BYESVILLE – How do you follow up back-to-back playoff appearances and perhaps the Golden Era of Meadowbrook High School football? First-year head coach Coular Clendenning had a simple solution on Friday evening … WIN!
Behind a stingy defense and big plays at key moments, the Colts were able to chalk up a season-opening 14-0 victory and start the Clendenning Era off on the right foot.
Clendenning, who was as mild mannered as ever following the big win, was nearly at a loss for words.
“It’s a little rough to be honest. I don’t know how I’m supposed to act,” he said through a grin. “I’m super excited. I’m kind of in shock.”
Well, it wasn’t a shock to the home crowd that Meadowbrook came away with a victory, but to be starting a new season with so many veterans lost due to graduation and facing uncertainty, to win in such convincing fashion may have been a bit of a surprise.
Meadowbrook looked like a team rebuilding starting the game as it turned the ball over three times in as many possessions. However, it was the Colts’ defense that stepped up early in the game, getting stops each time the offense put it in a hole. The Colts (1-0) forced a punt and a turnover on downs on John Glenn’s first two possessions. Senior Boston Black forced a fumble on the Muskies’ third possession at the JG 34-yard line and the offense finally capitalized.
Ferguson rushes in for 6 during last weeks game!
A six-play, 34-yard drive was capped off by a nine-yard touchdown run around the left side by senior Tim Ferguson. He added the two-point run, giving the Colts an 8-0 lead at the 6:41 mark of the first quarter.
After a second big defensive play by Black, this time an interception at the Muskies’ 35, sophomore quarterback Josh Hupp hooked up on two big completions to sophomore Hunter Eubanks and junior Davis Singleton, setting the Colts up at the nine-yard-line. After the strike to Singleton, Hupp and Black hooked up on the next play for a nine-yard touchdown. After a six-yard hit on the right side, Black steamrolled a JG opponent and took it into the end zone three yards later for a 14-0 Colts’ lead with 2:05 left in the half.
Meadowbrook’s defense was the star of the show most of the night, especially in the second half. Its defensive front continued getting a push most of the final 24 minutes, making it difficult for the Muskies (0-1) to get much going and mount a rally. MHS limited John Glenn to just 75 rushing yards.
On John Glenn’s first possession of the second half, the Colts came up with a stop on fourth-and-three at the MHS 23-yard-line after JG took 6:07 off the clock.
Again, Meadowbrook’s defense came up big in the fourth. With JG holding the ball on fourth-and-one at the 28, Clendenning’s squad stuffed the Muskies’ attempt and forced a turnover on downs at the 9:49 mark. With 3:45 left in the game, a John Glenn possession was thwarted by Meadowbrook forcing a turnover on downs.
Although Meadowbrook earned the victory, Clendenning said there are some things his team needs to work on.
“I told the team, ‘Don’t disrespect the football!’ It felt like we had more turnovers than points. We have to fix that and we will.”Clendenning also stated he was very proud of his defense, but there are some things that need fine tuned moving forward.
“Back side, we are an aggressive team, which I like, but sometimes we are a little too aggressive,” he said in reference to John Glenn missing a few open receivers during the game. “Overall though, we didn’t give up any points and I’m happy with our effort.”
Leaders for the Colts on offense were: Hupp was 23-of-31 for 271 yards and a touchdown; Ferguson rushed for 127 yards on 21 attempts and a touchdown; Black hauled in nine catches for 114 yards and a TD; Singleton had seven catches for 70 yards; and Senior Addison Black had five receptions for 62 yards.
On defense, Junior Rhett Dyer had nine tackles; Senior Wyatt Rossiter registered eight tackles and a sack; Senior Brady Hlad had eight tackles; Black had seven tackles and an interception; and Singleton had six tackles.
Meadowbrook had 19 first downs; 146 yards rushing; 271 yards passing; six penalties for 60 yards; and five turnovers.
John Glenn had 11 first downs; 75 yards rushing; 150 yards passing; six penalties for 45 yards; and two turnovers.
NEXT–The Colts will host Barnesville in the annual Bill Dowler Memorial Game. Kickoff is 7 p.m.