Adams Central holds out in win against Eastside 21-14

AC running back Blake Heyerly looks for a hole up the middle in the second quarter of the Jets’ game against Eastside Friday night.
Dane Fuelling
Staff Writer

        1st Qtr

2:17-Laban Davis (E) 3-yard run, PAT Jaiden Baker good, 7-0

                2nd Qtr

9:35-Dallas Schwaller (AC) 1-yard run, PAT Kaylen Sprunger good, 7-7

7:55-Dallas Schwaller (AC) 69-yard pass to Joshua Mosser, PAT Sprunger good 14-7

                3rd Qtr

0:07-Matt Firestine (E) 1-yard run, Baker PAT good 14-14

                4th Qtr

9:17-Blake Heyerly (AC) 1-yard run, PAT Sprunger good 21-14


BUTLER-Facing a 7-0 deficit early against the host Eastside Blazers, Adams Central football kept their cool and played their game, scoring on back-to-back offensive plays to quickly take a 14-7 lead midway through the second quarter on their way to a 21-14 non-conference win on a beautiful, crisp Friday night for high school football.

                After coach Michael Mosser’s gutsy call on 4th and 3 at midfield, trailing by a touchdown after a TD by quarterback Laban Davis, the Jets used their new life to gain big yardage with Blake Heyerly up the left side to give AC first and goal. Heyerly brought the Jets all the way to the one-yard line and QB Dallas Schwaller took care of business himself up the middle with a sneak for the first touchdown of the game.

                “Dallas does a great job,” said Mosser, “of knowing his abilities and just leading this team. He has been waiting for his time on this team to play this position. He did an outstanding job tonight with this throws and carrying the ball and his defense even.”

                After just a few offensive plays, the Blazers were then picked off by Heyerly and on the very next offensive play, Schwaller found Joshua Mosser wide open down the middle forty yards downfield. Schwaller’s pass was spot-on and Mosser cruised the last thirty yards with ball in hand for the 69-yard touchdown catch.

                The Jets defense kept Eastside in check after some early-game success and forced a punt with five minutes remaining in the first half but could not move the ball and punted right back to Eastside who were happy to make the next possession the last one of the half if they had their way. That plan was spoiled by an interception by Mason DeRoo on a screen pass as the QB Davis rolled to his right at midfield.

                With 2:41 remaining the Jets had one more chance at the end zone in the opening half. The Jets took to the air deep down the right sideline but couldn’t connect and instead elected to run down the clock, using their timeouts and ground game to give Eastside just 80 second to score from inside their own 20. It was dangerous field position for Eastside, whose spread offense almost turned the ball over with 20 seconds remaining but what initially looked like a fumble forced by Joe Collier was ruled an incomplete pass by Davis and the half ended with AC leading 14-7.

                The first-half offense for the Jets was balanced, with 73 of the 185 yards of offense for AC coming on the ground. It was the two big plays by Heyerly and Mosser that were the difference after the first 24 minutes.

                The opening possession of the second half for the Jets was aided by a timely holding penalty on an AC punt, giving the Jets another first down in Blazer territory. Heyerly picked up eight yards on first down but the Eastside defense held their ground, eventually stopping Heyerly on fourth-and-one to get the ball back halfway through the third quarter.

                The Blazers went on a long, clock-eating drive, putting the ball on the ground and slowly churning out yardage to get inside the Jets’ 30-yard line. A big tackle for loss by Joe Collier lifted the defense to force a third down play but Davis rolled right and picked up over fifteen yards to give Eastside their first first down inside the red zone since the first quarter.

                With just seven seconds remaining in the third quarter, Davis handed the ball off to Matt Firestine, who sidestepped one lineman at the line of scrimmage, went to his left and then found paydirt to level the score at 14 after a made PAT by Jaiden Baker.

                Adams Central almost answered with another quick score to end the third quarter, but Alex Currie’s kickoff return was stopped at midfield by a one-handed tackle by Michael Geiger to save the touchdown.

                A big 29-yard run by Dalton Gerber early in the possession set up the Jets for a score and Heyerly moved AC to the one-yard line for second and goal and the sophomore running back took it by himself this time for the score as the Jets retook the lead 21-14 with 9:17 remaining.

                A few plays later, Davis handed the ball off to Firestine at midfield and the ball came loose in the middle of the blazing white “E” with the Jets recovering in a big turning-point in the contest.

                The Eastside defense responded with a big tackle for loss on a pitch play by Kolt Gerke, which forced the Jets to punt with five minutes remaining, giving Eastside a great opportunity to draw the game even.

                Eastside moved the ball well to start the possession but a holding call negated a first down after the QB Davis scrambled to his right and instead of a first down, the Blazers faced 3rd and 24 at midfield. A deep fourth-down pass was broken up by Schwaller down the left sideline to end the drive and give the Jets the ball back with 2:37 remaining.

                With time on their side, AC handed the ball back to Heyerly each play to run out the clock as Eastside attempted to stay in the game using their timeouts but to no avail as the sophomore running back kept the chains moving and the game ended 21-14 as the Jets moved to 2-0 on the young season.

                Schwaller ended the game with 92 yards passing, going 4-8. Heyerly had 117 yards on the ground on 21 carries, while Currie added 23 and Dalton Gerber had 40.

                “We forced some turnovers tonight,” said Mosser afterwards on the field, “and I was just really happy tonight, as we preached all week that this is a tough, hard-nosed place to come to and try to win. They’re going to come after us and punch us in the face and how are we going to react? And tonight I think we reacted just as I would have wanted us to to do tonight and I can’t wait for next week.”