Special to the Daily Sun
FROST – The Meridian Yellow Jackets (5-4, 3-0) scored two touchdowns in a fourth quarter comeback to beat the Frost Polar Bears (5-5, 2-2) 21-14.
Meridian remains undefeated in District 9-1A Div. II and play at Hubbard next week to decide the district championship.
With the loss, Frost falls to third place in the district standings. The Bears, however, will be playoff bound. They will play the loser of Friday’s Maud at Overton game in Dist. 10-1A Div. II. The game will be played in two weeks. No specific time or date has yet been set.
Meridian opened the third quarter with a scoreless 12-play drive that ate up 4:45 off the clock and only netted 10 yards due to penalties and an 11-yard loss on a sack by Bears linebacker Woody Woods. Frost then drove 80-yards on 12 plays over the next 5:12 to score a tie-breaking touchdown.
Running back Alex Cruz swept right behind tight end Edgar Anaya’s block and raced down the sideline from 25-yards out.
The Bears converted two extra points in an exciting manner reminiscent of their game with Wortham. Robert Worley took the pitch from Zach Terry and ran right hoping to fire a half-back option pass. Worley fired into double coverage looking for Laton Eastman. The ball glanced off Eastman’s hands, but landed into the outstretched hands of Cruz near the back pylon. With the conversion, the Bears extended their lead 14-6.
Meridian’s Jacob Butler, running primarily up the middle, pushed the Bears back for 133 yards on the night. Butler’s 6-yard run and a Blaine Glass two-point conversion run with 9:18 in the fourth quarter knotted tings at 14-14.
Polar Bear Ben Thorton returned the ensuing kickoff 45 yards. The Bears began their next offensive series at the Meridian 30-yard line. The Yellow Jackets defense swarmed Frost ball carriers forcing a fourth-and-five at the Meridian 25-yard line with 6:52 to go. The Bears tried to sweep right, but Alex Cruz was wrapped up by Butler for no gain.
Meridian’s sidelines erupted with cheers and the game’s momentum seemed to shift. The Yellow Jackets then used a heavy dose of Butler to plow ahead 75 yards on 11 plays for the go-ahead touchdown. Butler, who had seven carries for 39 yards on the drive, punched in the touchdown from five yards out.
The Polar Bears tried to make their comeback with 2:20 remaining the game. On first down from their own 47-yard line, Woody Woods picked up 16 yards running up the middle. The Bears only netted one yard, however, because of a chop block penalty. After a Robert Worley 6-yard run, the Bears went to the air. Zach Terry fired two incomplete passes before finding Worley for a 7-yard gain. Facing fourth-and-12 with 1:23 left in the game, the comeback attempt ended. Terry, attempting to find Worley again along the left sideline, threw his first interception of the season. Blaine Glass stepped in front of Worley and picked off the pass at the Meridian 20-yard line. From there, Meridian ran Butler twice to pick 13 yards and a first down. The Yellow Jackets took a knee and a victory.
Meridian 21, Frost 14
Meridian 0 6 0 15 — 21
Frost 6 0 8 0 — 14
F – Robert Worley 3 run (kick failed), 4:33
M – Jacob Butler 5 run (run failed), 1:15
F – Alex Cruz 25 run (Cruz pass from Worley), 1:53
M – Butler 6 run (Blaine Glass run), 9:18
M – Butler 5 run (Nick Prestwood kick), 2:20
First Downs 19 17
Rush-Yards 47-299 48-250
Passing Yards 0 22
C-A-I 0-3-0 2-7-1
Fumbles-lost 1-0 1-0
Punts-avg. 2-54 1-40
Penalties-yards 8-67 4-55
Rushing – M: Jacob Butler 27-133, Blaine Glass 7-70, Jarett Carpenter 7-49, Nick Prestwood 6-47. F: Woody Woods 14-95, Robert Worley 17-92, Alex Cruz 9-61, Colton Clayton 5-10, Zach Terry 3-(-8).
Passing – M: Glass 0-2-0, Prestwood 0-1-0. F: Terry 2-7-1-22 yards
Receiving – F: Cruz 1-15, Worley 1-7.