Buffaloes stampede past Lakin in physical matchup
By KEVIN THOMPSON
LAKIN — Meade has a history in recent years that teams need to know.
In two of their past three seasons, the Buffaloes have lost their season opener only to sweep the competition the rest of the way to state titles.
Last week, Meade lost by a point to Holcomb, and this week, it was the Broncs of Lakin who were on the receiving end of the lesson, falling 41-13 to a Buffalo team looking for redemption.
In the Hi-Plains League matchup, Meade schooled the Broncs in the first half, racking up three unanswered scores to take a 21-0 lead at the break.
Meade quarterback Jett Little scored three times and threw for a fourth touchdown as Meade used a potent run game to control the game.
The Buffaloes ran 60 of 62 plays on the ground, accounting for 330 of their 368 total yards.
Little led the way with 189 yards on 26 carries, with Morgan Olvera adding 115 on 18.
On defense, Meade contained Lakin's Gage McAtee, who scored five times last week, holding him to just one score and 121 yards.
"It was a good way to bounce back," Meade coach Scott Moshier said. "We knew Lakin was going to be a good football team. They're big and physical."
But his Buffaloes had something to prove to themselves.
"We were really hard on ourselves after the loss to Holcomb because we felt like we played well and came up short again," Moshier said. "We were in a little bit of a funk this week, so it was nice to bounce back."
Fewer carries for tailback-turned-quarterback Little and more for Olvera would be more of an ideal balance, he added. But credit the line for giving his guys the chances, he said.
"They did a nice job of moving a lot of beef," Moshier said. "When your passing game's not going, you're going to get 10 people in the box and that's what they did. Our kids were able to knock them off the ball."
Meade took advantage of the Broncs early on.
After holding Lakin (1-1) to a four-and-out on its first series, the Broncs lost a player to an ejection and a penalty on the punt return, giving the Buffaloes great field position at the 29. Five plays later, Little plunged in from four yards out.
It was the only score in the first quarter, contrasting with last year when Meade scored five times in the opening quarter on its way to a 63-14 win over the Broncs.
Meade (1-1) got a short field again as Lakin failed to convert a fourth-and-short, and Little capped a 3-play, 30-yard drive with a 1-yard score.
On their next possession, the Buffaloes ran a 15-play drive with Olvera scoring from three yards.
They went up 28-0 opening the third quarter when Little hit a wide-open Davis over the right sideline from 38 yards out.
Little finished the Meade scoring with runs of 4 and 14 yards.
"We had a rough week last week offensively," Little said. "Definitely tonight we wanted to redeem ourselves."
Defensively, Little said their scout team ran a number of Lakin's plays involving McAtee and were ready to key on him.
"He's a great football player. We knew we had to find out where number-30 was."
Despite the loss, Lakin coach Jeff Fuss was proud of his team and the way they overcame the early adversity.
"We were physical tonight," he said, adding that the ejection and an injury threw a wrench into their gameplan, forcing some adjustments.
"Every special teams was screwed up after that. It was hard to get kids organized and make sure we got people in the right spots," Fuss said.
But his team did some growing in this game, he added, because Meade has had the Broncs' number in recent years and Friday they fought to the end.
"I just wish we could have done a little bit more in the first half offensively because Meade's just going to grind it out," he said of Lakin's 70 yards.
The Broncs' Caleb Seeger hit 6-of-11 passes in the second half (8-of-15 overall) — four to Matt Armstrong — as Lakin went to the air when the ground game stalled.
"We're really capable of throwing the ball well," Fuss said. "But our strength is still our run game and try to control the clock. We just couldn't do it tonight."
Meade 41, Lakin 13
Meade 7 14 13 7 - 41
Lakin 0 0 7 6 - 13
M-Little 4 run (Davis kick), 7:52
M-Little 1 run (Davis kick), 10:43
M-Olvera 3 run (Davis kick), 1:30
M-Davis 38 pass from Little (Davis kick), 7:08
L-Aparicio 14 run (Miller kick), 3:51
M-Little 4 run (kick blocked), 1:50
L-McAtee 1 run (kick failed), 10:31
M-Little 14 run (Davis kick), 6:42
RUSHING-Meade: Little 26-189, Olvera 18-115; Lakin: McAtee 15-121, Aparicio 5-30.
PASSING-Meade: Little 1-2-38; Lakin: Seeger 7-14-59.
RECEIVING-Meade: Davis 1-38; Lakin: Armstrong 5-50, McAtee 2-9.