This Story written by the Adrian New Leader
The Adrian Blackhawks survived a wild game last Friday that had the lead change hands several times before bringing home the Class 1 District 5 title over the Sweet Springs Greyhounds. Adrian came into the game with an eight game winning streak. Their only loss coming week 1 at the hands of Butler who is currently 10-0 and playing in the Class 2 quarterfinals. The Greyhounds came in with a 6-2 record and a game plan for upset.
Adrian won the toss but elected to defer possession to the second half. Sweet Springs opened the game with an impressive drive that led to paydirt and an early lead but the two point conversion failed. Adrian answered with a touchdown of their own on a 13 yard Colton Bass run. The steady leg of senior Case Doody put the ball through the uprights on the extra point giving Adrian the lead. Adrian scored a second time with 10 seconds in the opening quarter on a repeat of the first touchdown. Bass ran it in from the 14 and Doody was successful on the extra point.
Adrian was looking very impressive on offense and had found a way to stop Sweet Springs on defense. But you only have to look back to the district title game last year verses another Greyhound team, this one from Windsor, to know the momentum can swing. And it did as a disastrous series of events led two two quick touchdowns for Sweet Springs. Adrian allowed a very long kickoff return that set up a short drive ending in a 3 yard touchdown pass from Anthony Love to Zapher Lea. on Adrian’s ensuing possession and less than a minute later Tyler Bernard picked up a fumble recovery and rambled 40 yards for the score. Sweet Springs converted on one of two two-point conversions to tie the game and then take the lead. Another possession by Adrian ended with a blocked punt in the red zone but the Blackhawks were able to hold off scoring as time ran out in the half. Adrian trailed 20-14 heading into the locker rooms.
Adrian was playing pretty good football despite losing. Turnovers and the Greyhounds ability to pass the ball was the thorn in the Blackhawks side. Adrian would stop the run two straight plays then give up the first down via the pass. The fumbles were coming at very inopportune time and if things weren’t rectified in the locker room the second half could have been a somber one.
Rough quarters are nothing new to this squad as of late. They’ve seen a couple in games that were way closer than they needed to be. And just like before this team finished strong. They completely shut down the Greyhounds in the second half. Long controlled drives ended in touchdowns in the third and fourth quarters. One to tie the game and another to take the lead. Hunter Bailey found paydirt for Adrian in the third quarter. Bass added his third touchdown in the game in the fourth. Doody was perfect on the night with extra points. His final one giving Adrian the winning point difference.
It was a thrilling victory that showed the team has the drive and determination to overcome obstacles and correct issues to come out victorious. The win advances them to the State Quarterfinals to be played Saturday, November 21st in Marceline. Marceline is a talented younger team with an unblemished record, The team has a rich history of football success. It will take four quarters of mistake free football to advance from here on out.
Adrian can score points. They can play defense. They can make the big play when it is needed. If Adrian can eliminate turnovers and play big on defense this season may continue it’s magical run. If they come out on top they will host the winner of the Penney vs Mid-Buchanan game to fight for the right to play in the state title game.
First, I want to congratulate our players for winning a district championship. That has been one of our goals this season. The kids stepped up when they had to. However, we didn’t play a very good first half tonight. We just looked a little dead out there. Giving up a fumble return for a TD, a kickoff return back to our 10 ysard line, and a blocked punt in one half usually isn’t going to end well for you. However, we kind of regrouped and refocused at half. We came out ready to play. We only gave up 28 rushing yards in the second half and had about 175 ourselves. Defensively I thought we played pretty well. We gave up 65 yds. rushing and 70 passing for the game. Playing defense like that will keep you in a lot of games. Offensively we were good at times, but just didn’t pass the ball very well. Either it was a bad pass, or we dropped the ball. However, we did have close to 300 yards rushing. We did what we needed to do to move on, though. We have to put four good quarters together from now on. There are no easy games from here on out. We have to go to Marceline next Saturday. We have to be firing on all cylinders for four quarters come game time.
Final Score 28-20