Grove City holds off Meadville @mvillebulldogs @MdvlFootball @GC_EaglesFB
Written by: Shane Lux on Saturday, October 19th, 2019
Grove City built 38-19 lead early in the fourth quarter. Then had to hold off a furious Meadville comeback attempt to knockoff the Bulldogs 38-33 Friday night at Forker Field.
“I can’t take games like this kidded, Grove City head coach Sam Mowrey. “Not every game is going to be pretty. There is a lot of things that we can learn from this game. That Meadville team is a bunch of fighters over there. Give them a lot of credit.”
The game was a far cry from last year’s 56-6 Eagles route.
“We knew this wasn’t the same Meadville team from last year,” said Mowrey. “They’ve had a great year, and I hope they make a run in District 10.”
Grove City shook off a rough start that saw them fumble the opening kickoff, then throw an interception on a 2nd-and-goal from the 10-yard line of their first possession.
The Eagles would break the ice late in the first quarter when Colby Nelson scored on a 39-yard run.
Nelson broke 1000-yard mark on the season and had a game-high 193 yards on 29 carries with three touchdowns.
Meadville answered in time when Hayden Parks scored on a 5-yard that capped a 15-play 70-yard drive.
Making up for his mistake on the opening kickoff, Kendel Hollen took the ensuing kickoff back 80 yards for a touchdown.
Our https://t.co/tqI29eLvBo & https://t.co/eVqU85j70t play of the game goes to @GC_EaglesFB Kendal Hollen who returned a second-quarter kick 80 yards for a touchdown. @WPAFootball @PaFootballNews pic.twitter.com/AODrTVaerY
— Shane Lux (@luxy_aLLin) October 19, 2019
Going from bad to worse for Meadville, the Bulldogs fumbled on their first play of the next drive.
Grove City took advantage of the short field, and Nelson punched it in from a yard out.
Those two touchdowns came 56 seconds apart.
“Those two plays right there cost us that game,” said Meadville head coach Ray Collins. “We knew we could move the ball. Looking back on this game, it’s going to be those two consecutive plays from our perspective that cost us. We handed Grove City 14 points.”
The teams then went back and forth to close out the first half.
Bulldogs quarterback Landon Beck threw a pair of touchdown passes. One a 20-yard strike Brody Beuchat, and the other with 14 seconds left in the half to Parks covering 47 yards.
— Shane Lux (@luxy_aLLin) October 19, 2019
Those scores were sandwiched between Nelson’s third score of the first half from two yards.
“Football is a crazy game, and what a great sport,” said Mowrey. “The kids being in situations like this tonight where nothing is given to them, and they have to earn everything. Those are memories these kids will have forever.”
Grove City led 28-19 at halftime.
The Eagles padded their lead in the second-half on John Hake’s 25-yard field goal, and Sam Stanton’s 1-yard run that pushed their lead to 38-19 at the 11:55 mark of the fourth quarter.
Meadville mounted a comeback attempt as Aryan Cotterman scored on a 1-yard run following a 60-yard drive.
“We set ourselves up to be able to win this game,” said Collins. “Our kids never quit fighting, that’s what I loved about the effort tonight of these guys.
The Bulldogs recovered the onside kick, and Beck immediately threw a 48-yard touchdown pass to Parks the cut their deficit to 38-33 with 6:06 to play.
“In the fourth quarter, we went back to what was working offensively and got ourselves back in the game,” said Collins. “We moved the ball and scored, got the onside kick, and scored again.”
Parks had a monster for Meadville rushing for 102 yards and receiving for 129 more.
The Bulldogs had two chances in the final four minutes to win the game but came up empty.
“Our kids have some learning to do in those situations,” said Mowrey. “You can’t give up big plays like that. At the end of the day, with the emotion and everything going on, the kids stayed focused and closed it out.”
Meadville’s best opportunity came when they took over at their 25-yard line with 1:53 to play. They drove to the Eagles 40-yard before Beck’s hail mary pass was intercepted by Jake Reddick at the 10-yard line ending the game.
“Our defense gave us two opportunities to win this game,” said Collins. “We tried, there were a couple of close calls on some potential big plays. This was two great football teams going head to head so you except a great football game, and that’s what we got,”
The Bulldogs will now try and bounce back in the District 10 5A playoffs as the battle Warren.
“Our kids felt the gained a lot of confidence despite the loss,” said Collins. “As far a next week heading into the playoffs, our kids are going to be flying high. Our kids want to get that playoff win next week. We’ll be ready.”
Grove City will have a week to rest before playing Mercyhurst Prep in the opening round of the District 10 3A playoffs.
“What a great way to end the regular season,” said Mowrey. “Both teams left the field tonight knowing they left it all on the field tonight. I’m proud of the way our kids fought and scraped until the end.”
Stats Courtesy of Ryan Briggs
Grove City 38 Meadville 34
Score by Quarters
Meadville – 0 19 0 14 – 34
Grove City – 7 21 3 7 – 38
GC – Colby Nelson 39 yd run, (John Hake pat), 3:52
M – Hayden Parks 5 yd run, (Sam Burchard pat), 9:35
GC – Kendal Hollen 80 yd kickoff return, (Hake pat), 9:4
GC – Nelson 1 yd run, (Hake pat), 8:30
M – Brody Beuchat 20 yd pass from Landon Beck, (kick failed), 3:43
GC – Nelson 2 yd run, (Hake pat), 1:12
M – Parks 47 yd pass from Beck, (kick failed), 0:14
GC – Hake 25 yd field goal, 4:44
GC – Sam Stanton 1 yd run, (Hake pat), 11:55
M – Aryan Cotterman 1 yd run, (Parks rush), 6:16
M – Parks 48 yd pass from Beck, (rush failed), 6:06
Rushing: Meadville – Parks 21-102, Cotterman 23-79, Chandler Edwards 7-41, Beck 11-(-6). Totals: 62-216. Grove City – Nelson 29-193, Curtis Hovis 4-23, Logan Breese 5-22, Stanton 4-6. Totals: 42-244.
Passing: Meadville – Beck 7-for-14, 157 yards, 3 touchdowns, 1 interception. Grove City – Breese 7-for-14, 112 yards, 1 interception.
Receiving: Meadville – Parks 5-129, Beuchat 1-20, Isaac Chatman 1-8. Grove City – Zack Martin 2-38, Daiveon Say 2-29, Sayyid Muhammad 1-28, Jake Reddick 1-12, Zach Rodgers 1-5.
Interceptions: Meadville – Buchard. Grove City – Reddick.
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