Once again the Adrian Maples put together a good first half and then fell apart in the second. The Maples were only down 4 to the Saline Hornets at halftime and the Hornets went on to score 44 straight, unanswered points to win the game 58-20. Adrian couldn’t mount anything after the break.
Saline started off the scoring in the first with a 38 yard touchdown pass from Tyler Palka to Gage Hammond. Adrian answered back with an Isaac Gradeless rush of 2 yards. The extra point was no good. The quarter ended with the score of 7-6.
Adrian did take the lead early in the 2nd when Hunter Hayes hit Jurell Parish for an 8 yard touchdown pass. The two-point conversion attempt was no good. Saline to not be outdone scored quickly on a Palka 2 yard run. The teams started to go back and forth as Hayes found Joshua Perez for a 19 yard touchdown pass. A two-point run was good from Gradeless. The Hornets scored twice more; the first was a 25 yard run by Kevin Gross and the other was a 32 yard field by Hammond. The score at the half was 24-20.
The third saw Gross rushing for 3 straight touchdowns of 10, 1 and 4 yards. Adrian couldn’t amount any offense in the quarter and struggled quite a bit. The score at the end of the quarter was 45-20.
The final quarter saw Saline scored twice more. The first was a Palka pass to Caleb Luckett for 45 yards. The other was a Brad McCormick run from 55 yards out. That would make the final score 58-20.
Adrian’s quarterback Hayes was 20 for 33 for 139 with 2 touchdowns and 2 interceptions. The leading rusher was Gradeless who had 25 carries for 113 yards and a touchdown. Perez led the team with receiving yards with 136 on 10 catches and a touchdown.
The Hornets’ Palka threw 19 passes, completing 14 of them for 282 yards, 2 touchdowns and an interception. McCormick had 11 carries for 92 yards and a touchdown. Gross rushed the ball 12 times for 64 yards and had 4 touchdowns. Luckett lead the way receiving with 4 catches for 104 yards and a touchdown. Gross added 90 more yards on 3 catches.
Adrian looked good in the first half on offense. They moved the ball well and got scores. The extra points have still been an issue for them. The biggest issue I’m starting to see is that they are not making halftime adjustments. The other team sees what they are doing and then makes their changes, but the Maples haven’t been doing that. Not that they would have won against the Hornets if they did, but going forward that is something that needs to be changed.
The same principals go for the defense. They didn’t play lights out in the first half, but they definitely played a lot worse in the second. They did get their back broken when Saline continued to score. I think defensive changes to slow down what the other teams changes are in line. If they don’t, they are going to be in for a long season and not many games.
The 0-3 Maples will go into conference play at home against the 0-3 Dexter Dreadnaughts. Dexter this week played at home against the Pioneer Pioneers and were destroyed 49-0.
Saline is now 3-0 and will host conference opponent, the 1-2 Pioneers.