By Julie Felgar
The mighty Meridian High School Mustangs, playing their first football season with a new school name and campus, have advanced to the regional finals. One last challenge before, with a win. They enter the state championships. This Friday will be yet another home game at Mustang stadium at 6 p.m. Friday, Nov. 26.
Friday’s opponent is Brentsville, in what will be a tough rematch challenge. In an earlier meeting this year in late September, Brentsville prevailed by three points, 23-20.
Last Friday night, the Meridian Mustangs played an aggressive game against Goochland. They walked away with a 40-21 win against a well-coached and talented Goochland team.
The Mustangs’ double wing offense was on fire and overwhelmed the Goochland defense.
“That style of offense is really, really, really tough,” said Goochland coach Alex Fruth. “If you’re not able to duplicate it during the week, you’re never going to be really prepared for it.”
Mustang’s head coach Adam Amerine was pleased with the what he saw from his team. “Overall, I thought we showed great energy and effort and played with the confidence and swagger needed to match a team of Goochland’s caliber.”
The team went into the week laser focused and feels they are starting to peak at the right time. Evans Rice, the Mustang’s QB, credited the coaches with prepping the team. “The coaches did a great job in preparing all week and showing us all the fronts Goochland might come out in. We had a great week of prep and were dialed in from the start of the game.”
After some back and forth at the start of the game, Goochland took advantage of good field possession after the Mustangs failed to convert to a first down on a trick punt. Goochland took over on the 38-yard line and drove 62 yards for a TD. The Mustangs bounced right back and on the first snap of the next drive, Graham Felgar took the ball 80 yards downfield for a touchdown. Feglar totalled 255 yards in rushing offense and four TDs before the night was over. Extra point was not good.
Goochland fumbled on the next drive and Felgar jumped on the ball. Evans Rice, senior QB, put together an 11-play drive that resulted in a 9-yard rushing TD by Senior Griffin Harrison. Up 12-7, the Mustangs defensive stand out, George Papadapolous, intercepted the ball. A few plays later, the Mustangs fumbled and Goochland took the conversion to an ultimate TD by their QB, Towles. With the score 12-14, Mustangs took over on offense and for the second time of the night, Graham Felgar turned on the jets and outran the defense for an 85 yard TD.
Right before half, the Mustangs scored once again on an 85 yard drive that ended with a 15 yard pass from Rice to Felgar in the endzone with the extra point kicked in by Holmgren.
The Mustangs went into half time 26-14. They received the ball at the start of the second half and drove another 70 yards down field, taking seven minutes off the clock and resulting in a one yard QB sneak by Rice. On the very next series, Goochland’s Towles threw a 15 yard pass that Felgar wrestled from the receiver and ran 45 yards back for the pick six after a series of key blocks by Rice and Seth Stillwagoner to give him the room he needed.
“I wanted to win more than anyone else on that field,” said Felgar. “Goochland has been the football powerhouse in our region for years. I knew we had to truly bring it if we wanted to win. Credit to my offensive line for opening up holes and running with me downfield, blocking for me to score.”
Goochland scored once more in the 4th quarter but was never able to catch up and the Mustangs did a good job of managing the clock.
Stillwagoner is excited about the next game, “We’re playing good complimentary football right now. Offensively, we are hitting those big plays and defensively, we are flying round and forcing those turnovers. We have been talking about being in this position since August, so we’re really excited for the opportunity to go against Brentsville this week and win the region.”
Coach Amerine is realistic about the challenges Brentsville poses but is in no way intimidated. “Brentsville presents challenges for us. It’s a team we are very familiar with, but also a team we have struggled with in the second half of contests over the past few seasons.” said Amerine. We’ll have to find a game plan that will allow us to finish in a positive fashion Friday. We are super excited to be playing at home in front of our fans and look forward to seeing a big crowd Friday.”
The game will be played at 6 p.m. this Friday at Meridian. Tickets will be $8 at the gate.