BATTLE GROUND - Meridian quarterback Max McGuinn threw for 236 yards and two touchdowns in his final high school football game, but the Trojans did not have enough offense to match La Center in the opening round of the Class 1A state football playoffs.
Taylor Dreyer rushed for 195 yards and two touchdowns and Jared Huddleston caught two touchdown passes, leading La Center to a 29-13 victory Saturday at District Stadium.
Meridian held a 6-2 lead when McGuinn found Letrez Jones for a 26-yard touchdown pass with 2:51 left in the first half.
However, La Center got the lead back a minute later on a 62-yard pass from Dylan King to Huddleston.
Dreyer opened the second half with a 53-yard touchdown run on the first play from scrimmage.
Meridian responded with a 10-play, 60-yard drive that ended with a 15-yard touchdown pass from McGuinn to Relijah McMillan to cut the deficit to three points at 16-13.
On the next play from scrimmage, though, the Trojans were chasing Dreyer again. This time, Dreyer broke free for a 60-yard touchdown run.
The Trojans, in desperation mode, turned the ball over on three of their next four possessions - interceptions by the La Center defense.
Huddleston's 15-yard diving catch in the end zone made it 29-13 with less than five minutes to play in the game.
McGuinn finished 15 of 24 for 236 yards with his two TDs and three interceptions. Drake VanderYacht was the team's leading receiver with five catches for 76 yards. McGuinn also had a team-high 63 yards rushing.
Meridian 0 6 7 0- 13
La Center 2 7 14 6- 29
LC - Safety, tackled ball carrier in end zone.
Mer - Letrez Jones 26 pass from Max McGuinn (pass failed)
LC - Jared Huddleston 62 pass from Dylan King (Conner Wonderly kick)
LC - Taylor Dreyer 53 run (Wonderly kick)
Mer -Relijah McMillan 15 pass from McGuinn (Casey Bromet kick)
LC - Dreyer 60 run (Wonderly kick)
LC - Huddelston 21 pass from King (kick blocked)
RUSHING - Meridian: McGuinn 13-63, Junior Castro 13-52, Jones 6-15, Evan Childs 4-15. La Center: Dreyer 17-195, Conner Fulton 8-32, Tyrone Kulla 3-8, Wyatt Aguirre 1-8, Huddleston 7-5.
PASSING - Meridian: McGuinn 15-24-3-236. La Center: King 2-6-1-83.
RECEIVING - Meridian: Drake VanderYacht 5-76, Sam Chambers 3-55, Jones 3-53, McMillan 2-22, Castro 1-20, Jeremy Brockman 1-10. La Center: Huddleston 2-83.