The Adair County Indians football team traveled to Bowling Green last Friday night to take on the highly talented South Warren Spartans.
The Spartans came into the game ranked in the state’s top 10 in class 3A and 53rd statewide. In its first seven games, the Spartans had only allowed 11 points total and had given up an astonishing -12 rushing yards while rushing for a total of 1434 yards themselves. Their defense is led by University of Kentucky commitment defensive tackle Adrian Middleton.
The Indians would still be plagued by many injuries throughout their roster with many being seniors and several of the injuries are season-ending.
“Injuries continue to plague us,” Coach Travis Gay said.
This game would start with South Warren receiving the ball and it only took the Spartans a few plays as they were able to get into the end zone on the slant pass that went for a 30 yard gain. A successful extra point made the score 7-0 early in the game.
The Spartans’s kicker would put the kickoff into the end zone for a touchback and put the Indians starting on their own 20 yard line for their first possession of the game. Three incomplete passes by Jake Hixson brought up a punting situation by Brandon Burton. Burton was able to deliver a nice punt to put South Warren starting at their own 39 yard line to begin its second possession of the game.
After a nice run by the Spartans quarterback put them into Indians territory, Adair County’s defense stood strong and forced a field good attempt by South Warren. The long leg of the Spartans kicker was able to successfully hit the 31 yard field goal to give them a 10-0 lead in the 1st quarter.
Adair County was unable to get any production from its offense after Ethan Brown had a nice 24 yard return on the kickoff. A Brandon Burton punt had the Spartans starting around midfield to begin their next touchdown drive. The touchdown was capped off by a quarterback keeper to get into the end zone and give South Warren a 17-0 lead after another successful extra point.
The Indians had to punt on its next possession but South Warren fumbled on their following possession which was recovered by Hixson. Even with some momentum caused by the Indians defense, Adair County was forced to punt again after a 3 and out on offense.
South Warren began the 2nd quarter with a 17-0 lead and the Indians set to punt the ball. On the pursuing punt by Burton, the Spartans were able to return it 60 yards for a nice punt return touchdown. A successful extra point gave them a 24-0 lead with seconds off the clock in the 2nd quarter.
Another touchback on the kickoff put the Indians to start at their own 20 yard line. A short run was followed by a Hixson keeper for no gain on the play but left him hurt on the field. Shea Martin would be called in to take Hixson’s place and immediately was able to get a defense encroachment penalty on the Spartans. After the penalty gave the Indians a 3rd and 6, Martin scrambled out of the pocket before throwing away the pass to avoid a sack.
With Burton in to punt the ball away, South Warren was called for a roughing the kicker penalty that resulted in an automatic 1st down for Adair County. Following the 1st down, the Indians were once again forced to punt after another 3 and out for the offense.
Later in the second quarter, South Warren would strike again. Starting around midfield, the Spartans ran a running play up the middle that was good for a 41 yard gain and a face masking penalty at the end of the play put them at the Indians 4 yard line. On 1st and goal the Spartans punched it in for another touchdown and following the successful extra point, they had a 31-0 lead.
Right before the half, South Warren marched down the field and after a successful pass they were able to get out of bounds with seconds left on the clock. With just seconds left, the Spartans sent their kicker in to attempt the 33 yard field good that he was able to hit, making the score 34-0 at halftime.
With Adair to receive in the second half, Ethan Brown returned the ball from the 5 yard line for a 23 yard return before he was stripped by a Spartans player for the fumble. South Warren began its drive at the Adair 28 yard line and two plays later were able to add to their lead with a touchdown pass. An extra point made the score 41-0 in favor of South Warren and initiated a running clock for the remainder of the game.
A combination of the running clock, injuries for the Indians, and a second string quarterback for South Warren resulted in the game ending with a final score of 41-0 as neither team were able to add points to the board after that point in the game.
The loss made it four straight for the Indians and dropped their record to 3-4 on the season.
“Our guys gave much better effort and really fought Friday night,” Coach Gay said about Friday night’s performance. “Josh Brown is developing at linebacker and had 10 tackles. Carlos Mendoza continues to give us a great effort at defensive tackle,” he went on to say. Coach Gay added that, “We just want to carry the fight that we displayed Friday night into the next three games.”
Adair County will be back in action Friday night as they are on the road once again to play the Muhlenberg County Mustangs. The Mustangs will come into the game with a 4-3 record and the Indians will try to come away with a win as they look to end their current four game skid.
By Josh Withers