MONUMENT - Mead overcame a 10-point fourth-quarter deficit at Palmer Ridge on Saturday to win its first playoff football game since the program was resurrected in 2010, beating the Bears 28-24.
Gino Musick's 1-yard plunge with 4:38 remaining completed the rally for the 11th-seeded Mavericks (8-3), who will battle No. 3 Palisade (10-1) next weekend for a Class 3A state quarterfinals playoff game.
Musick's touchdown run, his team-leading 13th of the season, came on second-down-and-goal from about the 6-inch line.
"It felt a lot longer than 6 inches," Musick said with a big smile. "I knew we were going to take the lead. It was just a matter of when we took it and do what we were capable of doing."
The Mavericks piled up 457 yards of offense against the sixth-seeded Bears (8-3), who dropped down to 3A this season after spending the previous four years in 4A.
Mead senior quarterback Riley Glynn had one of the best games of his career, completing 7 of 11 passes for a season-high 259 yards and three touchdowns.
Glynn had touchdown passes of 65 and 41 yards to junior running back Nathan Mackey, and a 66-yard touchdown pass to junior Derek Edwards.
"We've got a great group of guys at running back and a great receiving core that helped me out and a great offensive line allowed me to sit back there and pass and find guys that were open," said Glynn, who now has 18 touchdowns on the season and just one interception. "We're a run-pass option offense and we try to mix it up every time and do whatever works.
"This is a big win, but we're not done. We have one more. Heck, we have three more."
Glynn has had his best games in the playoffs. Last year he passed for a career-high 336 yards in Mead's 48-38 first-round loss to The Classical Academy.
Mead took a 7-0 lead against Palmer Ridge at the 1:58 mark of the first quarter when Glynn found Mackey out of the backfield for a 65-yard touchdown pass. Mackey, who had a game-high 109 rushing yards on 16 carries, later hauled in a 41-yard touchdown on a screen pass.
"(Palmer Ridge) had that (linebacker) playing in so our flat was wide open all game," Mackey said.
Edwards's 66-yard touchdown catch was his team-leading seventh of the season. He caught the ball from Glynn in stride at Palmer Ridge's 40-yard line and had nothing but green grass between him and the goal line.
"I was just thinking about making it to the end zone and scoring," he said.
Mackey said neither he nor his teammates worried when they fell behind 24-14 early in the fourth.
"We've been down by more than that and we have the mentality we can come back," he said. "We are confident enough and we have so many playmakers we can switch in and out we know we can overcome any deficit."
Mackey added that Mead's loss to TCA in last year's playoffs helped to prepare the team for this season's postseason run.
"Last year we were wide-eyed and just happy to be there, but know we can win and now we know we can get far," he said.
All three of Mead's losses this season are to playoff teams. It lost to No. 4 seed Lewis-Palmer in the season opener (50-35) No. 9 Fort Morgan in Week 5 (20-14) and No. 7 Holy Family in Week 8 (43-35).
Mead was second place Tri-Valley league behind Holy Family.
"I was really pleased with how we prepared for the playoff game this week, although we didn't play very well," said Mead coach Jason Klatt. "We kind of missed some opportunities with our offense and we did some things that weren't characteristic of us all year, but we did what we had to do to win."
Klatt is 30-21 in his five seasons as the Mavericks coach.
Mead 28, Palmer Ridge 24
At Don Breese StadiumMead 7 0 7 14 — 28
Palmer Ridge 6 10 0 8 — 24
Mead — Mackey 65 pass from Glynn (Kamigaki kick) 1:58. Palmer Ridge — Roberson 65 pass from Evans (kick fail) 1:48.
Palmer Ridge — Matalus 27 field goal 6:55. Palmer Ridge — Harper 3 run (Matalus kick) :16.
Mead — Mackey 41 pass from Glynn (Kamigaki kick) 6:43.
Palmer Ridge — Harper 10 run (Matalus pass from Evans) 11:32. Mead — Edwards 66 pass from Glynn (Kamigaki kick) 8:03. Mead — Musick 1 run (Kamigaki kick) 4:38.
RUSHING — Mead: Mackey 16-109, Musick 13-48, Glynn 4-28, Keys 8-13. Palmer Ridge: Harper 13-48, Matalus 8-32, Roberson 2-35, Busath 5-19,
Nam 1-8, Ruel 3-0, Evans 4 (minus-6).
PASSING — Mead: Glynn 7-11-0 259. Palmer Ridge: Evans 26-41-1 361.
RECEIVING — Mead: Mackey 3-121, Edwards 2-81, Esters 2-57. Palmer Ridge: Roberson 6-131. Boatman 6-119, McLellan 5-50, Hester 3-34, Matalus 3-36, Harper 1-5, Holmes 1 (minus-4).