Football: Mead blanks Fort Morgan for strong bounce-back win

Mavericks use balanced offense, crushing defense to get to 2-1

Brad Cochi/
Mead’s Nathan Bailey runs for a big gain against Fort Morgan on Friday, Oct. 23, 2020 in Longmont.

The Mead football team didn’t have any opportunities to bounce back during the 2019 season because the Mavericks didn’t lose a game until the Class 3A state quarterfinals.

Ranked No. 1 at the time, the Mavericks lost 21-20 in overtime last week to then-No. 5 Roosevelt, which took over as the new No. 1-ranked team in this week’s Class 3A poll. It was Mead’s first regular season loss since Sept. 28, 2018, and the unexpected defeat thrust the Mavericks into a unique position — at least for them.

As unfamiliar with the situation as they have been, the Mavericks appeared to have prepared effectively for a bounce-back performance in Week 3. Hosting sixth-ranked Fort Morgan on Friday night, the No. 5 Mavericks won 35-0 for their second 3A Northern League victory of the abbreviated 2020 campaign.

The Mavericks hope Friday’s emphatic response sparks a new streak.

“That loss really motivated us because now it’s do or die,” Mavericks junior quarterback Gavin Garrettson said. “We knew it was time to get going again so we really bounced back and came back even better than we thought we could have. Once we get going, we don’t stop. So now, it’s time to get back on a roll.”

Garrettson threw a pair of first-half touchdown passes, Nathan Bailey scored on the ground and the Mavericks defense held the Mustangs (2-1, 1-1) to 113 yards of offense in the first half to put Mead (2-1, 2-1) ahead 21-0 at the midway break. In the second half, Eli Mackey scored on a 2-yard dive and Garrettson hit Brayden Keys on a 73-yard pass for his third touchdown for the game to give Mead a 35-0 lead in the fourth quarter.

Using 10 different ball carriers, the Mavericks finished the game with 234 rushing yards. Garrettson, who has filled in admirably for injured starter Porter Eastin since Week 1, went 13-for-18 and ended up with 230 passing yards.

“As we were prepping for this week at practice, the coaches got us ready,” Garrettson said. “We came out and executed and got the job done. Now we’ve just got to get ready for next week and keep it going.”

The Fort Morgan defense allowed an average of 15.5 points to its first two opponents and the Mustangs’ offense was averaging 31 points a game before Friday night.

Now that they’ve gotten back in a win column and with the knowledge that another loss might dash any hope of reaching the postseason under this fall’s unusual circumstances, Mead will head to Greeley and take on Northridge next Friday.

“We’re dealing with quarantine issues, we’re dealing with sickness issues, we’re dealing with injury issues, you name it,” head coach Jason Klatt said. “These guys, man, they’re just a resilient group that just keeps bouncing back and getting in there so I’m really proud of them. Every hour, things are changing so these guys have just done an awesome job of just bouncing with it and saying, ‘OK, let’s go.’”

Brad Cochi/
Mead’s Gavin Garrettson, center, looks for positive yardage after getting a block in front against Fort Morgan on Friday, Oct. 23, 2020 in Longmont. (Photo by Brad Cochi/