When Mavericks punter Carlos Abad pinned Inglemoor down on its own 10-yard line with just over three minutes to play and a 7-point Mavs lead, most Meadowdale fans at Pop Keeney Stadium had to feel optimistic that their team was going to come away with a win.
But Inglemoor Vikings quarterback Kolby Solomon had other ideas. He put together a drive that included a 53-yard pass on fourth down to receiver Kincaid Schmitt, who made his way to the Mavericks’ 33-yard line. Then, with time winding down, Solomon launched a desperation Hail Mary pass to a waiting Luke Millman, who won a jump ball battle between two Meadowdale defenders to come down with the ball.
Millman then wrestled his way the last couple yards into the end zone with 17 seconds remaining. The score pulled Inglemoor to within one point of Meadowdale. That’s when head coach Steve Hannan made the gutsy call to go for the 2-point conversion and the win.
Solomon rolled right and hit a crossing Quentin Moore in the back corner of the end zone for the lead.
That left the Mavs with just 17 seconds to try to get downfield for either a field goal attempt or a Hail Mary attempt of their own.
They managed to get themselves in range of junior quarterback Hunter Moen’s arm, who threw up a prayer to the end zone with time expiring that was batted down by Vikings defenders to end the game, handing the Mavs a 29-28 loss.
While the Meadowdale running game was mostly stifled by the Inglemoor defense, the Mavs’ passing attack was good. Moen played well, going 21-32 for 271 yards and four touchdowns, and one interception.
“I thought he played really, really great,” Meadowdale head coach Matt Leonard said after the game. “There’s only three plays that I can think of that we’d like to have back. Two sacks. One takes us out of field goal range, and one’s on fourth down. And then the one interception where he just locked onto that throw and the guy behind him [the receiver] was wide open. But he played fantastic. He’s gonna be a dude for us. He’s gonna be everything we need him to be and he was pretty dang good tonight.”
Moen’s four scoring throws went to four different Maverick receivers.
The opening score came in the first quarter when Moen found running back Baboucarr Sowe on a catch and nice run to get into the end zone from 21 yards out.
The second came with 8:37 in the second quarter, after Inglemoor had scored twice to lead 14-6. On the first play following an Inglemoor turnover on a fumble, Moen found a leaping Colton Walsh, who battled his way to the catch despite being interfered with on the play. That score pulled Meadowdale to within one, 14-13.
“Colton Walsh is a budding superstar. Unfortunately, he got hurt. He got rolled up on and couldn’t go. He tried to go on that last play, just for a jump ball, but he’s a star,” Leonard said.
The third touchdown came with 7:45 to play in the third quarter. Moen, from 21 yards away, found Mason Vaughn, who made a tremendous catch — falling away in the corner of the end zone over the outstretched hands of an Inglemoor defensive back.
“Mason Vaughn. That’s his first time he’s ever stepped on a field (for a game). I don’t know what his numbers were, but they were pretty good. Just an incredible touchdown catch,” Leonard said of his junior receiver.
The final Mavs’ score of the night came with 8:37 to play in the fourth quarter. Moen found a streaking Tyler Gibson, who made more than one defender miss on his way to the end zone for the 62-yard play.
“Offensively, we left too many points out there,” Leonard said. “Our defense is young. They’re growing. It really needed to be our offense that carried us. We could have, and we should have. We kind of let our defense down a little bit.”
Pointing to the 14 juniors and a sophomore on the field, Leonard said his team’s future is bright. “I mean, when you start this many young kids, you know you’re going to make mistakes, and we made a ton of them, but we’ll grow, don’t worry about it,” he said. “Your biggest improvement comes from week one to week two.”
Meadowdale (0-1) will play next on Friday, Sept. 7, when they travel to Shoreline Stadium to take on the host Shorewood Thunderbirds
Prep Football: Meadowdale vs. Inglemoor Aug. 30
Meadowdale 7 7 7 7 — 28
Inglemoor 14 0 0 14 — 29
7:59 — Hunter Moen (Meadowdale) 21-yard TD pass to Baboucarr Sowe; PAT kick no-good
4:37 — Kolby Solomon (Inglemoor) 9-yard TD run; PAT kick good
0:36 — Jake Dick (Inglemoor) 1-yard TD run; PAT kick good
8:37 — Hunter Moen (Meadowdale) 32-yard TD pass to Colton Walsh; PAT kick good
7:45 — Hunter Moen (Meadowdale) 21-yard TD pass to Mason Vaughn; PAT kick good
8:55 — Kolby Solomon (Inglemoor) 10-yard TD pass to Trevor Thurman; PAT kick good
8:37 — Hunter Moen (Meadowdale) 62-yard TD pass to Tyler Gibson; 2-point conversion good
0:17 — Kolby Solomon (Inglemoor) 34-yard TD pass to Luke Millman; 2-point conversion good
Meadowdale 0-1 overall; Inglemoor 1-0 overall
Meadowdale next game
Meadowdale versus Shorewood, Friday, Sept. 7, 7 p.m. at Shoreline Stadium, Shoreline
— Story and photos by Scott Williams