BERTHOUD -- Despite firing on all cylinders offensively early in the game and running up a 20 point lead before intermission, it took the Mead football team a bold fourth quarter conversion late in the contest to survive Berthoud and walk away with a 34-27 victory.
After allowing their opponent to score 20 consecutive points and tie the ballgame, the Mavericks found themselves with a tough decision to make, facing a fourth and 2 with the ball on Berthoud's 4-yard line and 1:50 remaining. That's when head coach Jason Klatt called a time-out to decide which route his squad would take.
Electing to pass up the likely three points a field goal would net, Klatt called a roll-out pass play in search of a full touchdown advantage.
And while quarterback Griffin Nelson was unable to locate an open receiver, he did find enough space to run his way in for what would prove to be the winning score.
"We feel we need to go for it in all situations and show the kids we have confidence in them," Klatt said. "I'm really proud of them."
The touchdown marked Griffin's second rushing score of the day, in addition to another TD he threw in the first half to wideout Aaron Cheung. The dual threat Griffin presented with his arm and legs seemed to be too much for the Spartans to handle early, as the Mavs jumped out to a 27-7 lead in the first half.
Running back James Richardson also rushed for two touchdowns on the night, and a late defensive stand in which Mead forced a turnover on downs with seconds remaining earned the Mavs the victory in their Tri-Valley conference opener.
MEAD 34, BERTHOUD 27
At Berthoud H.S.
Mead (3-3, 1-0) 13 14 0 7 -- 34
Berthoud (1-5, 0-1) 7 0 13 7 -- 27
Mead -- James Richardson 30 run (kick no good).
Mead -- Griffin Nelson 2 run (Jake Muncy kick).
Berthoud -- Alex Kingsley 85 kick return (Ryan DeMoudt kick).
Mead -- James Richardson 32 run (Jake Muncy kick).
Mead -- Aaron Cheung 15 pass from Griffin Nelson (Jake Muncy kick).
Berthoud -- 2 run (Ryan DeMoudt kick).
Berthoud -- Alex Kingsley 35 pass form Nick Dietz (kick no good).
Berthoud -- Nick Dietz 5 run (Ryan DeMoudt kick).
Mead -- Griffin Nelson 4 run (Jake Muncy kick).
RUSHING -- Mead: James Richardson 27-180, Logan Anderson 7-45, Griffin Nelson 5-(-1).
PASSING (comp-yards) -- Mead: Grififn Nelson (17-252).
RECEIVING -- Mead: Tyler Tiano 1-8, Logan Anderson 6-134, Jeremy Rasmussen 4-55, Aaron Cheung 4-33, Alex Mead 1-12, James Richardson 1-10.