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Football: Mead headed to Class 3A state championship with dominant win over Roosevelt

Mavericks flip script on Roughriders in front of packed stadium

LONGMONT — Mead's Gavin Garrettson hands ...
Brent W. New/
LONGMONT — Mead’s Gavin Garrettson hands off to Evan Morris Saturday, Nov. 29, 2021.

LONGMONT — Roosevelt couldn’t catch Mead’s Sean Medlock.

With the Roughriders in the lead — a most-familiar place for Class 3A’s top-ranked team — Medlock raced the fifth-seeded Mavericks back ahead with a pair of breakaway TDs, helping propel Mead to its first state title game in program history following its 38-21 upset win in Saturday afternoon’s semifinals at Mead High.

“Just a lot of belief, a lot of courage, a lot of grit, a lot of toughness,” Mead coach Jason Klatt said. “Guys just made up their mind that we were going to do something special.”

Brent W. New/
LONGMONT – Mead’s Corby Tecu and Gavin Garrettson celebrate a touchdown Saturday, November 29, 2021.

Ending Roosevelt’s undefeated season, the win redeemed a 37-7 loss to the Roughriders seven weeks ago. And more importantly, it sends the Mavericks to Pueblo next weekend to face Fort Morgan for the 3A title.

After punching their ticket, orange-cladded players and coaches celebrated with fans as more and more bled onto the field. Hugs, high-fives, poses for photos scattered across the way — and somewhere lost in the masses was the team’s undersized hero, Medlock.

“Sean’s been great for us all year,” Klatt said. “At one point in time, we said this guy is our most determined blocker and he’s all but 155 pounds. But it just speaks to Sean. Sean’s a team player. He’s all about giving the ball to somebody else. He’s about somebody else getting credit. He deserves that.”

Medlock, listed at 5-foot-6 on the team’s MaxPreps roster, appeared at least 10 yards behind the defense when he caught quarterback Gavin Garrettson’s third pass attempt of the day, trotting into the end zone for a 40-yard score to even things at 14-14 minutes before halftime.

Sprung loose again on the Mavs’ first possession in the third quarter, the junior stretched the line with an outside run on fourth-and-inches. He then turned upfield, leaving two defenders behind en route to a 47-yard score to put them up for good.

Crowded by adoring faces afterward, the gravity of the moment wasn’t lost on him.

“So last year we got kicked out because of COVID or whatever you want to say,” said Medlock, referring to the team having to forfeit the 2020 postseason due to virus exposure inside the program. “To carry on this legacy for last year’s seniors, it feels good.”

Mead started the game much like it finished in its quarterfinals win.

Dripping away the final 8:33 in regulation last weekend in Durango, the clock-chewing Mavericks offense followed up that 17-play drive with 13 more, all on the ground, marching 80 yards on its opening possession. With the finishing touch, Corby Tecu slipped a hole to his left as his 9-yard finish came after the Mavs took 6:10 off the clock. It was Tecu’s seventh rushing TD of the season.

Roosevelt responded. Shut out in the first quarter for the first time in four games, the Roughriders scored a pair of touchdowns 1:52 apart in the second.

Coming into the day as just one of two teams in the classification averaging more than 200 yards in the air and on the ground, they scored on Cooper Walton’s 2-yard rush with 6:29 left in the half. Then, they got the ball back on a fumble and scored five plays later on a 24-yard connection from Brock Saya to Tucker Peterson on a fourth-and-19.

From there, Mead scored 24 unanswered points before Roosevelt’s late score with 32 seconds remaining. Evan Morris and Garrettson also had rushing TDs and the defense held the Roughriders to just one first down in the second half before their final drive.

The matchup between Fort Morgan and Mead, scheduled for 1 p.m. at the ThunderBowl on the campus of CSU-Pueblo, will be the first of the 2021 season after the teams tangled on Oct. 23, 2020. Mead won that game, 35-0.

Brent W. New/
LONGMONT — Mead’s Gavin Garrettson and Sean Medlock exchange an option run Saturday, November 29, 2021.

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