By JEREMIAH WILSON
• Leader & Times
MEADE—The Meade Buffaloes played host to rival Smith Center on Friday night, shutting out the Redman en route to a 28-0 win to move on to the Sub-state Championship game next week against the LaCrosse Leopards.
Meade started the game with a long drive that lasted nearly seven minutes. Running back Morgan Olvera finished off the drive with a two-yard touchdown run to put the Buffaloes up 7-0.
Both teams struggled offensively throughout the rest of the first half following that opening drive.
Meade had opportunities to extend their lead in the second quarter, but was not able to capitalize. Twice in the second quarter the Buffaloes had the ball inside the Smith Center ten-yard line.
Both possessions ended in Meade turning the ball over on downs. The Buffaloes uncharacteristically struggled to keep possession of the football in the first half as they turned the ball over on their last four possessions of the first half. Fortunately for Meade, the Redman were unable to capitalize on opportunites as well.
The score was still 7-0 when the teams headed to the locker room at halftime. When the two teams came out to start the second half, it the game had changed.
The Meade defense was still as stiff and stingy as it had been in the first half, but their offense stepped up the level of competition.
The Smith Center defense seemed to have no answer for the Buffalo offensive attack in the second half.
Olvera took off on a 45 yard run mid-way through the second half, all the way down to the Redman two-yard line. Unlike the first half, Meade took advantage, and quarterback Jett Little ran the ball in for his first touchdown of the game to put the Buffaloes up 14-0.
Little scored again later in the third quarter from seven yards out, and Meade had a 21-0 cushion.
Following the touchdown, the Buffaloes went for an onside kick, and recovered the football.
After three quarters of play, Meade led 21-0, and looked to close the game out.
The Buffalo defense continued to put a stop to any offensive attack the Redmen had in their arsenal.
Little scored one final time in the fourth quarter on a four yard touchdown run to give Meade the 28-0 shutout victory.
The loss was only the third of the season for Smith Center (8-3). The win for the Buffaloes (10-1) in their tenth in a row, following a one-point loss to Holcomb to open the season.
With the win, Meade advances to the next round of the playoffs where they will take on the undefeated LaCrosse Leopards (11-0), who beat the Oakley Plainsmen 12-7 Friday, in the Sub-state Championship game.