MONROE – Adams Central felt pressure heading into its Week 6 matchup against South Adams. The Starfires were 5-0 and ranked No. 7 in this week's Associated Press poll.
South Adams was also the last hurdle in winning the unofficial Adams County tournament title and now a possible Class A sectional opponent.
The Jets (4-2, 3-0 ACAC) handled the pressure well in a 42-14 win.
“There's a lot of pressure tonight,” Adams Central coach Michael Mosser said. “I felt that going into this. There was pressure to do well, and there's pressure to win. If you want to do well in the postseason, you have to be able to step up in big games.
“This is a big opponent, they were 5-0, they're a county rival, we play for a county championship. It's the unwritten conference championship, and we strive to do that. That's ultimately what we want to do. All programs want to win those championships.”
Adams Central's Logan Macklin ran 13 times for 124 yards and three touchdowns, including a 38-yard run to open the scoring in the first quarter. Drew Schultz ran for 104 yards and two touchdowns.
The Jets offense had 340 yards, while limiting South Adams (5-1, 2-1) to 94 yards of offense, minus-24 in the first half.
“We've grown up offensively since our (Week 2) Eastside game where we couldn't do anything,” Mosser said. “So we've come a long way, and we need to be able to improve and having those backs (Macklin and Schultz) helps us a lot because we like running the football here at Adams Central.”
From the very first drive, Adams Central made its mark on defense.
South Adams was pinned deep in its own territory after Nic Stuber was sacked for a 13-yard loss, sacked again for a 1-yard loss and an incomplete pass to force a punt at fourth and 24 from the Starfires' 6.
“They're a big rival team, so we knew they were going to come in hot so we knew we had to play our game,” Macklin said. “Defense showed up tonight and played really, really well.”
Down 28-0, the Starfires made adjustments at halftime and fared better in the second half.
“Both sides of the ball, we had to make a ton of adjustments and the biggest thing wasn't necessarily X's and O's,” South Adams coach Grant Moser said. “I thought we got outhit and outplayed just as far as effort. We challenged them in the second half to come out and win the second half.
“I thought our kids played well in the second half. It was an embarrassing first half.”
In its initial second half drive, freshman quarterback James Arnold came in to relieve an injured Nic Stuber.
Arnold was shaky at first but eventually helped set up Brandon Newman for a 2-yard touchdown run to make it 28-7 in the third. Arnold also ran in for a 1-yard score to make it 42-12 with 1:52 left.
“He fumbled the first two snaps, and I thought he threw some really good balls, made some nice passes, made some good reads on our option game,” Moser said. “He throws a pretty good ball, he just has to get faster. I thought as a freshman coming into this game and this atmosphere he did a really good job.”