Video: Meridian football dominates in every facet
Consider the trials and tribulations over.
Despite a rough start to the season when players walked out on practice and Meridian forfeited a game, the Trojans are state-bound.
Meridian controlled every facet of the game in a dominating 42-6 district playoff win over Cedar Park Christian on Friday, Nov. 6, at Redmond High School to secure a Class 1A state berth. The Trojans will face undefeated Hoquiam in the first round.
We came out, hit them hard from the first play and it turned out to be a good time for us
Meridian senior Nick Dritsas
“It’s good to develop a rapport again,” Meridian coach Bob Ames said after the game. “Just to put some things away and play hard together.”
The Trojans responded from the Eagles’ first strike – a 21-yard pass completion just 3 minutes into the first quarter – and scored touchdowns on six of their next seven drives to come away with the victory.
Simon Burkett was an efficient 10 for 12, including a string where he threw for seven straight completions after opening the game with an incomplete pass to Marcus McGuinn, for 181 yards and three touchdowns. Burkett was injured against Mount Baker two weeks ago and missed last game with the injury.
504 total offensive yards for Meridian on Friday night. Cedar Park Christian only recorded 76.
“He’s a smart kid and he’s still buggered up but we were able to get both quarterbacks in the game and do their thing,” Ames said.
His first touchdown pass was a heave to the 6-foot-5 McGuinn, who outleaped the defender for the 28-yard score. McGuinn finished the day with four catches and 76 yards while also running the ball five times – all quarterback sneaks – for 15 yards and a 3-yard score.
“It was great,” McGuinn said of his return to receiver after playing under center last game. “We (Simon and I) just had that connection all season.”
Nick Dritsas was the other recipient of Burkett’s TD passes. The senior running back caught two touchdowns – a 21-yarder middle in the second quarter and an 8-yard fade in the third.
Dritsas finished with 204 total yards – 99 rushing and 105 receiving.
“We were prepared,” Dritsas said. “We came out, hit them hard from the first play and it turned out to be a good time for us.”
Bryce VandenHaak also got in on the scoring late in the game with an 8-yard touchdown run to start the fourth quarter.
As good as the Trojans were on offense, the defense did its part as well.
Meridian only allowed Cedar Park Christian to record 76 total yards of offense, as the defensive line was in the backfield almost every play. The Eagles picked up negative-11 yards of offense in the second half.
“We wanted to hit the quarterback every play and hit the running backs,” McGuinn said. “Even if they didn’t have the ball, we just wanted to keep pounding hard.”
Cedar Park Christian
CPC – Noah Anglin 21 pass from Jaden Sheffey (kick fail)
Mer – Marcus McGuinn 28 pass from Simon Burkett (Alan Eyoub kick)
Mer – Nick Dritsas 21 pass from Burkett (Eyoub kick)
Mer – McGuinn 3 run (Eyoub kick)
Mer – Tony Schleimer 5 run (Eyoub kick)
Mer – Dritsas 8 pass from Burkett (Eyoub kick)
Mer – Bryce VandenHaak 8 run (Eyoub kick)
RUSHING — Meridian: Marcus McGuinn 5-15, Bryce VandenHaak 6-41, Alan Eyoub 2-18, Nick Dritsas 13-99, Baker Otter 1-5, Tony Schleimer 12-113, Bryson Hickok 2-5, Koby Smith 1-7, Dawson Logan 3-15, Braedon Zender 1-5. CPC: Noah Anglin 4-15, Jack Flynn 7-16, Jaden Sheffey 13-(-17), Josiah Sargent 1-8, Ty Shimmin 2-(-6), Payton Nelson 1-0.
PASSING — Meridian: Simon Burkett 10-12-0-181, Dawson Logan 0-2-1-0. CPC: Jack Flynn 1-1-0-5, Jaden Sheffey 4-11-2-54.
RECEIVING — Meridian: Marcus McGuinn 4-76, Nick Dritsas 6-105. CPC: Noah Anglin 2-32, Jaden Sheffey 1-5, Carson Pettet 2-22.