LUTHER — Meeker, up 20-6 at one first-half juncture, was stunned 39-36 by Luther Friday night in a non-district season-opening encounter.
Luther, coming off a 1-9 campaign in 2018, outscored the visitors 33-16 after falling into the second-quarter 14-point hole.
Quarterback Peyton Wilson scored the game-winning touchdown on a 10-yard run with two minutes remaining.
After the ensuing kickoff, Meeker drove inside the Lion 10-yard line, only to suffer an interception, its only turnover of the night, with eight seconds left.
Luther drew first blood on a 30-yard pass reception by Drew Scheer, only to have Meeker respond with three straight touchdowns— an 85-yard kickoff return by Jacob Martin, a 54-yard scamper by Caden Wolford and Jordan Hart’s 21-yard interception return.
Meeker’s only TD over the next 2 ½ quarters came on a Wolford 24-yard run in the second quarter.
Meanwhile, Luther scored three straight touchdowns, including pass receptions of 10 and 27 yards, for a 33-28 advantage.
Wolford, Meeker’s leading rusher with 131 yards on 23 carries, gave the visitors their final lead on a 7-yard run with four minutes left. When Jarrett Marks caught a 2-point conversion pass from Martin, Meeker had a short-lived 36-33 advantage.
That set up Wilson’s game-winner.
Meeker rushed for 225 yards on 46 carries while Luther posted 123 yards on 25 carries. Martin picked up 89 ground yards on 15 carries.
The hosts threw for 225 yards on 16 of 34 completions. Meeker finished with only 67 aerial yards.
Luther prevailed despite recording four turnovers to Meeker’s one. In addition to Hart’s interception for a touchdown, the Bulldogs received interceptions from Dakota Gabbert and Martin.
Gabbert was Meeker’s top tackler with seven, followed by Zach Cook with four.
Meeker was penalized 15 times for 100 yards. Luther drew 10 penalties for 105 yards.
Meeker will seek its first win of the season Friday night at McLoud.
Note: Report compiled by contributing writer Fred Fehr.