FREDERICK — As the clock ticked down the Mead Mavericks bench became raucous. Players were jumping up and down yelling “Conference champs! Conference champs!”
It was a well-earned celebration for a Mead team that went from Class 3A favorites a year ago to a youth movement through graduation.
The Mavericks took control early against Frederick and never let the Warriors back in, claiming the 3A Northern Metro title with a 30-11 win on Friday night.
“It really shows how good our coaching can be,” said Ryan Bullock, who ran for 78 yards and a touchdown. “All these young players, they’re rounding us together. These young players were able to step up. Really good were able to do that.”
Jake Wachter ran for 125 yards and a score and quarterback Brady Veltien had 47 rushing yards in the second half and a touchdown. Mead finished with 296 yards of offense, all on the ground.
Frederick (8-2, 4-1) had its seven-game winning streak stopped and now will hope it has more season left.
“We thought we were going to play better and we’ve got to hope we’re in and go back to the drawing board on Sunday,” head coach Travis Peeples said. “You can’t play the way that we did and expect to win a championship.
“The turnovers, we had three of them, the inability to protect the quarterback and lack of tackling, those are the three things we’re going to fix, pronto.”
The Mavericks (7-3, 5-0) have won six in a row and did it with the running game. Friday was no different. They passed it only a couple of times and all 23 snaps in the second half were runs. They started the second half with a 15-play, 73-yard drive that ate 6:31 of the third quarter that made it 24-0.
It was a much different outcome than the 8-7 loss at Evergreen two months ago.
“It wasn’t that we played a bad game in Evergreen, we just ran into a tough team at a weird time,” Mead coach Jason Klatt said. “That was the best thing that could have happened to us. You learn from those things.”
The Mavericks used an 11-play drive after a fourth-down stop to take a 7-0 lead on Bullock’s three-yard touchdown run. Frederick’s next possession stalled, and a blocked punt gave Mead the ball at the Warriors’ 32.
Wachter wasted no time. He ran through the Frederick defense on the first play to make it 14-0 with 4.4 seconds left in the first quarter.
Frederick moved the ball but couldn’t sustain drives. Green was intercepted twice, ending drives, but the Warriors also picked off Veltien to stop the Mavericks’ last drive of the half.
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Mead 30, Frederick 11
At Frederick HS
Mead (7-3, 5-0) 14 3 7 6 — 30
Mead — Ryan Bullock 3 run (Taylor Kamigaki kick). Mead — Jake Wachter 32 run (Kamigaki kick).
Mead — Kamigaki 35 field goal.
Mead — Brady Veltien 10 run (Kamigaki kick).
Frederick — Gavin Self 1 run (Tyler O’Dell run). Mead — Nathan Bailey 12 run (kick failed). Frederick — Luke Dunker 30 field goal.
RUSHING — Mead: Jake Wachter 12-125, Ryan Bullock 14-78, Brady Veltien 11-43, Nathan Bailey 7-32 Devon Edwards 6-19. Frederick: Trey O’Dell 21-63, Brandon Hornby 5-35, Dante Ciaravola 6-33, Dominick Schlief 3-26, Sean Holbrook 3-9, Gavin Self 2-8, Joey Notero 1-4, Jake Green 3-(-15).
RECEIVING – Frederick: Self 2-17, Dylan Sindelar 1-11, Holbrook1-10.
PASSING — Mead: Veltien 0-2-1-0. Frederick: Green 11-14-2-38.
RECEIVING — Frederick: Self 2-17, Dylan Sindelar 1-11, Holbrook 1-10.