By Richard Fairman
The Meade County High School Football team dropped their third game in a row last Friday in their game against the North Hardin Trojans on Oct 2. Meade has not been able to score any points in their last two games, leaving the players and coaching staff looking for answers. Meade knew coming into Friday night’s game that North Hardin’s defense was tough, and that scoring against them was going to be difficult. Meade found out how tough, after their opening drive of the game. That would prove to be their best drive on the entire night, when they failed to convert for a first down and were forced to punt. But hard play is rewarded, and Meade’s offense was given another opportunity when Meade’s special teams player Lee Florexile forced a fumble by North Hardin’s punt returner, and Meade recovered the ball on the North Hardin 22-yard line.
Meade would let the opportunity slip away as quarterback Kyle Parker was sacked for a 10-yard loss on their first snap. Parker would then throw a pair of incomplete passes, setting up Meade in another fourth and long situation. Meade elected to go for it rather than kick, which resulted in a turnover on downs, as Parker came up short of the first down on a running play.
Meade’s defense was able to stop North and force a punt on their first offensive series, but on Meade’s next punt, North’s punt returner, Marcus Harris, would not make the same mistake he did before on the punt return. Harris took the next punt, from the North Hardin 10-yard line, 90 yards to Meade’s end zone, putting North Hardin on the board, followed by the extra point to make it a 7-0 lead with 3:07 left in the first quarter.
“I think it goes back to we turn it over; we’re not blocking anyone and then we give up big plays. I think we gave up a couple big plays there at the beginning” Meade County coach Larry Mofield said.
With that score North Hardin came to life on both sides of the ball. North’s defense continued to pound Meade’s offense stopping any momentum they tried to get going. If it were a run, they would collapse on the ball to stop the runner at the line of scrimmage, or for a loss. While Meade’s defense had no answer for how to stop North’s powerhouse running back La’Vell Wright, who by the end of the game would score four of the five touchdowns for North.
The entire second half consisted of North moving the ball, using Wright on the ground or hitting receivers down field for first downs. Unfortunately, Meade’s offense was unable to do anything offensively for the rest of the game.
After their initial drive, which was the closest they got to the endzone, they were only able to move the ball past the first down marker three more times for the rest of the game, resulting in them being shutout for the second straight game.
“We have to be able to convert on third downs,” Mofield said. “When you give the ball right back to an offense like that you are in for a long night. We’ve gotta get better. The only way to go is up. We’ve been shut out essentially two weeks in a row and gave up big plays, turn the ball over, don’t block. You can’t win doing that.”
Next week (Oct 9) Meade (1-3) will host the Elizabethtown Panthers (4-0) on the newly renovated Hamilton Field, with game time set to begin at 7:30pm.