show for a Cowboy home crowd. A big Cowboy win 42-35 and Meeker stays alive in the playoffs.

“It was an exciting win and the fans got a good game,” commented head coach Shane Phelan.

The Dragons put seven on the board first and it was immediately answered in just one play by Kelton Turner with a long 70-plus yard run. 

The Cowboy defense couldn’t stop the Dragons from putting up 14 more unanswered points and the score was 21-7 early in the second quarter. 

“We got down early but the boys were fighting and clawing their way back in it,” said Phelan, “Kelton’s big play at the half tied it up.”

A good drive and a pick six by Turner when the Dragons were about to score and the teams went to half tied 21 all.

The tone was set for the second half when Liam Deming ran back the opening kickoff to bring the Cowboys ahead for the first time, Deming had 114 yards in returns this week.

“There were two big, key plays in the game, Kelton’s interception and Liam running the kickoff  back at the beginning of the second half,” commented Phelan.

The Dragons didn’t move the ball as well in the second half and they were in scoring territory with just a few seconds left in the game when Turner, once again, picked off the ball just as the clock ran out.

“Defensively, we struggled all day and were unable to get key stops and Holyoke was able to extend the drive every time.”

Offensively, Turner had his best game to date with 363 total yards, 238 on the ground. He scored three touchdowns, Deming had one, Connor Blunt and Dagon Dade each picked up another. John Hampton Hightower went 6/6 on his PAT’s. Deming and Brink combined for 50 yards receiving from QB Blunt.

Senior Zach Eskelson turned it up this week with 18 tackles, fellow senior Zach Simonsen had 14, and Turner had 13. No stats for the Dragons have been entered to determine how many yards Meeker held the Dragons to.

The Cowboys now turn their attention to a rematch with Buena Vista for quarterfinals.

“We are familiar with them and it is a quality opponent,” said Phelan, “it isn’t often that you get an opportunity to play a team for a second time in one year, and we are going to make the best of it.”

The Cowboys took on Buena Vista in the fourth game of the season, and gave up 14 points in the second half, the game was tied with just a few seconds left on the clock and the Demons kicked a 40 yard field goal to win by 3.

“It is great to have a rematch but this is our chance and will see if we can have a different outcome,” wrapped up Phelan.

The Cowboys travel to Buena Vista for a Saturday 1pm game that will be streamed via NFHS.