ANDALE — Even when Zach Meyer was resigned to slowing down on Friday, his Andale teammates wouldn’t let him.
On his fourth carry, Meyer seemed stopped near Trinity’s 5-yard line. That’s when tight end Jeffery Ast and just about everyone else on Andale’s line swarmed Meyer, guiding him to the end zone.
If his teammates had known how easy Meyer would make it look from then on, they may not have helped him. Meyer rushed for 365 yards and six touchdowns on 19 carries in Andale’s 59-24 win over Trinity Academy in the Class 4A-II District 5 opener.
Digital Access For Only $0.99
For the most comprehensive local coverage, subscribe today.
Andale moved a small step closer to defending last season’s 4A-II championship, while Trinity will probably have to win its final two games to reach the playoffs for the first time.
The 168-pound Meyer spent much of Friday shifting between Trinity’s defenders or outrunning them. His first touchdown called for some assistance.
“Jeff truly just picked me up and truly just walked me to the end zone,” Meyer said. “That was probably my favorite one of the night.”
Meyer had plenty to choose from, taking over a game that Andale led 19-16 with less than a minute to go in the first half.
With 39 seconds before halftime, Meyer answered two straight Trinity scores with a 30-yard touchdown, modest output compared to what was to come.
In his first carry of the second half, Meyer broke a 60-yard touchdown. Two attempts later, he scored from 67 yards. Three after that, it was a 34-yarder. Meyer, a junior, often kept it simple, waiting behind an overpowering offensive line before bursting through a gap, or sometimes creating one of his own.
“Zach was amazing tonight,” Andale senior lineman Daniel Bergkamp said. “That was just fun watching him run. He was running over people, running around people, he was doing everything.”
Trinity’s only burst was the two touchdowns it scored within about five minutes in the second quarter, each following an Andale fumble. Andale quarterback Taylor Richter missed most of the quarter after leaving with a leg injury, and communication problems after that led to the turnovers.
Richter returned in the second half and Andale built on the momentum it regained late in the first. Then built some more, and a little more, with Meyer’s touchdown runs ascending in length.
Meyer’s brother, Trevor, also scored for Andale after the starters departed.
“That shocked me. I wasn’t expecting that,” Andale coach Gary O’Hair said of Zach Meyer’s production. “The thing I was impressed with him tonight was he was being patient, waiting for the blocks to happen and making cuts. He’s hard to knock off his feet.”
T—List 20 FG
A—Z. Meyer 18 run (kick failed)
A—Z. Meyer 11 run (Johnson kick)
A—Stuever 3 run (kick failed)
T—Nangle 54 pass from Osborne (kick failed)
T—Schroeder 1 pass from Osborne (List kick)
A—Z. Meyer 30 run (Johnson kick)
A—Z. Meyer 60 run (kick failed)
A—Z. Meyer 67 run (Johnson kick)
A—Z. Meyer 34 run (Johnson kick)
A—Richter 9 run (Johnson kick)
A—T. Meyer 12 run (kick failed)
T—Hardin 11 run (Windholz run)
Rushing—Trinity Academy, Schroeder 18-67, Hardin 10-33, Windholz 3-27, Osborne 12-4; Andale, Z. Meyer 19-365, Richter 5-40, Knoblauch 3-34, Dagenais 5-27, Spexarth 2-23, T. Meyer 4-17, Stuever 4-5, Maus 1-4, Jansen 3-3, Horsch 1-2.
Passing—Trinity Academy, Osborne 8-11-139-0, Hardin 2-6-32-0; Andale, Richter 1-2-14-1.
Receiving—Trinity Academy, List 4-42, Bennett 2-42, Schroeder 2-3, Nangle 1-54, Reusser 1-30; Andale, Dagenais 1-14.