22-game winning streak snapped in Meade
Tuesday, 15 November 2011 09:51
By EARL WATT
• Leader & Times
The last time the Meade Buffaloes lost a football game was the 2010 season opener against Canadian, Texas before Friday night’s quarterfinal tilt with LaCrosse.
But that streak ended with a 21-12 loss to the Leopards.
Meade appeared to be on their way to the semi-finals in the first half when they had the ball at the LaCrosse 5 yard line with a 12-7 lead, and an additional score with less than two minutes to play in the half would have put the Leopards down by two scores.
But a hand-off to Adrian Pfanenstiel on a fourth and goal play was shut down by the LaCrosse defense at the 4 yard line.
And the game took a different turn after the big defensive stop by LaCrosse.
The Leopards received the second half kick, and after being held to only one scoring drive in the first half used two minutes and 20 seconds of the third quarter to take a 14-12 lead with a six-play, 65-yard drive that started with two runs of 22 and 20 yards.
Meade stalled on its first drive of the second half and punted the ball back to the Leopards.
LaCrosse, led by quarterback Tayler Stull, put together a second scoring drive, moving 63 yards on eight plays including a 37-yard run by Stull and a 17-yard run that set up a first and goal at the 1 yard line. Stull plunged over the goal, and LaCrosse had a 21-12 lead with 4:51 to play in the third quarter.
The Buffaloes recovered an onside kick attempt by LaCrosse on the ensuing kick-off, and Meade had the ball at the 49 yard line.
Meade drove the ball to the LaCrosse 30 yard line, but on a fourth-and-seven, Meade’s Chris Hardaway attempted a pass that was intercepted at the 7 yard line by Kip Keeley and returned to the 35 yard line.
LaCrosse drove the ball to the Meade 4 yard line and could have ended the game at the end of the third quarter with a score, but the Buffalo defense stuffed Stull and a fourth-and-one.
Meade drove the ball to their own 35-yard line but Hardaway was tackled on a fourth-and-one, and the Leopards took over. LaCrosse continued to melt the clock on the next drive, and with 3:41 to play LaCrosse turned the ball over on downs at the Meade 15 yard line.
The Buffaloes attempted to use the air to get back in the game, and on first-and-10 Hardaway pump-faked a short screen then threw a deep pass to Nick Borth who had split two defenders. Hardaway’s pass hit Borth in the hands in stride, but Borth could not make the catch that more than likely would have ended in the end zone.
On the next play, Hardaway threw his second interception, and LaCrosse reduced the time remaining to 1:19 before turning the ball over to the Buffaloes.
But Hardaway’s third interception ended the scoring threat.
The defense of LaCrosse forced three second-half turnovers to end Meade’s 22-game winning streak.
LaCrosse advanced to the semi-finals and will play Plainville who defeated Stanton County 6-0 Friday.
The Buffaloes ended their title defense, but should be right back in the hunt in 2012. Most of the Meade Buffaloes that played Friday night will return next season.