Bethel overcomes Meeker for big road victory
MEEKER - The Bethel Wildcats out-everythinged in Meeker Friday night, earning a 28-8 road win, spoiling the Bulldogs' homecoming celebration.
Bethel’s run-and-gun offense totaled 370 yards while the defense held Meeker to 123 total yards.
“I thought our kids did a great job on defense tonight,” said Bethel head coach Joey Ginn. “Meeker has a heck of a ball club.”
The Wildcats came into the contest knowing they had to stop the run and did just that. Meeker’s Caden Wolford has been running over defenses the past three years, but was held in check for most of the contest.
He ran the ball 17 times for 90 yards, scored once and fumbled once in the game.
“We knew coming in here that we had to stop the run and Bronc Robbins and TJ Ramsey did a great job for us tonight,” Ginn said. “L.W. Moore also played big for us.”
Bethel’s start was shaky at best. They received the opening kick and lost 14 yards in three plays. The Wildcats set up in punt formation and the ball was snapped over the punter’s head and out of the back of the end zone to Meeker a 2-0 lead with 10:36 in the first quarter.
That mistake was equalized quickly as the ensuing punt was fumbled by Meeker and Bethel’s Harrison Thomas captured the loose pigskin at the Meeker 48-yard line. The Wildcats marched the 52 yards on 11 plays to score and go up 7-2 with 7:18 left in the first quarter. Jesse Tucker scored from a yard out to give the Wildcats the lead.
The two squads then traded punts on their next possessions, and just like the first Bethel punt, the second ended in disaster for Meeker. Once again, Thomas pounced on the muffed punt to give the Wildcats an extra possession. Three plays later Tucker found John Gordon open for a 44-yard touchdown pass to increase the Bethel lead to 14-2.
That is how the first, second and third quarters ended, with Bethel up and in control, 14-2.
The Wildcats increased their lead to 21-2 early in the fourth quarter on a Tucker 14-yard touchdown run. That capped off a nine-play, 96-yard drive to put the final nail in the Meeker coffin.
Tucker threw for 289 yards in the contest and hit on 19 of his 36 pass attempts. He hooked up with receiver John Gordon seven times for 147 yards. The combo gave Meeker fits all night long.
Meeker’s next possession ended with their sixth turnover of the game as Gage Porter picked off Budgie Cameron’s pass at the Wildcat 44-yard line. Bethel scored in nine plays when Dez Loving scored on a 2-yard run. That made the count 28-2 with 3:22 left in the game.
Meeker answered with a 65-yard, four play drive, that ended with a Wolford 11-yard touchdown to cut the margin to 28-8.
The Bulldogs fell to 1-1 on the season and will hit the road Friday to face the Purcell Dragons.
Bethel, 1-0, will travel to face the McLoud Redskins on Friday.