LONGMONT -— The Mead football team is clearly in a season of transition. Losing 27 seniors to graduation, eight of whom are now playing in college, can do that.
Besides the Mavericks' record, one of the areas in which that transition was most apparent in the first three games of this year was in the scoring department. An offensive juggernaut in recent seasons — Mead averaged 43 points per game in 2017 — the Mavericks came into Friday's home contest with a norm of 18 points per game this year.
An 8-7 loss at Evergreen last weekend marked the first time the Mavericks had been held to single digits in a game since August 2014.
But Mead found plenty of ways to score — on offense, defense and special teams — on Friday night in a 41-0 non-league pummeling of visiting Roosevelt.
Besides scoring four touchdowns on offense, the Mavericks managed one on defense and another via special teams.
"I think it shows that we may be a young team, but we're definitely maturing," said sophomore running back Nathan Bailey, who rushed for 139 yards and three touchdowns on just eight carries. "We had a great week of practice this week — offensively, defensively and special teams. And it showed tonight."
Let's count the ways:
There was Bailey's rushing on offense, with scoring runs of 20, 69 and 22 yards. There was a rock-ribbed defense that intercepted three passes and recovered a fumble.
Juniors Kyle Johnson, Trey Ward and Nick Jacobs did the honors on the interception front, with Ward taking his INT return 20 yards for a TD. And sophomore Brayden Keys recovered a fumble for MHS. Then there was special teams, with Easton Willyard blocking a punt that was recovered by fellow senior Jay Olson and taken 10 yards for a TD.
Let's just say it was an all-round good time for Mead, which snapped a two-game losing streak to improve to 2-2 on the season.
"I was proud of our kids for playing with a lot of effort and some relentlessness tonight," coach Jason Klatt said. "They kind of jumped all over them. I was proud of them for that."
A week after giving up just eight points in a loss at Evergreen, the MHS defense pitched a shutout, allowing Roosevelt just 166 yards of total offense. And the Mavericks preserved the shutout in the waning minutes by stopping the Roughriders (0-3) on the Mead 7-yard line.
"Our defense was phenomenal," Klatt said. "They were awesome. I thought they owned the line of scrimmage for most of the night. It's a credit to our defensive coaches."
The Mead offense managed 281 yards and four TDs on Friday — perhaps not up to last year's standards, but certainly good enough on Friday.
"This feels amazing," Ward said. "The offense moved the ball down the field constantly. It was great. This feels so much better than last week. It's great to win."
In a first half in which the Mavericks took a 14-0 lead, they needed scoring drives of just four and three plays in the second quarter.
Bailey's rushing accounted for all but 51 of Mead's first-half offense. The sophomore racked up 115 yards on just five carries before intermission and scored both of the Mavericks' two touchdowns in the second quarter.
And, as noted, the Mead defense certainly did its job, holding Roosevelt to 78 yards of total offense in the first half.
And that good "D" carried over into the first play from scrimmage in the second half. Ward stepped in front of a receiver on the sideline in full stride and raced 20 yards for an interception return for a touchdown that made it 21-0.
And after a Roosevelt fumble, Mead struck in a hurry again, this time needing just one play for 22-yard TD run by Bailey.
Then after Roosevelt went three-and-out, Mead's special teams got into the act, with Willyard blocking the punt that led to Olson's TD.
Next up, following an off week, Mead will play the second of three straight home games, with 3A top-ranked Erie paying a visit on Sept. 28.
"We've never had a bye, so we don't know" what it's like, Klatt said. "We're venturing into new territory here. ... We're going to hang out a little bit and have some fun and rest up a little bit. Then we'll get back to work."
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Mead 41, Roosevelt 0
At Mead High SchoolRoosevelt0000—0Mead014207—41
Mead — Mead -- Bailey 69 run (Kamigaki kick). Mead — Bailey 69 run (Kamigaki kick).
Mead — Trey Ward 20 interception return (Kamigaki kick.)Mead — Bailey 22 run (Kamigaki kick). Mead — Jay Olson 10 blocked putt return (kick blocked).
Mead — Ryan Bullock 10 run (Kamigaki kick).
RUSHING — Roosevelt: Sanchez 19-85, Wall 9-40, Walton 2-7, Doucette 3-2, Beall 2-2, Rhoton 1-2; Mead: Bailey 8-139, Edwards 1-43, Veltien 7-33, Domenico 6-22, Bullock 5-21, Keys 8-19.
PASSING — Roosevelt: Beall 3-14-2-18, Hartson 1-3-0-10; Mead: Veltien 2-6-0-4.
RECEIVING — Roosevelt: Morey 2-10, Lawrence 1-10, Wall 1-7; Mead: Jacobs 1-5, Ward 1-(-1).