MHS Cowboys suffer first loss of the season

MEEKER I The Meeker Cowboy football team suffered its first loss (22-28) of the season in Paonia last Friday but according to their coach, they have to “put Paonia behind them” because the Cowboys are celebrating homecoming this week and hosting the defending state champion Cedaredge Bruins in Starbuck Stadium.
“I thought we had them, we were close, we just couldn’t seal the deal,” Cowboy head coach Shane Phelan said of his team’s first loss.
The Cowboys scored first on a 92-yard run by T.J. Shelton, who also added a two-point conversion, for an early eight point lead but the Eagles answered with a touchdown of their own.
Meeker quarterback Jake Phelan connected with speedster Raul Lopez for a 96-yard touchdown and according to Maxpreps, Lopez finished the game with seven catches for 179 yards.
The Eagles scored again and the first quarter ended with the game tied at 14 and Paonia would be the only team to score in the second period to take a 21-14 lead at halftime.
“We battled back in the third, tied the game and took the lead but we kept making mistakes,” Coach Phelan said. Phelan said his team also suffered some “key” injuries.
“We were short two lineman (Joe Newman and Ruben Roybal) in the second half but we had some kids come off the bench and step in.”
The Eagles scored with 30 seconds left to play in the game and the Cowboys made it down to the 16-yard line on the last play of the game.
Shelton finished the game with 159 yards on 12 plays and Jake Phelan rushed for 74 on 13 carries. Phelan also completed 13 of 20 passes for 221 yards to five different receivers.
Lopez led the receivers in catches and yards but Shelton, Tristin Pelloni, J.C. Henderson and Matt Frantz all caught passes from Phelan.
Phelan also led the defense with 21 tackles, Lopez was in on 15 and Henderson and classmate Willis Begaye each recorded 12. Henderson also intercepted a pass.
Freshman Casey Turner was in on 11 tackles and recovered a fumble and Dillon Frantz was in on eight tackles.
The homecoming game against the defending state champions in Starbuck Stadium will start at 7 p.m.