LAKEWOOD — Mead football knew its ride through 2022 would be bumpy.
A year after finishing runner-up in the Class 3A state playoffs, the Mavericks entered the new season with perhaps one of the toughest early schedules in the classification. On Friday night at Trailblazer Stadium, that strong slate haunted them in a 43-7 loss to third-ranked Green Mountain.
Prior to the contest, they had also suffered setbacks against No. 2 Durango and No. 5 Lutheran. Despite the early learning curve that has taken the Mavericks to a 1-4 record, that was just the way head coach Jason Klatt liked it.
“We’ve had schedules before where we’ve played a pretty light schedule in the beginning and we’ve blown through it, and then we’ve gotten to the end with not a whole lot of adversity and we didn’t really know what we were about,” he said. “In this situation, we know what we’re about because in tough times, true character is revealed. That’s where we’re at right now and some more character is going to be revealed tonight.”
The Mavericks struggled to take on Green Mountain’s high-octane offense all night long as its defense proved equally strong. Mead very nearly figured it out by the end of the first half, driving the ball all the way down to the Rams’ 24-yard line before turning it over on downs. They collected just 102 offensive yards in the first half and 217 total. Senior quarterback Taylon Adler threw for 96 yards.
Mead didn’t fare much better in the second half but did manage to get on the board in the final seven minutes after four tries from the 1-yard line. Junior running back Cole Michaelis helped his team avoid the shutout with the short run.
“We’re a good family. As long as we stick together, I think we can probably do anything,” Michaelis said. “We’re just working out small kinks to really get both sides at a top-tier level.”
The Mavericks will return home next Friday in search of that elusive second win against one of the last unbeaten teams in 3A with George Washington.
“Every season is a new journey and this season for us has been a battle of trying to get our kids to play at a high level,” Klatt said. “Whenever you face adversity and struggle, you grow from it and it also builds some resilience in your group. We’re starting to see some of those battle wounds get tough and we’re looking forward to the second half of the season.”