PREP FOOTBALL: Running game, defense lift Meek to 20-12 win over Sumiton Christian

Sammy Confer for The Cullman Tribune

Photo by Sammy Confer

ARLEY – Meek (Class 1A, Region 6) looked to get back on track at home in a non-regional game against Sumiton Christian (Class 2A, Region 5) Friday and did just that with a 20-12 win.

Meek’s first possession started badly as a bad snap during the drive forced the Tigers to punt in a first half that saw seven punts, a turnover on downs, three interceptions and just one touchdown. That touchdown came from the Eagles with 5:37 remaining in the second period on a 24-yard touchdown pass. One of the interceptions came in the second quarter when the Tigers were at the 10-yard line and closing in on the end zone. Despite their offense failing to score in the first half, the defense stepped up and kept Meek in the game. The offense gained 128 yards in the first half and Stuart Waldrep gained 88 of those yards on the ground.

The second half saw a different Meek team. After forcing the Eagles to punt on their opening possession, the Tigers started their first series in excellent field position at the 36. Matthew Clark and Waldrep carried the load on the drive before Clark scored on a 2-yard run to tie the game at six with 8:46 remaining in the third quarter after the missed PAT. Clark picked off a pass on the ensuing possession and found the end zone once again on a 3-yard score that gave Meek a 12-6 lead.

The defenses took over for most of the second half. Zac Baker added another interception for the Tigers and after forcing another Sumiton Christian punt, an offsides penalty put Meek at the 47-yard line. Then, Waldrep broke a tackle before taking off down the left sideline for a 53-yard touchdown run to increase Meek’s lead to 20-6 with 4:42 remaining in the game. The Eagles, though, weren’t done as they returned the ensuing kickoff 73 yards for the score to make it a 20-12 game 15 seconds later.

Meek looked to run the remaining 4-plus minutes off the clock, but Clark fumbled the ball and the Eagles recovered with a little over a minute remaining. The Tiger defense, though, forced a turnover-on-downs and went on to take the game, 20-12.

After getting just 6 yards on six carries in the first half, Clark exploded for 142 second-half yards on 21 touches and a pair of scores to finish with 148 yards on 27 carries on the night. Waldrep added 111 more on the ground in the second half to finish with 199 yards and a touchdown. The defense, led by Bradley Vickery, Clark, Baker, Trinton Ory and others, had a big night on that side of the ball, getting key stops in the game. The Tigers improve to 2-4 overall on the season and will celebrate homecoming week next week when they take on Brilliant in region play.

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