Adrian News Leader reports Sports News

ADRIAN FOOTBALL PLAYERS 2020 FALL
After an opening week letdown many questions lingered about this years Blackhawks football team.   It is well known they are loaded with talent but were they ready to be starters and make this team their own?  Did they have leaders ready to step up?  Could they regroup after a loss and take it out on the next team?Those questions were answered with a definitive YES last Friday night at the George Bruto Athletic Complex.  Adrian hosted Lighthouse Christian Academy on Senior Night which was moved up to the first home game because of uncertainty of a full season due to the COVID-19 virus.  The team had spent the whole week addressing deficiencies from their first game against Butler.    The Blackhawks quickly relieved all apprehensions the fans may have had jumping all over the Chargers with a barrage of touchdowns in the first quarter.  Lighthouse Christian is known for throwing the ball 90% of the time but it was Adrian who struck early and often through the air.  Colton Bass hit Grant Stacey on a pair of touchdowns (20 & 60 yds) had the Chargers shell shocked.   Adrian added to it when Gage Harris blocked a punt leading to a touchdown recovery by Jence Griffith.  Adrian led 20-0 at the end of the first quarter.Lighthouse was able to score touchdowns in each of the remaining quarters and stalled a long Adrian drive at the one yard line to make it a close game.   Hunter Bailey’s 11 yard touchdown run in the third quarter game Adrian some breathing room and the final point spread in the game. Adrian flashing some offense was great to see this week.  The team had 400 yards  of total offense with 298 of it on the ground.  Strong running by Korbin Kisner and the speed and elusive running by freshman Hunter Bailey was impressive to watch.  What was equally impressive was a defensive goal line stand late in the game.  Lighthouse Christian had six attempts inside the one yard line and failed to score, even losing yardage on the final attempt.  If Adrian falters at all the Chargers would have tied the game and taken the lead had they converted the extra point.  The Blackhawks defense stepped up big time on the final drive of the game with an Andrew Bruno-Willis strip sack fumble near midfield recovered by Case Doody.   The roar from the crowd with that play was the loudest the crowd has been in recent memory.  Adrian ran two plays from the victory formation to close out the thrilling 26-20 ballgame.  
The victory helped relieve apprehensions about this team.  It is now clear the starters have made this team their own and have taken charge over the outcome over tough opponents. Now we will see if the Blackhawks can build off this victory and keep the good vibe going against the Knob Noster Panthers.  Knob Noster is a class two school coming off a 49-0 beating  by Blair Oaks.  They will be looking to take their frustrations out on their opponent and Adrian will have to play well again to get the victory.    
Coach’s Comments:
This was a big win for us tonight. After losing a close one last week, we challenged the kids all week in practice, and they really responded. Our team leaders took over and practices were really crisp all week. It all culminated into a pretty well played game for us. Lighthouse is going to win a lot of games they year. They are a good team. Offensively, I thought we moved the ball well at times. We held the ball almost the entire second quarter. However, we can’t get stopped at the 1 yd line like we did. They way you have to beat a good offense is to control the ball. The less chances they have to score, the better. I’m not sure we’ve seen a better passing team than Lighthouse in the last several years. Our pass defense has to improve, but Lighthouse can really pass the ball. They made some incredible plays. We told the kids all week that Lighthouse was going to have some success offensively, but we had to limit that success. I think we did that. Offensively, we had almost 400 total yards with 298 of that coming on the ground. It was a big improvement from last year. There were too many key plays to name them all, but we played well. It was just a good win for us. Next week we have Knob Noster coming to town, and they are also a good team. We will have to play well again. I think the kids will be up for the challenge, though.-Matt Cochran
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