MEEKER — When Millwood needed its leader the most, Cameron Batson came through.
The senior, who plays quarterback and defensive back, scored two touchdowns and came up with a game-clinching interception as the top-ranked Falcons pulled out a 14-6 victory over No. 6 Meeker in the Class 2A quarterfinals on Friday night.
“He's an awesome kid,” said Millwood coach Darwin Franklin. “He has all the intangibles that help us be successful. Even when he's tired, hurt, and doesn't want to go, he will. It's great to have that on this team. He'll do whatever it takes to get it done.”
Locked in a defensive struggle for much of the night, Batson engineered the best offensive drive of the game late in the fourth quarter.
He converted two fourth downs on a 14-play drive capped by his 1-yard touchdown run to put Millwood up 14-6 with 1:57 remaining.
On the ensuing possession for Meeker, Batson sealed the win by intercepting a Jake Standlee pass at midfield with just over a minute to play.
“Late in the game, when I got my number called, I had confidence in my team that they'll do their part and they have confidence in me that I'll make a play,” said Batson, who is verbally committed to Texas Tech. “It was definitely hard, but we got the job done.”
“Anything to win us a gold ball.”
Millwood got the scoring started early in the second quarter when Batson found running back Janari Glover on a swing pass out of the backfield. Glover did the rest, racing for a 40-yard touchdown to put Millwood in front 7-0.
The Millwood defense, who held Meeker to its lowest point total of the season, forced a key fumble at its own 3-yard line to kill an 18-play Bulldog drive with just over a minute remaining in the first half.
Meeker finally found the end zone when running back Tim Whitfield scored on a 4-yard run midway through the fourth quarter, but a bad snap on the potential game-tying extra point forced Standlee, the holder, to abandon the attempt.
Standlee was brought down just short of the goal line, and Millwood held on to a 7-6 lead.
“We always talk about how we have to have character in the fourth quarter,” Franklin said. “You're going to get hit with adversity and how you respond is going to define how far you're going to go. We had plenty of opportunities to respond negatively tonight and we didn't do it. That's why we came out on top.”
Millwood (13-0) was without standouts Alfonzo McMillian (WR/DB) and Quincy Dotson (TE/DE). McMillian was ejected during a second-round win last week, making him ineligible to play this week. Dotson was out because of a violation of team rules.
The Falcons advance to face Hartshorne in the Class 2A semifinals next week.
“These kids come out and work everyday,” Franklin said. “They keep working and doing everything they're supposed to do. It's just been awesome. We really needed this.”