Rainier quarterback breaks school records in shootout win over Wildcats

Mountaineers scored a whopping 82 points in third-straight win


Rainier sophomore quarterback Jake Meldrum broke the school single-game yardage and touchdown records with 543 passing yards and eight touchdown passes, last week.

The signal-caller led the Mountaineers to an 82-52 home conference win over Ocosta on Friday, Oct. 6, in a game in which both teams fielded eight players due to a shortage of Ocosta players.

“I’ve never been a part of a game like this,” Meldrum said. “Once [Ocosta] didn’t play a safety, I think all of our players were good enough to beat them one-on-one. It was a good win, but we can still clean up some stuff.”

Although against a shorthanded defense, the Mountaineers racked up 744 total yards of offense in the win and scored 12 touchdowns on offense and a special teams safety. Meldrum accounted for 581 yards — 38 rushing— and nine touchdowns — one rushing. His brother, Josh, recorded 197 yards and two touchdowns on just five receptions, while wide receivers Hunter Howell and Jared Sprouffske each surpassed 100 receiving yards and three touchdowns. Howell added a rushing touchdown as well.

“It was a really good game for our offense and a really good game for Jake,” head coach Andy Bartell said. “He was making his reads and getting the ball out on time. A couple of those plays really shouldn’t have gone for 70 yards. They were 10-yard hitches, but he’s getting them out right on time as guys are getting out of their breaks. The way he read the field tonight was really impressive.”

In previous weeks, the Mountaineers relied heavily on the run game. While they still rushed for 201 yards on 25 attempts against Ocosta, it was the passing game that broke out, and the Mountaineers showed versatility in their offensive attack.

“Each week, we’re getting better and better. We know we have the athletes to be able to do something like this,” Bartell said of his offense. “This could help us gain confidence to maybe start being more of a dual-threat offense. It helps us as a whole team going forward in terms of being harder to defend.”

Despite the offense putting up points in bunches, the defense allowed points in bunches, as well. Bartell wasn’t satisfied with the play of the secondary and run defense as they adjusted to man coverage due to having three fewer players on the field.

“You might chalk that up to the fact that they’re not aware of eight-man football, but we can do a better job. In a regular football game, we need to be able to execute better,” he said.

With the win, the Mountaineers improve to 4-2 on the season and remain undefeated in conference action at 4-0. After sweeping their three-game home stand, they will hit the road to face Toutle Lake at 7 p.m. Friday, Oct. 13 at Toutle Lake High School Junior/Senior High School.