Defense leads Lynn past Meek in regular-season finale
by Ricky Taylor
Nov 02, 2012 | 1429 views | 0 0 comments | 10 10 recommendations | email to a friend | print
Meek's Cameron Hallmark is wrapped up by a Lynn defender during their game Thursday night. The Bears blanked the Tigers 14-0. Photo by Johnathan Bentley
Meek's Cameron Hallmark is wrapped up by a Lynn defender during their game Thursday night. The Bears blanked the Tigers 14-0. Photo by Johnathan Bentley
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ARLEY — The Lynn Bears have struggled to find a win in recent weeks. Thursday night in Arley, all of the struggles belonged to the Meek offense.

The Bears held the Tigers to a total of 70 offensive yards en route to a 14-0 victory — Lynn's ninth straight win over Meek.

It was clear from the beginning that this would be a fierce struggle between two bitter rivals as Lynn’s Dakota Bell took the opening kickoff — behind some bone-crunching blocks — all the way down to the Meek 15-yard line. With their backs to the wall as Lynn threatened to score within the first minute of the game, the Tiger defense rose to the challenge. On the first play from scrimmage, Bell was forced backwards by a host of Meek defenders. After an offside penalty was assessed, giving the Bears even better field position, the Tiger defense again filled all gaps and forced Bell to fumble.

Unfortunately for Meek, they were unable to take advantage of the turnover and punted the ball back to Lynn after a quick three and out. Again Lynn was able to cross midfield before giving up another fumble, this time lost by quarterback Caleb Crowe and recovered for Meek by Kaleb Gober. Once again, Meek was unable to capitalize on the turnover, being forced to punt after moving the ball only nine yards.

On the ensuing possession, Lynn’s plan to open up the passing attack backfired as Crowe was intercepted by Seth Hayes for the Tigers, effectively ending the scoreless first quarter.

Although Meek took over the ball at the Lynn 20-yard line, the Tigers once again were unable to convert the turnover into points. This time they would give the ball back after failing to get a first down on fourth and eight from the Bears 18.

Finally it seemed the scoring drought would end when Lynn’s Kyle Medeiros ran for three consecutive first downs on gains of 15, 20, and 13 yards to set the Bears up at the Meek 41-yard line. Two plays later, Crowe tried to find Dakota Bell on a crossing route when Hayes again stepped in for the interception. Hayes second interception again resulted in a disappointing three and out.

The first half came to a close with Meek only gaining 17 yards on offense and both teams laying a goose egg on the scoreboard.

Meek opened the second half with a valiant effort to get on the scoreboard. The Lynn defense would not comply. The Tigers started at their own 31-yard line and drove deep into Bear territory before again failing to convert a fourth down.

This time there would be no offensive mistakes from the Bears, only the will of their senior leader. Bell put his team on his shoulders, capping off a 62-yard touchdown drive with a spectacular 19-yard touchdown run in which he was forced to hurdle a Tiger defender. Lynn took the 6-0 lead with 2:15 left in the third and never looked back.

The touchdown drive seemed to spark the already dominant Lynn defense. Meek fumbled on just its second play of the drive and watched Zac Jones recover the ball for the Bears. Lynn took the ensuing drive all the way to the Meek 1- yard line before being stopped on fourth and goal by the resilient Tiger defense.

The Tigers still could not move the ball, however, even in their fourth-quarter desperation. They would never make it outside their own 20-yard line before being forced to punt again.

Lynn answered on the following drive by handing the ball to their offensive spark plug, Medeiros, who would carry it four times on the drive, including a four yard touchdown scamper. The two-point conversion was added on a pass from Crowe to seal the victory at 14-0.

Lynn was led on offense by Medeiros, who carried the ball 12 times for 106 yards and a touchdown. Dakota Bell added 84 yards on 20 rushes with a touchdown. The Bear defense was led by Dylan Murner who had six tackles on the game.

Meek best offensive performance came from Cameron Hallmark who rushed for 27 yards on 18 carries. Hayes’ two interceptions and Eliot Andrews seven tackles led the Tigers defensively.

Lynn, by winning for the 36th time in 59 meetings with Meek, ended its season with a 5-5 record.

Meek likewise concludes the regular season at 5-5, but will continue playing next week in the first round of the playoffs at No. 1 Marion County.