Results from a four-day span left Meadow Bridge with a brighter football outlook than it had just one week ago.
In that time frame, the Wildcats won twice the number of games they had captured the rest of the 2020 season. First up, on Tuesday, Oct. 20, Meadow Bridge was paced by a six-touchdown throwing performance by quarterback Dustin Adkins and disposed of Van, 40-14, to even its record at 2-2.
Then, Meadow Bridge capped off a solid week on homecoming night Friday at Frank Arritt Stadium by thumping visiting Montcalm, 64-14, to notch its second win of the week and hike its record to 3-2.
"Our game preparation was suspect at best going into tonight's game," said Meadow Bridge head coach Dwayne Reichard, whose squad raced to a 28-0 lead after one quarter on its way to easily handling the Generals. "You play on Tuesday, and Wednesday's a light day to walk through things and work a little soreness out.
"Yesterday was your typical pre-game day, really a walk through."
"I didn't feel like we were real sharp, but I thought our offense was very effective early," Reichard said in summing up the Montcalm effort. "We kind of backed off there and stuck to the run game when we got the second-team kids in there.
"I told them before we came out the main thing is go out early and smack people in the mouth. You get physical, you take control of the ball game and let the cards fall where they may."
The Wildcats took their coach's advice to heart. Adkins connected with teammate Ayden Redden on scoring tosses of 18 and 54 yards to get the offense cranked up, then back Hunter Claypool found the end zone on runs covering 5 and 4 yards, with the latter score being preceded by a Tyler Martin interception on defense. That early flurry put the Generals in a 28-0 hole going into the second period, and they never recovered.
The hosts maintained the pressure in the second. Martin snared a 25-yard TD pass from Adkins — the quarterback's ninth touchdown pass of the week — and Landon James-Mullins later crossed the goal line from 5 yards away. A two-point conversion run from Conner Mullins on the latter score stretched the cushion to 42-0 with 2:58 remaining until halftime.
Montcalm did have a highlight at the end of the half when Noah White caught a nice halfback pass from Ethan Nichols and raced 50 yards to the end zone.
Claypool tacked on his third score of the night — a 14-yarder — as Reichard played his offensive starters on just the first drive of the second half. Teammates Seaton Mullins (a 35-yard burst) and Tryton Hayes (1 yard) later added rushing scores as the Meadow Bridge lead ballooned to 64-7.
Montcalm got a late score on a 34-yard gallop by Nichols, and Luke Nunn's PAT kick left the final at 64-14.
"We had a physical ball game last Friday (20-18 loss to Summers County)," said Reichard. "That was a tough one, and Van was another physical ball game.
"They're a pretty daggone physical football team, and we were able to go down there and win relatively easy. Being able to rest a lot of kids and, in turn, playing a lot of kids tonight should help us moving forward."
It was a good week, he admitted. "I told the kids there before the ball game I don't know that we've ever won two football games in one week around here. I don't really know how many times we played two games period.
"You start 1-2 and by the end of the week you're 3-2 and sort of turn things around. We've only got two left, but we feel like they're winnable football games for us."
On the night, Adkins was 5-of-9 for 122 yards and three touchdowns, with Redden hauling in three aerials for 85 yards and two of the six-pointers. Claypool led the ground game with 10 carries for 114 yards and three TDs. Seaton Mullins added 67 yards and a rushing TD.
Meadow Bridge will play Nicholas County in Summersville at 7 p.m. on Friday, Oct. 30. It is a replacement game for a planned contest with Sherman.
M (1-7): 0 7 0 7 — 14
MB (3-2): 28 14 14 8 — 64
MB: Ayden Redden 18 pass from Dustin Adkins (Tyler Martin pass from Adkins), 8-0, 9:56
MB: Redden 54 pass from Adkins (run failed), 14-0, 6:50
MB: Hunter Claypool 5 run (Redden pass from Adkins), 22-0, 3:51
MB: Claypool 4 run (run failed), 28-0, 3:51
MB: Martin 25 pass from Adkins (pass failed), 34-0, 9:08
MB: Landon James-Mullins 5 run (Conner Mullins run), 42-0, 2:58
M: Noah White 50 pass from Ethan Nichols (Luke Nunn kick), 42-7, 1:06
MB: Claypool 14 run (pass failed), 48-7, 5:58
MB: Seaton Mullins 35 run (Devon Brown run), 56-7, 2:42
MB: Tryton Hayes 1 run (Brown run), 64-7, 5:45
M: Nichols 34 run (Nunn kick), 64-14, 3:12
RUSHING — M: Grayson Thomason 4-8, Noah White 5-6, Ethan Nichols 7-52-1, Tyler Pigg 4-4, Kevin Robertson 14-(minus-26). MB: Hunter Claypool 10-114-3, Conner Mullins 6-24, Seaton Mullins 5-67-1, Tryton Hayes 2-6-1, Devon Brown 9-27, Landon James-Mullins 4-29-1, Team 2-(minus-11)
PASSING — M: Kevin Robertson 3-15-1-3-0, Ethan Nichols 1-2-0-50-1. MB: Dustin Adkins 5-9-0-122-3, Seaton Mullins 1-1-0-5-0
RECEIVING — M: Noah White 1-50-1, Grayson Thomason 2-6, Hunter Hart 1-(minus-3). MB: Ayden Redden 3-85-2, Tyler Martin 1-25-1, Rian Cooper 1-12, Devon Brown 1-5
TAKEAWAYS — M: None. MB: Tyler Martin (INT)