MEEKER | The snow had to be plowed off of the field for the Class 1A Western Slope League championship game last Friday in the final regular season game and second match between Meeker and Hotchkiss this year. Their first match was in August when the Cowboys took on the Bulldogs on their turf; a final score of 28-7, Meeker victory. Until last Friday it was the only loss Hotchkiss was dealt.
“Hotchkiss is a quality opponent and it was fun to be a part of that game,” said head coach Shane Phelan.
The temperature was in the mid-20s at kick-off. With just under four minutes left in the first, quarterback Ryan Phelan connected with Jake Shelton and Kelton Turner ran it in for another two; the Cowboys were on the boards first, 8-0 Meeker.
In the last two minutes of the half, the Cowboys held possession and pushed to put up another TD and narrowly missed. The teams went to the locker rooms at the half, the score was 22-13, the Cowboys.
Through the second half Hotchkiss was unable to answer Meeker’s offense. Three Cowboys exceeded 10 tackles. Tevin Pelloni had 13 and both Turner and Shelton had 11. The Cowboy/Bulldog final score was 42-26 Meeker.
The offense was not slowed by the frigid temperatures, 526 all-purpose yards were led by Turner who had 68 rushing yards and 145 overall. The Phelan/Shelton combo put up a 108 total receiving yards to lead the team and Colby Clatterbaugh who was nearly in triple digits receiving with 99 yards.
The Cowboys now look to postseason play; there are 16 teams and four rounds in postseason, opening round, quarter-finals, semi-finals, and then championship. The rankings for seeding in the end-of-season tournament changed this year and there are four factors that decide what the rankings will be: Colorado High School Sport Athletics Association (CHSAA) Ranking Point Index (RPI), CHSAA Now Coaches Poll, Max Preps Rankings, and Packard Ranking. The seeding at the beginning of the tournament will determine where games are played for the entire tournament; not until a champion is crowned in the final game will rankings be updated and finaled for the year.
The Cowboys moved up from the number five spot to number four last week and are holding steady. They will take on the 6-3, 13 ranked Buena Vista Demons this coming Saturday in the opening round of playoffs.
“We have been playing all year for the opportunity to be in this game; it’s always great when you play on a Saturday in the postseason,” commented Phelan.
The Demons have only allowed 187 total points in their nine regular-season games, and in three games lost by more than 37 points each.
Buena Vista and Meeker had one common opponent this year; both teams took on and beat the Cedaredge Bruins. The final score of Demons and Bruins was 27-6 and final score for Cowboys and Bruins was 36-6.
“Buena Vista has a balanced attack; their quarterback throws well and their run game has multiple backs able to take the ball in any direction,” said Phelan. “We will have our work cut out for us.”
“We are excited to host this game,” commented Phelan. “It is great to be able to play in front of a home crowd and community support.”
Cowboy football will be this Saturday, Nov. 9 at 1 p.m. at Starbuck Stadium.
By Tiffany Jehorek | Special to the Herald Times