Meeker anything but on Friday | SteamboatToday.com

Meeker anything but on Friday

Nick Foster

One minute, 24 seconds and four plays into the game, Meeker scored its first of five touchdowns with its relentless offense, shutting out the Tigers Friday in Hayden

34-0.

The Hayden offense had to punt four plays after getting the ball back, and after receiving the punt, Meeker put the ball back into the end zone in three plays.

“I think we had a pretty balanced attack,” Meeker Cowboys coach Craig Pashcal said. “We did a pretty good job of running inside and out.”

Not only did the Cowboys run up and down the field, but they also got some great plays from senior quarterback Casey Sullivan, who finished the night completing 50 percent of his passes and throwing for one touchdown.

“He’s a very disciplined player,” Pashcal said. “Always throwing and he’s always in the weight room.”

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But Sullivan got some help, too, from his large wide receivers who often needed more than one defender to pull them to the ground. The same goes for the tailbacks who also carried Tiger defenders down the field before being pulled down.

Hayden came close to a score in the first quarter on a 21-yard pass from quarterback Keenan Bruchez to Evan Hilling, but the pass was just out of Hilling’s reach when he dived in the back of the end zone.

Still, on the same drive, the Tigers got all the way to the 3-yard line. But a delay-of-game penalty pushed them back to the 8-yard line, and the Tigers couldn’t get into the end zone.

“It was just an overall great effort,” Pashcal said. “That goal-line stand was big for us.”

Meeker then proceeded to move the ball back 92 yards across the field in 18 plays, which ended with a 2-yard run up the middle by halfback Justin Jacob, who also scored the first touchdown of the game.

“They got two quick touchdowns on us, and I think our defense settled down a little bit after that,” Tigers coach Shawn Baumgartner said. “But that (18)-play drive showed that their offense could just keep going.

“They were running the ball effectively, and that just opened everything else up.”

Hayden’s offense often used the option, which worked at times, but was the cause of two fumbles when Bruchez or runningback Cam Whiteman bobbled the ball.

Meeker scored for the fourth time on a 6-yard rush in the third quarter by Sean O’Brien, who also scored in the first quarter. The Cowboys’ fifth and final score came off a 35-yard pass from a heavily pressured Sullivan to receiver Sy Luke.

In the fourth quarter, Meeker kicker Luis Villalpando attempted a 45-yard field goal that fell short.

Also in the fourth, Hayden lost the ball twice on fumbles caused by severe hits from the Meeker defense, proving that after three quarters of play, the Cowboys were not going to allow Hayden to escape a home shutout.