Balanced Effort Helps Meridian Football Bounce Back Against Dominion

After a season opener in which everything that could go wrong did, the Meridian football
team was given a fresh start on Thursday night as they played host to the Dominion Titans. And
if the bright, clear skies were any indication, this one was set to be a much more pleasant evening
for the Mustang faithful.
That quickly became evident on the field, too, as Dominion began the game with the ball,
but an interception by Junior Martinez-Cruz gave the Mustangs immediate prime field position,
which they took advantage of as Alden Harrison ran the ball in for a touchdown. The extra point
was no good, keeping the score at 6-0, but it was no worry, as another unsuccessful Dominion
drive gave the home team another shot, and they capped this one off with a Cruz Ruoff QB
keeper after several penalties by the visitors kept the drive alive. Meridian went for two after the
score and converted, going ahead 14-0, and then the teams traded empty possessions, though the
Mustangs dodged a bullet when a Dominion punt return touchdown was called back due to
offsetting penalties. Then with one more chance to put points on the board before halftime,
Meridian marched all the way down to the goal line but was unable to convert before time
The Mustangs received the ball after the break and began a slow, methodical drive that
consumed the majority of the third quarter, though unfortunately it ended without points due to a
fumble deep in Dominion territory. Both teams then saw scoreless drives result in interceptions,
and as Dominion drove down the field with about five minutes left in the fourth quarter with
Meridian still leading 14-0, Alden Harrison made the defensive play of the night by sacking the
opposing QB to force a turnover on downs. This would for all intents and purposes seal the
victory for the Mustangs, who were able to run out the remainder of the clock on their ensuing
possession as the home crowd was able to exit to the parking lot with a much better taste in their
mouths than last week.
Perhaps nobody was more impressed by his squad’s quick turnaround than head coach
P.J. Anderson. “We had a great week of practice, our leaders really stepped up,” he said
postgame. “It was a complete team win.”
The Mustangs are off next week, and will have to wait until September 14 th for their next
action as they’ll visit Thomas Jefferson. That game will be the first of three straight road