Losing is never fun, but at least they lost to the best.
Meadow wrapped up its football season Friday with a devastating 60-8 bi-district loss to defending state champions Borden County. At only Round 1 of the playoffs, the Broncos (8-3) suffered one of their shortest seasons and their only 45-point early "mercy” loss in recent memory.
The match, hosted in O’Donnell’s Eagle Stadium, was almost too painful to watch for most fans accustomed to cheering on Bronco victories every week.
Head Coach Kent Allison told the News he had known the Coyotes (9-2) would be tough to beat, but was flabbergasted by the heart-breaking final score and its accompanying call-off at halftime.
"I don’t know what happened tonight,” he said. "We felt good about everything going into it. I felt during pre-game that we might surprise some people. Borden County is a really good football team, and they decided they were going teach us a lesson tonight, and they did.”
The Broncos scored only once, about halfway through the first quarter when junior Brandon Flores threw a long pass to senior Andrew Castillo near the goal line, then threw it again a few more yards to senior Rafael Urias in the end zone. Urias landed the extra-point kick.
The Coyotes, meanwhile, never stopped running the ball toward their own end zone. The Broncos managed to defend against star running back Tanner Richey, a senior, through their first several plays before he finally escaped to land a 25-yard touchdown run. He scored again a minute later on a long run from a punt return, giving the Coyotes a 14-0 lead just three minutes into the game.
After Richey had a 60-yard touchdown run directly from an interception and junior T.J. Basquez landed a 15-yard touchdown run, the Coyotes had a 30-8 advantage by the end of the first quarter.
And they didn’t stop scoring in the second, either. Most of the rest of their touchdowns also came from Richey runs, but they did score on a long pass late in the half. The Broncos moved the ball to within four yards of their end zone on a pass from Christian Herrera to Alan Estrada with a minute remaining, but Borden County intercepted on the next play and wound the clock.
The match was also the last chance for nine senior Broncos to don their purple and gold on the football field.
"I hate that our seniors had to go out like this,” Allison said. "I just wanted them to fight till the better end.”