Cascade Christian coach Randy Davis had only one assessment after the No. 5 ranked Cougars upset loss to Meridian, 34-21, in the first round of the 1A state playoffs.
They weren’t prepared.
“We didn’t have the kids prepared enough for what we saw tonight,” Davis admitted. “We just didn’t have ready like we thought.”
That was a tough admission from Cascade Christian’s (10-1) coach as his Cougar defense wasn’t ready for Meridian (7-5) or quarterback Simon Burkett, who had a hand in all five of the Trojan’s scores in the win.
“Simon can do anything,” said Dawson Logan who caught the go-ahead touchdown from Burkett late in the fourth.
Burkett practically did everything he could to ensure Meridian picked up the upset over Cascade Christian as the Trojans’ senior quarterback finished with 269 all-purpose yards, with a game-leading five touchdowns with three of them coming on the ground.
“We came in with missing six guys from the last time we played them,” said Meridian coach Bob Ames of his teams one-point nonleague loss, 34-33, to the Cougars earlier in the season. “Our boys guys came in and played a heck of a game – our coaches called a heck of a game. It was incredible to watch.”
The win allows Meridian to host Connell in the quarterfinals next weekend.
With 6:23 left in the fourth and tied a 21-apiece, Burkett used play action to tailback Tony Schleimer that made the Cougar defense bite.
The play allowed Dawson Logan to run freely down the field, and Burkett connected with him on a 40-yard pass as he crossed into the end zone, giving Meridian the go-ahead lead that they never relinquished.
“I couldn’t believe I was that wide open,” Logan said. “Simon made a perfect throw and I just had to catch it for the touchdown.”
Burkett nearly connected with TJ Dykstra on the same play in the first half, and Cascade Christian was saved the score when the ball sailed through Dykstra’s hands.
“We were trying to scream to them to look for that play,” Davis said. “We were trying to get them in position, but they didn’t hear us in time.”
Cascade Christian was able to move the ball to Meridian’s territory, but Tyquan Coleman was tackled by Burkett before he could pick up the first down on fourth and 10.
Meridian drove the ball down the field and Burkett closed out the scoring by leaping over the pile to score on a 2-yard run to make it 34-21.
NO. 5 CASCADE CHRISTIAN
CC - Austin Carder 45 pass from Parker Johnson (Brady Collins kick)
M - Simon Burkett 2 run (kick)
CC - Coleman 5 run (Evan Patrick kick)
M - Dawson Phillips 48 pass from Burkett (kick fail)
M - Burkett 9 run (kick)
CC - Coleman 1 fumble return (Patrick kick)
M - Dawson Logan 40 pass from Burkett (kick)
M - Burkett 2 run (kick fail)