Putting swag back in the swarm, Meridian Yellowjackets sting Texas Wind, 47-19, for first win before turning focus to District 8-2A, DII
MERIDIAN – Sometimes, the first win of the season can be the hardest to achieve. And certainly, that proved to be true for the Meridian Yellowjackets during the 2021 Texas high school football season. So after the Class 2A, Division II Jackets stunned the Waco Texas Wind in the second half to pull away for a convincing 47-19 victory on Meridian’s homecoming last Friday night, victory has seldom been sweeter.
Alejandro Rodriguez scored three touchdowns, three two-point conversions and returned an interception 100 yards for another two points to give the hometown faithful plenty to cheer about on homecoming night.
“Texas Wind came out firing away and had a great game plan,” Meridian football head coach Wade Morton said. “Overall, we were proud of our boys’ effort and character.”
Collecting their first win of the season in the final non-district tune-up, the Jackets (1-5) trailed 12-9 at halftime. The Texas Wind (1-4) took the second half kickoff and promptly marched down the field to score to build a 19-9 advantage.
Despite some things that didn’t go the Meridian’s way in the first half, the Jackets kept playing hard and it paid off in the second half. In fact, a turnover inside the five-yard line early in the first quarter and some costly penalties allowed Texas Wind to take a 19-9 lead behind an impressive scoring drive following the second half kickoff.
But then, the Jacket offense got rolling on the ground, scoring 38 unanswered points while piling up 438 rushing yards. John Bernal and Brayden Weymeyer provided a lethal running duo as Bernal raced for a game-high 178 yards and a touchdown while Weymeyer rushed for 177 yards and two scores.
“There were plenty of opportunities for our boys to act out of character,” Morton said. “We kept our composure and that was nice to see.”
Despite allowing the big drive to open the second half, the Meridian defense settled down, swarmed to the ball and shut out Texas Wind the rest of the way while coming up with four turnovers. Rodriguez led the Jackets with seven tackles and an interception, followed by Weymeyer with five tackedowns, Adrian Bernal with two interceptions and CJ Gentry with a fumble recovery.
“We just wanted to simplify things and be who we are,” Morton said. “We have some different things we’re doing defensively to give our kids the best chance to be successful. We just need more reps to become more consistent.”
This Friday, the Jackets open District 8-2A, DII competition by hosting the fourth-ranked and defending district champion Albany Lions (4-1). But the previously undefeated Lions will be heading into district on the heels of a 55-6 thrashing from the Olney Cubs Friday night.
“Albany is big, fast and strong,” Morton said. “They are very seasoned, and Coach (Denney) Faith has been there for 40 years. He’s had a lot of success and a very consistent program. I have a lot of respect for him and his program.”
Photos by WENDY OROZCO
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