BERNE – It was 37 degrees and snowing at a muddy field – great conditions Friday for a gritty, both-sides-of-the-ball player such as Blake Heyerly. The 6-foot-5, 205-pound Adams Central senior running back/linebacker had a monster night in the Flying Jets' 41-0 victory over archrival South Adams in a Class A regional championship game.
Heyerly was opportunistic, intercepting the ball in the first quarter to set up his own 1-yard touchdown run for a 7-0 lead. He was resilient, his 46-yard touchdown run for a 21-0 lead in the third quarter coming after he'd fumbled the ball away on his previous carry. He was explosive, breaking for 34- and 81-yard scores in the fourth quarter. And, well, he was just too much for the Starfires to handle as he totaled 24 rushes for 223 yards and four touchdowns.
“It's all thanks to our coaching staff. They put together a great game plan and we just have to come out here and execute it,” Heyerly said. “It was just about coming here, getting the job done and executing. We got it done.”
Adams Central (12-1) knew the Starfires (10-3), who lost in last year's state championship game, wouldn't be an easy out.
“This is a great feeling,” Heyerly said. “They're a great football team and our rival, so it just makes it that much better to come out here and know regional was on the line. But we've got to come out next week, stay focused and be ready to go.”
Next up is North Judson (9-3).
“Our guys came out here and played their guts out. They played on a hard field, and we knew it was going to be like this. And I'm just shocked they did as good as they did,” Adams Central coach Michael Mosser said. “These guys played with their hearts and I love them to death.”
Alex Currie, a senior running back/defensive back, rushed seven times for 59 yards and a touchdown; had an interception; and foiled South Adams' best chance to score by batting a pass away in the end zone. Junior quarterback Ryan Black rushed 11 times for 83 yards and a touchdown.
South Adams senior Aidan Wanner completed 25 of 52 passes for 241 yards with two interceptions. He found senior Jordan Hinshaw nine times for 107 yards.