“The field affected us a lot tonight, you can’t cut on it and with our running game focused on misdirection it definitely wasn’t in our favor,” said Coach Lee Etzler. “It was a factor but it wasn’t the reason we lost.”
The Eagles wasted no time as Kyle Mathewson returned the opening kickoff 52 yards to the Adams Central 36 yard line. Mathewson, (who rushed for 119 yards on 25 carries), converted a fourth down and three, gaining just over three yards on the attempt. On the next play Kyle Monk handed off to Jordan Hamilton. Hamilton ran down to about the fifteen and as he was about to get tackled he pitched the ball back to Monk who was trailing the play. Monk took it the rest of the way for the touchdown. Hamilton ran in the point after for an 8-0 Churubusco lead.
Adams Central quickly marched down the field on the Eagle defense. With third down and nine yards to go Combs hit Mishler for a 31-yard gain. Mishler kept the ball on the next play and gained 15 yards then another first down on a run by Spencer Sharp, an eleven-yard pick up to the Churubusco 11-yard line. The Eagle defense dug into the mud and held their ground stopping the Jets in four plays, taking over at the five-yard line.
Churubusco put together a 14 play, 95-yard drive, that would run out the clock in the first quarter and score on the first play of the second quarter. A fourth down and one conversion from their own 26-yard line was a key play in the drive. Also Monk (12-17-121) was three for three through the air for 37 yards on the drive. Josh LeFever ran the last 27 yards for the touchdown. Monk scored the two-point conversion giving the Eagles a 16-0 advantage.
After a first down by the Jets the Eagles forced them to punt the ball back to them. Churubusco again had a 14-play drive taking the ball down to the 18-yard line of Adams Central before losing the ball on downs. Monk went four for seven for 34 yards on the series. Adams Central took over at the eight-yard line and after a one-yard gain by running back Ryan Stucky put the ball on the nine. On third and nine, Combs dropped back and hit an open Mishler in the flats, who turned it up the sidelines and went 91 yards for the score. A missed extra point by the Jets made the score 16-6 Eagles.
“It was the same thing as 2007. We were giving up the corner route,” explained Coach Etzler. “We preached about that all week and worked on it in practice but it was just a little bit faster tonight and we didn’t cover it.”
Adams Central stopped the Eagles on a fourth down try but threw an interception hauled in by LeFever to end the half.
The second half started good for the Eagles as they stopped the Jets’ attack in three plays forcing them to punt the ball. Busco took over at their 15-yard line. Mathewson ran for 14 yards on the first play, then five more. After a two-yard run by LeFever, Mathewson picked up two more first downs on runs of seven and 11 yards. Putting the Eagles into Jet territory a pass from Monk to tight end Jordan Turner brought them to the 30-yard line. A bad exchange on the snap gave the ball to Adams Central. The Jets fired down field going 75 yards in six plays, resulting in another touchdown pass from Combs to Mishler, this time from 25 yards out. Bryce Fuentes connected on the point after to make the score Churubusco 16, Adams Central 13.
The Eagles ran out the clock in the third quarter and faced another fourth down try starting the fourth quarter. The Jets held their ground and stopped the Eagles, taking the ball back on downs. Two plays later Spencer Sharp worked his way through the Busco defense 45 yards for the touchdown. The scoreboard read Adams Central 20, Churubusco 16.
After a first down run by Hamilton, the Eagles were stopped again by the fired up Jet defense and forced to punt. Adams Central ran over five minutes of precious clock off before punting the ball back to Churubusco. With the Eagles in a hole down four points, starting at their 11-yard line and just 3:28 remaining, they came out fighting. They took the ball to midfield in six plays. Monk connected with Turner for a huge gain inside the ten-yard line, but there was a flag on the play. The penalty brought the ball back to the forty and on the next play Eagles’ hopes were crushed with a lost fumble. Adams Central ran out the clock and will advance to the sectional semi-finals next week against Southwood. The loss ends the Eagles’ season with a record of 8-2.
“We don’t do the things we did this season without the seniors stepping up with leadership and having a good attitude day in and day out,” said Coach Etzler. “You cannot have the success we had, without tremendous attitude and tremendous work ethic. You just can’t do it. We understand the things we do in practice gets boring, doing repetition after repetition, but if you don’t stay focused on what you’re doing, then you’re not using that repetition to get better.”