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MEEKER I The 2012 Cowboys opened the season with a 27-0 victory over the visiting Grand Junction J.V. team. The Black and Gold were led by a defense that played exceptionaly well, limiting the opponent to only 24 yards total offense and four first downs. The defensive line, coached by Brandon Aven, was outstanding most of the night and seems to be one of the Cowboys’ strongest suits. The foursome of the Smith twins, Alex and Scott outside, and the defensive tackles of Fernando Olivas and J.R. Crawford combined for more than 30 tackles in the contest that held the enemy to 18 rushing yards and 24 total yards. The Grand Junction team gained more yards in the evening battle but the Cowboy front line tackled them with a large amount of losses behind the line-of-scrimmage. Scott Smith led the way with four tackles behind the LOS followed by a strong showing of senior J.R. Crawford who also had four stops behind the LOS. Crawford also scored a safety. Scott Smith led the team with 13 tackles. Alex Smith doubled as an offensive receiver, had eight catches for 82 yards, which places him second in the number of catches in a game, behind Juan Villalpando in 2006 and Kevin Eli in 2010 who each had nine in a game.
Defensive coordinator Arron Zielinske’s unit placed third on the Meeker history list for yards allowed rushing in a game, stopping this week’s opponent for 18 yards, behind the minus 65 yards in 1991 and the 17 allowed in 1983. Meeker has 17 games since 1900 where it has held the opponent under 100 yards in game. The 12 tackles behind the LOS ranks second behind Rick Myers’ 1988 team that stopped the opponent behind the LOS 15 times. The Black and Gold had three interceptions, two by sophomore Tristin Pelloni and one by freshmen T.J. Shelton, each making their first start.
The offense was not to be outdone, and with a number of freshmen starting in the offensive line, the Black and Gold marched to a school record 27 first downs, passing the 2005 team which had 25 in a game. Our offensive line is led by sophomore Joseph Newman at center. Anytime a team gains that many first downs and plays ran from the LOS the offensive line is doing their job in an outstanding manner. Freshmen making their first start for this unit include Devon Pontine and Noah Overton. Sophomores Newman and Ruben Roybal, and senior Adrian Shroyer completed this group’s outstanding performance. Kash Atwood, a freshman, and Abrahn Gaeta also contributed.
Junior Dylan Mobley started his first game in an outstanding display of passing. He threw the football 30 times, completed 13 for 188 yards, the 11th highest passing totals since 1900. The 30 passes was only the fourth time in Cowboy history that a QB has thrown 30 or more times in a game. The record is held by Joe LeBlanc, who threw it 31 times in a game in 2006. Mobley also ran and passed 41 times in one game, second only behind the 46 total attempts by Joe Le Blanc in 2006. Dylan directed the Black and Gold offense for 485 yards, the eighth highest total in school history, behind the 532 yards coach Bob Tucker produced in 1975. The team also had 67 offensive plays, eighth highest, behind the 75 recorded in 1983 under Rick Myers.
Sebastian Clarke, one of the best backs around, ran for 192 yards on only 11 carries. He scored two touchdowns, had one called back, returned a punt 65 yards for a score and played well in the defensive secondary. He is the leading rusher from last year’s team. The blocking on the punt return was again led by the Smith brothers opening up large holes.
T.J. Shelton scored the night’s first TD with a 20 yard run. He also set up another score with a 39 yard pass reception. He finished the night with 70 yards rushing in 10 carries. The Black and Gold scored one touchdown in each quarter.
The night was costly, as we lost two outstanding players. Raul Lopez went down with a leg injury after 53 plays. He is an outstanding receiver, safety, does the punting, kick offs, etc. One of our top players, J.R. Crawford, also broke his foot, ending a very promising senior year.
The Cowboys played 23 different men, started 15 different players and should be able to welcome back a number of players who were not able to play in this first game.
Other players that contributed to the Cowboy victory were Costin Pallach, Robby Jensen, J.C. Henderson, Aaron Cochran, Dillion Frantz, Conor Pfister, Matt Frantz, Taylor Slaugh, Jake Henderson and Tony Collins.
Did you know? The Meeker Cowboy Kickoff Classic Golf Tournament will be on Saturday, Oct. 6, and it benefits Meeker Football, so join up and play.