MELROSE — Ten games. Ten wins. Ten second halves with running clocks.
And still, the Melrose Buffaloes have room for improvement.
The host Buffaloes scored on their first five possessions, and held rival Floyd to 132 yards in a 60-0 shellacking to claim the District 4-8M title and the top seed entering next week’s playoffs.
Melrose did plenty right, facing third down only four times in the first half and rolling up 391 yards of offense on the night. But it could have been a much different story if the Broncos (8-2) had managed to recover any of the four Melrose fumbles on the five early scoring drives.
“We were just feeling like we got the butterflies early,” Melrose coach Dickie Roybal said. “You could tell the kids had (early trouble), but they took care of business.”
Senior running back Lane Draper, who rushed for 64 yards and three touchdowns, said there was no risk of complacency.
“That’s a big district rival, especially with them (coming in at) 8-1,” Draper said. “We just came in with focused minds and took care of business.”
The Buffaloes will go into their playoff opener — possibly, Dickie Roybal said, Friday night against Springer, with a deep and talented squad.
even players scored for the Buffs, including quarterback Clint Barnard, who rushed for a 40-yard score on a second-quarter keeper and found Sammy Lawrence and Lance Widner for touchdown throws in the second half.
Hayden Huber and Call Barnard added rushing touchdowns for Melrose.
With three interceptions and a lost fumble, Floyd gave plenty of help to a heavily-favored Melrose squad. The odds will be against the Broncos next week as well, with quarterback Chay Chenault forced to sit out next week’s playoff opener.
Chenault was ejected on a personal foul during Melrose’s fourth drive — a play followed by a 3-yard Draper run to make the score 30-0.
“After you lose your starting quarterback, you aren’t going to do much after that,” Floyd coach Rafael Roybal said. “It doesn’t matter who you put in there, they just haven’t seen enough reps in practice.”
Rafael Roybal is unsure who the Chenault-less Broncos will face, but he figures after a 60-0 loss they’re looking at the No. 7 seed.