Meade controls ball, wins 2-1A title
Meade quarterback Kellan Hernandez hoists the state championship trophy after the Buffaloes beat St. Mary's Colgan 20-14. (Photo by Matt Gilmore, Kpreps.com)
By Conor Nicholl
Posted: December 23, 2010 - 10:17 AM
HAYS — The Meade prep football team followed a motto of "Do What We Do" throughout the season, a line signifies the Buffs' single wing, run-heavy, ball control offense that consistently churns out long drives and takes time off the clock.
On Saturday, Meade's mantra produced a 20-14 victory against Pittsburg/St. Mary's-Colgan in the Class 2-1A state championship game at Fort Hays State University's Lewis Field Stadium.
"We are going to line up and we are going to knock you off the ball," Meade coach Scott Moshier said.
Meade controlled the ball all game and collected 294 offensive yards on 76 plays, compared to 179 yards on 32 plays for Colgan.
At one point in the first half, the Buffs had run 35 offensive plays to Colgan's 1. Overall, Meade had the ball for 36 minutes and 35 seconds.
"I think Colgan had nightmares about that," Meade senior quarterback Kellan Hernandez said. "They didn't want us to hold the ball for very long because they knew we could sustain a very long drive and we did that and I think that is a key point in winning this game."
Meade finished with the third state title in school history and picked up the 100th win in Moshier's coaching career. The Buffs improved to 12-1, the only loss to Canadian, a Texas small school powerhouse in Week 1. Colgan finished 12-1.
"Just pound the ball at them," Hernandez said. "Just run over them. That's definitely what we did today."
Meade moved to 3-for-3 in school history for wins in state championship games; they had previously won in 1972 and 1980.
The 2010 Buffs had multiple family members on the first two title teams, including senior fullback Jaden Friesen, who rushed for 86 yards, a touchdown and forced a fumble.
"It's awesome to share that with your father (Lyle)," Friesen said. "He wants it for me and he knows how that feels. He wanted that and I was willing to do anything to let him feel that again."
The Buffs had fallen just short of the state title game in the last two seasons after they suffered playoff losses to Smith Center, including a 10-0 defeat last year. This fall, Smith Center bumped up to Class 3A and Meade was the preseason favorite to come out of the west and play for state. Before the year started, Moshier had the team write down its goals. Friesen said 95 percent of the players wrote down "state championship."
"It means so much for the whole town of Meade, the whole community, even southwest Kansas, I think," Hernandez said. "Everybody is proud of us. This team has worked so hard for everything and we just knew we could do it."
Colgan had an early 7-0 lead when they blocked a punt on the first possession of the game and Winston Slavins recovered in the end zone for a touchdown. Then, the Buffs took an 8-7 lead on a 13-play, 80-yard drive that finished with a 17-yard score from Friesen.
"We were pretty down about it, but we are not one to get down on ourselves too much," Friesen said. "We were bummed, but we were ready to come back and keep our heads held up high and to grind it out again."
Meade bumped its lead to 14-7 at the half on a 1-yard run from Hernandez that completed a 14-play, 61-yard drive. Hernandez completed the game with 31 carries for 151 yards, both game-highs.
"Just control the ball," Colgan coach Chuck Smith said. "Their offense is their defense as well."
In the fourth quarter, Meade pushed its lead to 20-7 on a 20-play, 76-yard drive that milked 10 minutes and 34 seconds off the clock. The Buffs finished 5-of-6 on fourth down, including 3-of-3 on its final drive.
"It seemed every time they needed to get one yard, they got it," Colgan junior Christian Smith said. "A lot of one-on-one blocking. They did a great job. They had a pretty big line."
Colgan scored on a fumble recovery in the end zone by senior Kelley Thompson with 1:52 left in the game, but Meade recovered an onside kick and ran off the rest of the clock to seal the win.
"Our single wing offense is built to get those yards, to grind it out on offense," Friesen said. " ... That's what we do. We do what we do and we get short yards and we just grind it out and control the clock."
Box Score & Statistics
Meade 20, Colgan 14
Game in figures
First downs: Colan 10, Meade 22
Rushes-yards: Colgan 20 for 80, Meade 72 for 280
Passing yards: Colgan 99, Meade 14
Total plays-yards: Colgan 32-179, Meade 76-294
Penalties: Colgan 6-35, Meade 3-25
Punts-avg: Colgan 3-31.0, Meade 2-24.5
Fumbles-lost: Colgan 4-1, Meade 0-0
Colgan (12-1) 7 0 0 7 — 14
Meade (12-1) 8 6 0 6 — 20
Colgan: Slavins 0 blocked punt return (Barone kick)
Meade: Friesen 17 run (Hernandez run)
Meade: Hernandez 1 run (pass failed)
Meade: Hernandez 8 run (run failed)
Colgan: Thompson 0 fumble recovery (Barone kick)
Colgan: Z. Smith 9-41, C. Smith 8-35, Farmer 2-9, Saia 1-0, Thompson 0-0
Meade: Hernandez 31-151, Friesen 23-86, Wiens 15-48, Little 1-1
Colgan: Farmer 7-12-0, 99 yards
Meade: Hernandez 2-4-1, 14 yards
Colgan: C. Smith 4-37, J. Smith 2-50, Newcomb 1-12
Meade: Little 2-14