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MEEKER I After two weeks of two-a-day practices, the Meeker Cowboys played another team for the first time Friday in Grand Junction, then returned home to host the annual Cowboy Kickoff Classic golf tournament after a big win.
The Cowboys defeated the Central Warriors’ JV team 50-22. Central High School has an enrollment of more than 1,500 students and competes in the 4A classification (Meeker is 1A), and although it was Central’s JV team, the Warriors outnumbered and outsized the Cowboys.
“They played everyone but their seniors, but we did a lot of good things, took care of the football and won the battle,” Meeker head coach Shane Phelan said of his team’s first competition and his first time back coaching after a three-year hiatus.
The game was delayed because of lightning, and players were removed from the field in the fourth quarter for safety, but the Cowboys had already scored all their points and came back to secure the win after the delay.
Meeker accumulated more than 500 yards on offense (251 passing and 263 rushing), scored seven touchdowns and intercepted three passes on defense to control the Warriors and the game.
“Our effort was good, but we need to work on mental mistakes,” Phelan said. “Every game, our No. 1 goal is effort and hustle; we want to be mentally sharp and take care of the football. We’ll never be perfect, but that is what we are striving for.”
The Cowboys are led by junior quarterback Jake Phelan and sophomore running back T.J. Shelton. The pair scored five of the seven touchdowns, with Shelton crossing the goal line three times for a touchdown and three times for two-point conversions, finishing with 78 yards rushing. Phelan rushed for 162 yards, ran for two touchdowns, one, two-point conversion and completed 13 of 19 passes, including two for touchdowns during the game.
Phelan’s main target was Tristin Pelloni, who caught five passes, two for touchdowns, for a total of 135 yards. Phelan also connected with junior Matt Frantz, J.C. Henderson, Tony Collins and Shelton.
Pelloni, Henderson and senior Joe Newman all had interceptions on defense, which was led in tackles by freshman Casey Turner (10) and sophomore Devon Pontine (9).
“J.C. returned his interception for a touchdown, but it was called back‚” Phelan said.
The annual Cowboy Kickoff Classic golf tournament, started by coach Phelan 10 years ago, was played at the Meeker golf course Saturday as more than 40 golfers enjoyed the day.
“We had 11 teams and we appreciated everybody coming out to support us,” Phelan said.
The Cowboys will travel to Parachute to play the 2A Grand Valley Cardinals on Friday.
“Grand Valley is ranked in the top 10 in their classification,”Phelan said. “They are a good bunch of kids who are well coached.”