MEEKER I For the second week in a row, the Meeker High School football team has led in both games after the first half but has been unable to score in the second half. Unfortunately, the MHS Cowboys are currently 0-2 with hopes of getting their first win Friday when they host the Coal Ridge Titans in Starbuck Stadium.
The 1A Meeker Cowboys lost 16-14 to the 2A Roaring Fork Rams in Carbondale on Friday after jumping out to a 14-point lead in the first half.
“We’re having a few growing pains, but I feel the same way I felt last week,” Meeker Head Coach Shane Phelan said. “I’m still excited about our team.”
Neither team was able to score on its first possession, and both teams turned the ball over on their second, with Meeker fumbling.
Finally, Meeker’s Cole Brown intercepted a pass, which led to the first score of the game. After Brown’s interception, Meeker drove down to the eight-yard line, where senior running back T.J. Shelton took a hand off from sophomore quarterback Logan Hughes and ran it in for a touchdown. The extra point was unsuccessful and Meeker led 6-0 at the end of the first quarter.
Both teams struggled to get first downs and punted back and forth to each other before Shelton ran the ball in again from the eight yards out and also ran in the extra point to give his team a 14-0 lead at the end of the first half.
In the second half, Roaring Fork received the ball first and drove down the field before they threw a pass for a touchdown and kicked the extra point to make the score 14-7 after the third quarter.
“We only had the ball for three plays in the third quarter,” Phelan said. “They had some super-long drives and we had no chances.”
The Rams gained some momentum in the third quarter and used it to continue getting first downs, including several on fourth down—one for a touchdown. Meeker junior Hunter Garcia blocked the extra point and Meeker still led 14-13.
After Meeker punted the ball, the Rams drove down the field again, converting a fourth down into a first and goal at the eight yard line with about four minutes to play in the game. Meeker’s defense pushed the Rams back to the 25-yard line but they kicked a field goal to take a 16-14 lead with 2:38 remaining.
“We couldn’t get stops when we needed them, but we still had opportunities,” coach Phelan said.
The Cowboys did have an opportunity to win the game after a 38-yard pass from Hughes to Shelton moved the ball to the one-yard line. However, Meeker fumbled on the next play, allowing the Rams to run out the clock.
Hughes completed 13 of 16 passes to six different receivers for 161 yards. Shelton caught three passes for 41 yards and he rushed for 73 yards. Sheridan Harvey also caught three passes while Brown, Garcia and Devon Pontine each caught two passes and Casey Turner caught one.
Turner led the defense with 14 tackles, Chase Rule was in on nine, Shelton and his new senior classmate Zackery Medlin each finished with eight tackles.
“In the second half, they were more physical then we were,” Phelan said. “We have to execute better, clean some things up and keep battling. There is a lot of season left and if we keep on track, good things are ahead for this team.”
The Cowboys will host the 2A Titans in Starbuck Stadium on Friday with the kickoff scheduled for 7 p.m.
“Coal Ridge will be another good test for us, and we get to play it at home,” Phelan said.