BLUFFTON – The swirling rain limited the Bluffton passing game on Friday night, but the Adams Central run game remained potent as the Flying Jets secured a 33-7 win.
"I think that's an advantage that we have sometimes, that we're a team that likes to run the ball," Adams Central coach Michael Mosser said. "And something like this doesn't bother us as much."
Adams Central (7-1) needed just over two minutes to score, as Blake Heyerly scored on a 10-yard run, bowling over a Bluffton defender right in front of the goal line. Quarterback Dallas Schwaller added to the Jets lead with a 3-yard keeper with 3:14 to go in the first quarter.
"We decided that we were going to play AC football and punch them, and that's what we did," Schwaller said. "The game plan was to not stray from what was working. We had runs up the middle working. Heyerly's a workhorse, and we kept going to him."
Meanwhile, the Tigers (6-2) had trouble keeping drives alive. Quarterback Hayden Nern continued to throw the ball, and while most of his throws were on target his receivers struggled to make catches in the wet conditions. Midway through the second quarter, one pass went through a receivers hands and right by Adams Central's Dalton Gerber, but luckily for the Tigers Gerber didn't have any more success and couldn't quite get the interception.
Midway through the second quarter, Schwaller picked up 25 yards on a run that brought to ball to the Tigers' 9-yard line and then kept the ball to score on the next play. Even after the missed extra point, the Jets led 20-0.
"We had a lot of reads tonight, and on quarterback sneaks, if they were giving that to us, he was taking it," Mosser said. "He did a great job making those decisions."
With 2:20 to go in the first half, Bluffton's Kaine Moore recovered an Adams Central fumble, but once again the Tigers couldn't capitalize, as Seth Bennett dove for a pass from Nern in the end zone on fourth down but couldn't come up with it.
The Jets raced down the field in that final minute of the half, finishing the drive with a 1-yard touchdown pass from Schwaller that sailed through the hands of Ben Voirol and into the waiting arms of Alex Currie behind him.
"It was one of the plays that went our way," Schwaller said.
The Tigers finally got to the red zone in the third quarter. Nern appeared to throw an interception on fourth down, but the Jets were called for multiple penalties on the play, and Nern found Kaine Thornton open in front of the goal line for a 4-yard TD that narrowed the score to 27-7.
The Jets scored their final touchdown early in the fourth quarter, concluding a 12-play march down the field with a 3-yard keeper by Schwaller.