Four area teams ready for Sept. 4 games

By Adam Ewing |

Four area teams are set to do battle Friday night. Two of those teams start a new rivalry in Class 2A.

With Meeker hosting homecoming festivities before kickoff, the Bethel Wildcats, new to Class 2A for the 2020 season, hope to spoil more than the Bulldogs’ 1-0 record.

Last week, Meeker thrashed Stroud 45-7.

In a gritty performance, the Bulldogs rushed for 407 yards as a team. Caden Wolford led the charge with 18 carries for 230 yards and two touchdowns. Wolford hauled in two passes, one being a catch-of-the-year candidate, for a touchdown.

Zach Cook went for 75 yards and a score on six touches.

Meeker coach DJ Howell praised his offensive line’s effort in the second half, allowing sophomore quarterback Ty Gabbert to fill the stat sheet with 82 yards passing, 67 yards rushing and three touchdowns (two passing, one rushing). Gabbert filled in when starting quarterback Budgie Cameron went down with leg cramps.

One first-half interception aside, Cameron threw for 52 yards and rushed for 36 more. The senior gunslinger was on the opposite end of Wolford’s circus catch. Cameron recorded two tackles on defense. 

Both quarterbacks deserved praise for their week-one effort, Howell said. Having two game-ready options at quarterback is never a bad thing.

Howell wouldn’t take the bait when asked if there was a quarterback controversy brewing.

“We sat down with both guys this week and told them they both played well enough to get looks,” Howell said. “They did things to help us win, so you show both of those guys respect by letting them get reps in practice. The rest will sort itself out.”

Defensively, the Bulldogs recorded six sacks. Senior JJ Bloomer and Wolford led the team with two apiece.

“Defensively we put a lot of pressure on the quarterback and played [Stroud] great against the run,” Howell said. “Looking back at film, there were a few things we can improve this week.”

Bloomer led Meeker with 15 tackles.

After a long off-season, Bethel coach Joey Ginn is ready for the start of what seemed like a marathon wait.

“It’s like the season would never get here. We finally scrimmaged other teams but now this one is for real,” Ginn said. “We are getting a good test in Meeker for our first 2A game.”

Last season Bethel’s Drae Wood hauled in 54 receptions for 903 yards and 11 scores. (Photo By Adam Ewing)

The Wildcats look to improve upon a 5-5 mark in 2019. The team developed immensely from 2-8 in 2018 and 1-9 in 2017.

On Friday, Meeker’s homecoming festivities begin at 6 p.m. with kickoff coming at 7 p.m.

Other area games…

U.S. Grant @ McLoud – Kickoff 7 p.m.

After a soaker earlier in the week, McLoud’s field should be ready to go for Friday’s game. The Redskins went without a scrimmage, meaning the first series will indicate how well the team is prepared.

“It’s tough doing full-contact against ourselves in order to prepare for our first game,” McLoud Coach Rusty Hall said. “Now we get to mix it up against someone else. I think we are ready as far as conditioning goes.”

Sophomore Tryce Lewis will be a factor in McLoud’s offense this season. (Photo by Adam Ewing)

Fox @ Maud (0-1) -Kickoff 7 p.m.

Maud hosts Fox and returns to fellow Class C competition this week after suffering a week-one loss to Depew.

There’s no doubt the Tigers can move the football. Quarterback Bryce Bodkin completed 19 of 25 passes for 317 yards and Jerry Daubert led the team with 5 receptions for 218 yards. Dylan Armstrong added 71 receiving yards, while Jace Diaz, Bobby Joe Watson and Zach Moutaw combined for 30 yards as a group.

Last week, Maud’s Jerry Daubert recorded five receptions for 218 yards. (Photo by Adam Ewing)