By Steve Keenan
For The Register-Herald
MEADOW BRIDGE —
With Meadow Bridge leading 22-0 without the benefit of a Jake Parker touchdown, Sherman may have had an inkling a rough night was in store.
The Class A No. 11 Wildcats tallied three defensive touchdowns and tacked on another six-pointer on a punt return en route to a 50-0 pasting Friday of a young Tide squad on senior night at Frank Arritt Stadium.
Junior Ryan Church steered the Wildcats to the easy victory by scoring on a 27-yard interception return and then reaching the end zone on a 50-yard punt return, the latter of which staked the hosts to a 14-0 lead.
Junior Kaleb Farr then got into the defensive scoring act, snagging an aerial by Sherman’s Bailey Kirk and lugging it 17 yards to paydirt for a 22-0 Meadow Bridge cushion near the end of the opening quarter.
“My grandma passed away (earlier in the week), so I wanted to have a good game for the family,” said Church. “And as the team’s quarterback, I feel I need to step up.”
After Parker, the Wildcats’ productive senior tailback, tacked on a pair of TD runs (2 and 64 yards) in the second period, Meadow Bridge went into the locker room at halftime with a 38-0 bulge. Parker finished with 152 yards on 13 carries as the Wildcats were liberal in their use of reserves as the game progressed. For the season, Parker is approaching 2,400 rushing yards.
Meadow Bridge got yet another defensive score in the third period when lineman Kyle Meadows scooped up a fumble and raced 57 yards to the end zone for a 44-0 lead. Backup quarterback Chris Sims added the final score on a nice 32-yard run in the final period.
“I think we’re getting better,” said Meadow Bridge coach Larry McClintic. “Truthfully, I think we’re getting better as a football team each week.”
“We’ve based things on Jake all year long, but our other kids are coming,” he added. “We’re becoming a little more versatile.
“The kids took care of business tonight. Since the loss to Summers County, we’ve come out early and done what we are supposed to do.”
In addition to the defensive scores, Meadow Bridge also got a pair of fumble recoveries from Kyle Judy and one by Sims.
Meadow Bridge (8-2) has closed its regular season and will be idle next week as it awaits the WVSSAC playoff pairings, which will be announced next weekend.
On the heels of the public address announcer saying that playoff shirts will go on sale at the school next week, McClintic discussed having an off-week going into the postseason.
“It kind of gives us a little bit of a breather, and we can work on a few things,” he said.
“We got some pretty good momentum,” said Church. “I think we’re capable of going in (the playoffs) and beating whoever we play.”
Sherman lost six in a row to conclude the season with a 2-8 mark.
S (2-8) 0 0 0 0 — 0
MB (8-2) 22 16 6 6 — 50
MB: Ryan Church 27 INT return (rush failed)
MB: Church 50 punt return (Jake Parker rush)
MB: Caleb Farr 17 INT return (Church rush)
MB: Jake Parker 2 run (Church rush)
MB: Parker 64 run (Shane Harless rush)
MB: Kyle Meadows 57 fumble return (rush failed)
MB: Chris Sims 32 run (rush failed)
RUSHING — S: Willen Christian 18-40, James Dicken 4-16. MB: Parker 13-152, Simms 5-36, Craig Peters 1-11, Lawson Patterson 8-10, Dylan Walker 1-3, Church 2 (-8).
PASSING — S: Bailey Kirk 2-13-2-23, Jacob Stewart 1-2-0-6. MB: Church 1-1-0-22.
RECEIVING — S: Brandon Harrah 3-29. MB: Farr 1-22.
TAKEAWAYS — Stewart (fum rec), Alan McCormick (fum rec): . MB: Church (int), Farr (int), Meadows (fum rec), Kyle Judy (2 fum rec), Simms (fum rec).