Meadville survive a grindfest, defeat Corry 27-14

Aug. 26—The Meadville Bulldogs did not make it look easy, but defeated Corry 27-14 in the season opener at Bender Field on Friday.

After replacing about 75 percent of last year's starters, there were bound to be some growing pains. That youth shined through before the game, according to head coach Ray Collins.

"My biggest takeaway is we did not put together a good week of practice and I think that's why we found ourselves with our backs against the wall, especially at the end of the first half and again when they caught momentum in the fourth quarter," Collins said. "I thought the kids rallied, I was happy the way they responded to that adversity. These guys are young and I think next week they'll understand their approach to practice needs to be more businessman-like so that we're better prepared."

In the first quarter, it seemed like the 'Dogs would run away with it. Meadville marched right down the field in the Wing T offense and Bradyn Miller capped off the drive with a one-yard touchdown. A couple Corry penalties on the Beavers' first drive helped Meadville get the ball back quickly.

After a solid Nic Williams punt return, Jordan Lawrence scored from 13 yards out to push the 'Dogs ahead 13-0. That's when things changed.

Meadville's next drive featured the spread offense, which ended with a turnover on downs in the red zone. With 8:10 left in the first half, Corry orchestrated a long and commanding drive that featured two fourth and short conversions. An 18-yard touchdown pass put Corry on the board with 45 seconds left in the half.

"We went flat. I told them at halftime that we came out red-hot with two quick touchdowns, moved the ball effectively on offense and then we went flat. I think that was the difference in that first half to let them get momentum, a score and then to take that momentum into the locker room knowing they'd have the ball in the second half," Collins said. "We had to talk to the kids at halftime about how motivated Corry is gonna be coming out of the locker room. I'm pleased with the way we responded. We grinded through the game."

Despite all the momentum Corry had, it was gone in an instant. Jacoby Thompson intercepted a pass, made a quick cut and went the distance for an 68-yard interception return. On the kickoff, Meadville recovered an onside kick and all of a sudden was up 21-7 with the ball with momentum swing in its favor.

Miller scored from three yards out to give the 'Dogs a 27-7 lead with 2:21 left in the third quarter.

Corry added a touchdown in the fourth quarter, but Meadville stayed two scores ahead for the duration of the game.

All in all, Meadville walked off the field 1-0. What did Collins learn about his team?

"I think we found that despite having an undersized line these guys are pretty physical. We also found that our three backs are a pretty good replacement for the three that we lost that year. I thought Tate Reichel, in his first varsity start, did a really good job leading the offense," Collins said."Defensively, I think we need to pressure the quarterback a little more but we were in pretty good position to make some plays. If we clean up our tackling I think our defense will be right back where it was at. Coach (Mike) Richards called a great game. We had some guys with some miscommunications out there and that is stuff that will get fixed this week."

Collins also pointed to special teams performing well covering kicks and keeping Corry on edge.

For Meadville, Miller led the way with two touchdowns and 116 yards. Lawrence was also over the century mark with 103 yards and a touchdown while Brighton Anderson added 64.

Meadville will see another non-region opponent next week when the Bulldogs play at Butler on Friday. The Bulldogs next home game is on Sept. 8 against Fairview.


Corry 0 7 0 7 — 14

Meadville 13 0 14 0 — 27

First Quarter

M — Bradyn Miller 1-yard rush (Xp failed).

M — Jordan Lawrence 13-yard rush (Nic Williams Xp)

Second Quarter

C — Gabe Scouten 18-yard pass from Nolan Carey (Carey kick).

Third Quarter

M — Jacoby Thompson 68-yard interception return — (Larence rush).

M — Bradyn Miller 3-yard rush (Xp good)

Fourth Quarter

C — Mason Savitz 1-yard rush (Xp good).

Individual Statistics

RUSHING: C — Savitz 17-60, Lesher 5-16, Carey 5-22; M — Miller 11-116, Lawrence 15-103, Anderson 8-64, Thompson 5-11, Williams 1-5, T. Reichel 1-0.

PASSING: C — Carey 12-26 130 yards 1 td 1 int; M — T. Reichel 1-1 19 yards, Thompson 1-4 7 yards.

RECEIVING: C — Bare 1-11, Lambert 5-50, Scouten 2-20, Lesher 2-29, Frisina 107, Allen 1-13; M — Williams 1-7, Brown 1-19..

Records: Corry 0-1; Meadville 1-0.

Alex Topor can be reached at (814) 724-6370 or by email at