Union Parish coach Joe Spatafora asked Nigel Meeking at the beginning of the week for 28 points.
That’s what Spatafora thought would be good enough for the Farmers to earn their first win of 2016. Meeking said no. He’d deliver 40.
The senior playmaker gave Spataford 43 points and the game-winning score as an added gift.
Meeking tossed a touchdown pass to Lawrence Glosson with 27 seconds left to lift the Farmers to a 43-40 thrilling non-district win Jerry Baker Stadium. Meeking led Union (1-4) on a four-play drive in the final 90 seconds for the Farmers’ first win of the season.
Meeking, a UL Lafayette commit who is a wide receiver turned quarterback, tallied more than 350 yards of total offense and three scores, including 239 yards rushing.
“Like I told them, it was a 48-minute game. Just make sure you have one more than they do when it’s all over, and they made sure that happened,” Spatafora said.
Calvary (2-3) scored a late touchdown on third down by Kyle Jones to put the Cavaliers up 40-35 with 1:21 left in the game.
It simply paved the way for Meeking’s heroics.
He lobbed up a moon ball to Glosson for a 43-yard gain. Glosson made a sliding catch in the middle of the field then scored on the next play when he jumped up over two defenders for the 22-yard score as Union’s sideline went wild.
“I didn’t see that ending, that’s for sure. That’s part of our youth in the secondary,” Calvary coach John Bachman said. “Sometimes you grow up the hard way.”
Union, known as a run-oriented team that wins games with defense, piled up 571 yards of total offense. Running back Shamar Turner piled up 140 yards and a score.
Calvary put up 490 yards of total offense in a losing effort. Quarterback Cade Hart went 21-for-29 for 303 yards in a losing effort. Star running back Kordavion Washington went off again with 282 total yards — 191 rushing and 91 receiving — and two touchdowns, and Jones added 150 yards receiving and a touchdown.
The game was back and forth the entire game with Union taking a 21-19 lead into the break.
“These things always come down to a few little things,” Bachman said. “Whoever does them at the right time gives themselves a chance to win. They did more right things at the end than we did.”
Turner scored from 45 yards out to put Union up 35-34 with 6:13 left with Meeking converting the 2-point try on a short run.
Union had endured a potential deflating drive in the third quarter. An 11-play drive ended with a turnover down at the Calvary 7-yard line. Meeking’s pass fell incomplete in the end zone, but Calvary gave it right back on a punt to set up a 7-yard run by Glosson to tie it at 27-27.
In the first half, Travonte Wayne returned a blocked punt 43 yards to put Union up 21-16 before halftime. The Union defense came up with a stop near the red zone to maintain the lead at the break. Calvary turned it over on downs at the 25-yard line when Hart’s pass fell incomplete in the end zone.
The Cavaliers forced a quick stop and were able to push a short 19-yard field goal across to cut the lead to 21-19 at halftime.
Calvary opened the second half with a quick score on just four plays. A 40-yard run by Washington helped set up Frederick Davis III’s 17-yard score from Hart.
“It doesn’t surprise me that we’re moving it against Union. Between our quarterback, our running back and our slot Kyle Jones, those three make it tough.” Bachman said.
Washington scored two touchdowns from 20 and 14 yards to pace Calvary’s offense in the first half. Washington carried it nine times for 91 yards in the first half.
Meeking matched Washington score-for-score in the first half with a pair of touchdowns, including the 95-yard jaunt. He finished racked up 148 yards on just five carries in the first half.
“He’s just getting more comfortable every week at quarter,” Spatafora said of Meeking. “It was something he really didn’t trust himself at the beginning of the year, but as he’s gotten more reps he’s learned to trust himself and he’s learning to love the position.”
Union scored the first nine points of the game on Meeking’s 33-yard score and a 27-yard field goal by Jesus Renteria. Calvary answered with 16 straight points on Washington’s touchdown runs.
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