For the Meridian Mustangs football team, the home opener against the visiting Kettle
Run Cougars brought a fresh opportunity to bounce back from their blowout loss to Falls Church
to begin the season. The stands were packed, the weather could not have been more perfect, and
the cheerleading squad was out in full force as they kept the energy moving.
Unfortunately, it would quickly prove to be a long night for the home team. Freshman
starting quarterback Cruz Ruoff and the Mustangs went three-and-out on their first possession,
which Kettle Run was able to turn into a field goal the other way to open the scoring. Another
empty set of downs this time led to a touchdown from the visitors, and the next one another. The
score was 17-0 by the end of the first quarter with Meridian yet to collect a single first down or
cross midfield. They would do both of those things on the first play of the second quarter when
Omar Dabbourah gained a few yards on a third down rush, and then had their first pass
completion a few plays later when Martin Kraft caught a ball that had been batted by a Kettle
Run defender. Unfortunately, this possession would also ultimately end in a punt, as would the
rest of the Mustangs’ first half drives as they trailed 38-0 into the break.
The onslaught would continue in the second half, as it took only two plays for the
Cougars to score yet again. Meridian did finally get on the board immediately afterwards with a
Dabbourah run to end the shutout, and then found the end zone again on a catch by Josh Wattles.
But it would prove to be far too late to mount a comeback, as Kettle Run took the resounding
victory by a score of 58-13 once the clock mercifully hit all zeroes.
The Mustangs will be back in action next Friday when they face Madison County, once
again at home, as they look to avoid an 0-3 start.