Buena Vista defeated Meeker for the second time this season with a game-ending play Saturday, but the state quarterfinal playoff game needed extra time to resolve the 22-15 final.
Buena Vista and Meeker played to a 15-all tie after 48 minutes of play.
Two plays in overtime made the difference.
Haden Camp ran around right end from the 8-yard line and dove over the pylon to give Buena Vista a six-point lead. Tam Flowers split the uprights to tack on the extra point and Meeker started their possession from the 10 down 22-15.
Two runs by senior Kelton Turner had the Cowboys facing third-and-goal from the 5.
On third down, quarterback Connor Blunt dropped back to pass. The pass was intercepted by Demon senior linebacker Seth Moss to seal the overtime victory.
The two teams had met during the regular season in Buena Vista and played to the last four seconds with the game knotted at 14. On that day, Flowers knocked a 42-yarder through on the final snap for the 17-14 victory.
Two trips to Demon field for Meeker and two heart breaking losses has Buena Vista moving on to the Colorado High School Class 1A State Semifinals. The game will be played at 1 p.m. in La Jara, at the home field of the Centauri Falcons. Centauri advanced with a 40-7 win at Yuma.
Buena Vista won the toss and deferred the choice to the second half. Meeker chose to take the ball. A hard cross wind drove Flowers’ opening kick out-of-bounds at the 27 and Meeker started its opening drive at the 35-yard line per rule. It quickly became apparent that the wind would be a factor.
Knowing that all eyes would be on senior running back Turner, who rushed for 215 yards on 29 carries in the first matchup, the Cowboys ran a draw with quarterback Blunt.
The Demons were not fooled and stopped Blunt for a 3-yard loss. The Cowboys went right back to Turner who picked up a first down in two carries. The Demon defense stiffened to stop the Cowboys in the next three plays and force a punt.
A return by Jacob Phelps was nullified by penalty and Buena Vista started its first drive at Demon 14.
Three plays later they had advanced the ball to the 42 via a 15-yard Camp to Ethan Flavin pass followed by a 13-yard gain on sweep around right end by Phelps.
The drive would end four plays later when Camp’s pass attempt to Phelps fell incomplete on fourth down. The set back in the series was another penalty, which played out in the Demons storyline for the afternoon.
Meeker started its second series in great field position at the Buena Vista 41, but that situation quickly changed when Camp sacked Blunt on first down.
The defense held and forced the Cowboys’ second punt of the day. The Demons had to punt four plays later when they faced fourth-and-17 following a penalty for holding.
This time Meeker would start at their own 41 and put together the first scoring drive keyed by the second play of the second quarter when Blunt hit wide receiver Liam Deming deep down the middle for a 31-yard completion.
They followed that play with a no-huddle handoff to seldom-used running back Porter Hosack. His 12-yard scamper set the Cowboys up first-and-goal at the 3.
Two plays later, Blunt snuck the ball over from the 1 to put the Meeker up 6-0.
Following an offsides penalty on the Demons before the extra point kick snap, Meeker chose to go for two and Turner ran it in. With 7:08 still remaining in the first half, Meeker led 8-0.
On alternating runs by Phelps and Flavin, the Demons had advanced the ball deep into Meeker territory with three consecutive first downs, when the drive stalled BV chose to attempt a 45-yard field goal. The low kick came up short with 4:02 until halftime.
After another penalty on the Demons for offsides, Meeker was in good position at midfield. Moss had his first interception of the day and returned it 15 yards, but a blocking penalty on the return started the Demons at their 36.
A steady dose of Phelps and Flavin on the drive following the interception ended in the end zone when Camp threw the slant to Tucker Storms from 5 yards out.
The point after direct snap went to Phelps, who was lined up beside Camp in the shotgun formation. Camp turned back as if he had received the snap and Phelps ran off tackle right to score the two points and tie the score 8-all heading into halftime.
Buena Vista received the second half kickoff and Phelps was tackled at his own 18 after hauling in a ball that wobbled around in the wind. Camp started the series with a 37-yard run and Flavin added on six more.
On second-and-4, Phelps ran around the right side and down the sideline inside the 5, but this one came back on a holding penalty.
The Cowboy defense got the ball back three plays later when they stopped Phelps 3 yards short of the line-of-scrimmage on a fourth-and-2 play.
Phelps returned the favor and got the ball back for the Demons when he knocked down a Meeker pass attempt on fourth-and-4.
A quick three-and-out set up Meeker starting the longest drive of the game. The Cowboys took 14 plays to score on another quarterback sneak by Blunt.
A long run by Turner on the 12th play of the drive drew a holding call on the Cowboys that brought it back.
Hamp Hightower kicked the extra point after the sneak and Meeker went up 15-8 with 46 seconds left in the third quarter.
Camp kept for 2 yards on third-and-1 as the fourth quarter began.
It was Phelps for two, Camp for seven, and Camp for two for the next first down. On first-and-10 Camp threw to Storms on the left sideline to gain 12 and get the Demons on the Cowboy side of the field at the 40.
Direct snap to Phelps for another 11 and then a big play call when the Demons went misdirection to Zandon Mitchell for 15 yards to give the Demons first-and-goal at the 1.
Camp carried it in on the next play and the seemingly automatic kick from Flowers made it 15-15 with 9:15 still to play.
Déjà vu was on everyone’s mind again when Buena Vista drove the ball to the 17 and faced fourth-and-5. With 14 seconds in the game on came Flowers to attempt the 35-yard field goal.
The wind had died down it was calm and well within Flowers’ range. Before the snap-hold-kick, Meeker coach Shane Phelan requested timeout to give Flowers time to think about the kick.
The wind began to blow again during the course of the timeout.
Flowers took his short one step to the ball and struck it toward the middle of the uprights.
The crosswind blowing right to left moved the ball just as it passed by the left upright about 8-inches outside.
Meeker won the overtime coin toss and took defense first.
“First thing that I want to say about Meeker is that their coaching staff obviously does things right,” said Demon coach Matt Flavin.
“They have great kids that are very respectful,” he said. “They have a great team, but I want to make sure and highlight how they carry themselves off the field as well.”
About the Demons, Flavin said, “They do what they do, Meeker, and we know that but we still have to try and stop it and limit their big plays. There were some but not a lot, so I think our team did what we could do and capitalized on a couple of big time plays on defense.
“Offensively we moved the ball really well, but against good teams you cannot play behind the chains and that almost cost us,” Flavin said. “Again, a tip of the hat to our kids, the way they find a way when we needed to. They found a way and gave us a chance to advance.”
In the running game Meeker was mostly one-dimensional with Turner getting 153 of Meeker’s 192 yards on 31 carries.
A more balanced Buena Vista running attack amassed 298 yards on Phelps 20-137, Camp 19-96, Flavin 8-40 and Mitchell 3-25.