After going 1-8 in the 2020 football season, the Meadow Broncos were hopeful with a slew of returners that they would punch their ticket into the playoffs. That they did especially after a daunting pre-district season where it looked as if they may not win a game at all, they took their district opponents seriously and now have a Bi-District date with the Spur Bulldogs on Friday evening Nov. 12, at Hermleigh with a 6 p.m. kickoff.
The Broncos began their 2021 season going 0-4, with their first game ending in a one point loss to Newcastle. Head Football Coach Josh Conner said, “This was a hard fought game and I made the mistake of not kicking a field goal at the end.” During that game, Senior Niko Castaneda made every PAT (In six-man football it is worth 2 points, and field goals are worth 4 points), so Coach Conner looks back at that night and regrets not calling for a field goal. The Broncos would then travel over to #7 Spur and the game would end early due to the 45 point mercy rule, with Meadow losing 65-20. The next week the same would happen again as the Broncos traveled to take on #14 Valley, and would lose 67-20. Meadow then came back home to host #10 Klondike. This game also lasted till halftime with the Broncos on the bottom end 45-0, however this game had a start time at 5:30 p.m. due to an officials shortage.
Things began to turn around in week 5 when the Grady Wildcats showed up to Meadow. Both teams had struggled in their first four games, so this would be a good test for the Broncos to finish a complete game. They did and did it from coming from behind. Late in the 4th quarter with about two minutes left Grady was ahead by a touchdown and was knocking at Meadow’s end zone door to take the lead by two possessions. However, the Broncos defense stopped the Wildcats and got the ball back from a turnover on downs. The Broncos would then score to even things up. They then recovered an on-side kick and on the next set of downs the Broncos went to the end zone and won with no time left 52-46. In the final pre-district game, the Broncos would host the “Town without a Frown” #16 Happy TX. This game ended a bit early due to weather concerns, however the Broncos kept the game somewhat close and went well into the second half. Unfortunately Meadow dropped this game 44-20.
The Broncos traveled south down the highway to play against their cross county rival Wellman-Union in each one’s district opener. Meadow took advantage of lack of experience from the Wildcats and routed them 67-22, becoming 1-0 in district. Next up was perennial six-man powerhouse Borden County. The Broncos would host the Coyotes and both teams had a similar record. The game began really well for Meadow as they scored pretty quick on their opening series after the Broncos defense forced a punt. The Coyotes got the ball back and Meadow did it again. However on this drive, they would turn the ball over and began a meltdown of sorts. Although the Broncos lost 61-16, their issues were six turnovers, and two punts that were not executed properly.
Finally the Broncos would get the week off to rest before ending their regular season against Whiteface and O’Donnell. The Broncos traveled to Whiteface and this game was very close. In a typical shootout style game, Meadow came out on top 72-71 keeping their playoff hopes alive. (Remember in Class 1A UIL only takes two teams to the playoffs in football.) Meadow got to be home for their final regular/district season game against O’Donnell. This game was a win or nothing for both teams. Both had lost to Borden Co., but beat everyone else in district. This game became a back and forth scoring match. However, the Broncos decided they wanted it more and won 61-50 and claimed the second spot for the playoffs.
Now moving on into the Bi-District matchup between the Broncos and a team they lost to in the second week, #7 Spur. Looks can be deceiving and that might be the case Friday night when the both teams square off in Hermleigh TX at 6:00 pm. Obviously both teams have played each other and it didn’t turn out too well for the Broncos. But, Meadow has grown over the past 11 weeks and looks to get a post season win.
The Broncos and Bulldogs both have common opponents with Whiteface and O’Donnell and both teams beat each one. However, Spurs wins were a bit more solid beating O’Donnell in week five 62-26 and turning around beating Whiteface in week six 60-12. Spur averages 70 points a game verses Meadows 38 points a game. With that, the Broncos allows an average of 52 points a game and the Bulldogs allow 44 points a game. On paper Spur has the upper edge, however football games are not played on paper.
Look for Coach Conner and company to do a couple of things different. What that is, nobody knows, but his game plan must be taken seriously. Meadow has the speed and talent with Tate McBee, Niko Castaneda, Kaleb Sanchez, Jimmy German, Paul Franco, and Brady Parker, to take on the Bulldogs, and these guys are going to need to play perfect football in order to get the win. Keep in mind many of the Broncos losses came from multiple turnovers. Holding on to the ball and getting five to six yards at a time will help the Broncos control the game.
Meadow Broncos vs Spur Bulldogs: Bi-District Championship on Friday November 12, 2021 in Hermleigh TX at Cardinal Stadium with a 6:00 p.m. kickoff.