Highlanders break losing streak

The+Adams+Highlanders+took+down+the+Rochester+Falcons+43-7+on+Friday

Audrey Wang

The Adams Highlanders took down the Rochester Falcons 43-7 on Friday

Ivan Martinez, Sports Editor

Now that’s what I’m talking about.

        After weeks of frustration, the Adams Highlanders finally snapped a four-game losing streak and continued their undefeated run against the Rochester High Falcons, and boy was it fun to watch. Despite averaging fewer than 14 points per game going into Friday night’s game, the Highlanders exploded with 43 points, 36 of which came in the first half. The game was over so early that even the third-string players played a few snaps.

        The game started off a bit shaky, with running back sophomore Chase Kareta fumbling on the opening possession. The defense, however, made up for the miscue by keeping the Falcons inside their own 25 yard line. The special teams then made the first of many big plays when several players managed to crash through the line of scrimmage to block the ensuing punt. Senior Corey Beale was able to scoop the ball up and run the remaining length of the field for the game’s first score.

        Unfortunately for Rochester, it was all downhill from there. After forcing a three-and-out, the special teams put forth another great effort, this time tipping the ball and causing a punt of only 14 yards. Five plays later, quarterback junior Kyle Wood completed a 17-yard strike to receiver senior Daniel Sanders for the Highlander’s second touchdown. A run by junior Mark Patritto on the two-point conversion gave the Highlanders a 15-0 lead.

        Then, on the ensuing kickoff, the Highlanders took control again after the Falcons’ return man muffed the kickoff. With the offense setting up shop at the RHS 17 yard line, it took only three plays for Adams to find the end zone again. Wood once again connected with Sanders. This time, a beautiful pass to the corner of the end zone saw Sanders skillfully land one foot in-bounds before running out. Only 14 seconds into the second quarter, the score was 22-0, and victory was growing nearer.

        Rochester finally managed to string a couple of first downs together on the following drive, only to stall short of mid-field. The Adams special teams then came up big for the third time, once again tipping the punt for a lackluster 12 yards. Wood continued his excellent day through the air with a couple of strikes for 15 and 16 yards, the latter of which went to Beale for Wood’s third touchdown of the night. Wood would go on to finish with his best stat line of the season; 12/16 for 187 yards, no interceptions, three touchdowns through the air, and one on the ground.

        If the game wasn’t over yet, it certainly was once the Highlanders led a 65 second touchdown drive to close out the half. Wood added insult to injury when he robbed the defense blind on a play action bootleg that he took for a touchdown. The score at half time was a comedic 36-0.

        Despite the large deficit, however, Rochester hadn’t given up. After all, Stoney Creek came back from 28-0 and nearly beat Adams earlier this season. Who’s to say they couldn’t do the same and win? Alas, these were not the same Highlanders that started the season, and any hopes of a comeback were crushed when receiver junior Julian Benevides took a handoff 59 yards for the cherry-on-top touchdown. One garbage-time touchdown later, the Highlanders stood victorious 43-7.

        This was the perfect way for the Highlanders to end their final game at home. After being criticized all season long by fans, not the least of which was yours truly, the Highlanders showed true grit against their cross town rival. And at the center of it all was Kyle Wood. The embattled quarterback had himself a career day. In addition to his 16 pass outing that had him sport a 75 percent completion rate and 3:0 touchdown to interception ratio, Wood also ran the ball for almost 7 yards a pop on 11 carries. When you factor in that three of Wood’s four incompletions were dropped, it is hard to envision a better performance.

        With Adams wrapping up their season this Friday in Bloomfield, you better believe the players are excited to finish the year out strong. The Highlanders may only be 3-5, but after showing a lot of promise on the field and with several key players still only in their junior year, there will certainly be a lot of hope this off-season.