Pirates scuttle Meeker, 31-14

MEEKER I Non-conference games prepare teams for league competition and the Meeker Cowboys are seeking out the best competition in the area, including the defending 3A state champion Olathe Pirates.
The Cowboys traveled to Olathe last Friday and although Meeker lost 31-14, head coach Shane Phelan was pleased with his team’s performance, for the most part.
“We played all right. We moved the ball well, but we had a few too many penalties,” Phelan said. “Olathe is a good team, bottom line.”
The Cowboys kicked off to the Pirates and they scored a touchdown on their first drive to take a 7-0 lead early.
Meeker answered, when senior quarterback Colton Brown led his team down the field behind runs from Mitch Jacob and Tyrell Gerloff. Jacob ran in from two yards out, then Brown connected with senior Dakota Rowlett for the two-point conversion and the Cowboys led 8-7.
The lead wouldn’t last long as the Pirates returned Meeker’s kickoff for a touchdown, taking the momentum and lead from the Cowboys. The Pirates scored again right before the end of the second quarter to lead 21-8 at halftime.
“We traded scores in the third quarter and they also got a field goal in the fourth,” Phelan said.
Gerloff scored Meeker’s second touchdown on a 1-yard run, but the Cowboys could not convert the extra points.
“Penalties killed a couple of our drives and one time we drove down and threw an interception in the end zone that would have brought us closer,” Phelan said.
“We haven’t been in a situation like that against a really tough team,” Phelan said. “Hopefully we learn from it and get better, because these are the type of teams we are going to see in the future.”
Jacob also had an interception and finished the game with 46 yards on 12 carries and caught two passes for 20 yards.
Brown completed 10 of 25 passes to six different receivers for 99 yards and led the team with 72 yards rushing. Senior Brock Campbell caught four of Brown’s passes for 31 yards, junior Jake Nieslanik caught two passes, junior Cole Steiner caught one, as did senior Nate Bradfield.
Nieslanik led the team in tackles, recording eight by himself and assisted on five others. Jacob and Rowlett were each in on eight tackles and the Wix brothers (Johnny and Ryan) were in on a total of 15 tackles.
The Cowboys take on another 3A school when they travel to Carbondale Friday to play Roaring Fork.