HICO — The high school football series between Meadow Bridge and Midland Trail has had the vicissitudes of climate change weather.
The flow of good fortune has ebbed in the direction of coach Frank Isaacs’ Patriots, who have lost only once to the Wildcats since he took over in 2015.
For one Friday the 13th under a full moon at Roger Eades Field, Meadow Bridge discovered lady luck on its side and parlayed that and a hard-nosed performance against its heavily favored rival to secure a 14-2 stunner on Friday night.
“I felt like we could match up pretty decently with them,” said Meadow Bridge coach Dwayne Reichard, who, in his fourth season, is 1-3 against the Patriots. “We brought it. We came with a lot of energy.”
Good fortune blessed both teams on a breezy, surprisingly cool night at Midland Trail.
The Wildcats (2-1) executed a game plan to near perfection, and even found open receivers with its run-heavy offense. Quarterback Dustin Adkins was just 4-of-12, but five of his passes were dropped, including one that resulted in an interception.
As for the Patriots (2-1), one play almost allowed them to forget a forgetful first half when QB Chris Vines cut loose with a long pass as the clock expired but utility player Aaron Sisler saw the ball slip through his hands around the 7-yard line and nobody in front of him.
That’s the kind of night it was for both teams, but especially the Patriots. They were stung by 102 yards on 12 penalties and lost five of their six fumbles.
“That’s undisciplined football,” Isaacs said. “We’re young but, at the same time, we’re three weeks into it.”
For Meadow Bridge’s part, the visitors not only held up at the line of scrimmage, they stopped what seemed to be an unstoppable running game spearheaded by senior Colton Yoder. Yoder came into the game with 427 yards on 57 carries. Following an eight-carry, 42-yard first half, he finally hit the century mark on his 17th carry. His next carry was his last and he managed only 103 yards. He fumbled on his first carry, signaling what was to come.
“We played the Yoder kid really well, made plays when we had to,” Reichard said. “We made some mistakes here and there on offense but we made plays when we needed to and got the job done.”
Neither team could do much damage offensively until Meadow Bridge started a 52-yard drive with 6:15 left in the first half. The Wildcats, who mustered just 135 yards on 52 carries, picked up three first downs and reached the end zone on a 2-yard plunge by Ayden Redden.
Midland Trail squandered one of its opportunities to score a touchdown in the third when Vines fumbled at the 5-yard line while trying to gain more ground. Meadow Bridge’s Hunter Claypool fell on the ball at the 1.
On the next play, running back Nick White was tackled in the end zone, resulting in the host’s only points.
Meadow Bridge wrapped up the game when White scored from 2 yards out, capping a short drive 25 yards – that followed a Vines fumble. Trail tacked on more penalties with a horse collar tackle on third-and-20.
MB (2-1) 7 0 0 7 — 14
MT (2-1) 0 0 2 0 — 2
MB – Ayden Redden 2 run (Kyle Hinken kick), 2:10
MT – Safety, Nick White tackled in end zone, 9:18
MB – White 2 run (Hinken kick), 3:28
Rushing – Meadow Bridge 52-135 (Dustin Adkins 12-42, White 24-40, Redden 11-44, James McClure 4-12, Team 1-(-3); Midland Trail 42-184 (Yoder 18-103, Aaron Sisler 1-9, Trevor Maichle 3-7, Seth Ewing 1-(-5), Chris Vines 9-31, Robert Ruffner 8-34, Team (1-13).
Passing – Meadow Bridge 4-12-1-27 (Adkins 4-10-1-27, Redden 0-1); Midland Trail 3-16-1-40 (all by Vines).