The Meskwaki Warriors turned a 20-20 halftime tie with Seymour into a 56-20 home district win, as Meskwaki scored 36 unanswered points in the second half.
Costly penalties on big plays and two on-side kicks recovered by Seymour kept Meskwaki from pulling away in the first half. The way Meskwaki head coach Todd Dale saw it, his team was winning at half-time even if the scoreboard indicated it was tied.
“The opportunities were there,” Dale said.
In the second half, Meskwaki made more of an effort to get the ball to playmaker Stacy YoungBear, and he didn’t disappoint.
YoungBear had four receiving touchdowns and two rushing touchdowns in the game as the sparkplug for the offense. YoungBear’s first touchdown of the second half was a 6-yard sweep as a result of the defense and Deontre Butts, who blocked a Seymour punt for Meskwaki.
“Anytime you get a big play like that it’s huge,” Dale said of the blocked punt.
That touchdown and the 2-point conversion put Meskwaki up for good at 28-20, and opened the floodgates of big plays for Meskwaki.
Meskwaki quarterback Vincent Lasley threw for 225 yards and five touchdowns including one heave he made after he scrambled backwards and let one go off his back foot to find YoungBear behind the secondary. Lasley also lead a tough defensive team effort with a team high 12 tackles.
The defense came away with three interceptions on the night as Kane YoungBear and Sean Bear both had a pick and Denness Keahna had a 35-yard interception return for a touchdown.
Meskwaki is now alone in fourth place in 8-Man District 5 with a 3-2 district record to go along with a 3-5 overall record.
After a winless inaugural season last year, a third win for Meskwaki is another big step for the program.
“We believe in ourselves,” Stacy YoungBear said.
Meskwaki will shoot for three wins in a row in a road contest at Melcher-Dallas (2-5, 2-3) with playoff implications on the line Friday.
“It’s a big game and they’re a tough team,” Dale said. “We are trying to make the playoffs with 10 players on the team. It was a total team effort tonight and every member deserves a pat on the back. We may only have ten players but we have ten players who made major contributions to this win, if we take away the efforts of anyone of our players this game may have had a much different outcome.”
Denness Keahna, Stacy Youngbear, Vinnie Lasley, some of the Warriors defense make a tackle during the game with Seymour. MHS Photos