Cardinals top Tigers in ugly game
By Amanda Lowrance
Down early in the game, the Adamsville Cardinals fought back for a 34-24 victory against the Bolivar Central Tigers last Friday night.
The coin toss favored Adamsville and the kickoff to Bolivar was caught and returned over 75 yards for the first touchdown of the game.
The Tigers kicked for the extra point, setting the score at 7-0 with over 11 minutes remaining in the first quarter.
Adamsville made a comeback, scoring 21 points in the first quarter beginning with a touchdown carried by Josh Chappell and a field goal by Justin Salazar.
With a fumble recovery on the Cardinal five yard line, Zak Neary penetrated the end zone from 2nd and goal. After a successful field goal kick by Dustin Plunk, the Cardinals took the lead 14-7 in under five minutes.
The next touchdown came from the 22-yard-line after a Bolivar punt. John Reed Odom made a mad dash to the 36-yard-line, taking a strong tackle from the Tiger defense and giving Adamsville a first down.
During the same possession quarterback Dalton Plunk completed a pass to Neary, who rushed to score his second touchdown. The field goal point was picked up by Dustin Plunk, fixing the scoreboard 21-7 to end the first quarter.
Penalties then began to delay the game. Bolivar scored 11 points in the second with a touchdown, two-point conversion, and a three-point field goal. The score at the halftime buzzer was 21-18 Cardinals.
Cardinal Cheerleaders took the field for their routine performed along with the young summer camp attendees. Then, the Adamsville Marching Band entertained the crowd in their new, first worn uniforms.
The second half was full of Tiger injuries. Bolivar took over on downs on the 40 yard line, which led to a touchdown. With less than eight minutes left in the third, the Tiger’s 2-point conversion was no good. Bolivar took the lead once again 21-24.
The Tigers then came within 10 yards of a second touchdown, but were stopped by the Cardinal defense and Adamsville resumed with a first down at the 20 after the punt.
Taylor Alexander rushed for the touchdown and gave Adamsville the lead of 27-24 with less than four minutes in the third.
Bolivar blocked the field goal attempt and the third quarter ticked off the clock as possession switched hands.
Athletic trainers spent a lot of time on the field in the fourth quarter. Players began to limp off the field and a Tiger was carried from the field on a stretcher.
Neary sealed the game after a 64-yard rush and a final touchdown from the two yard line.
With less than five minutes left, Plunk kicked an extra point through the uprights for an Adamsville lead of 10 points.
The Cardinals held their helmets high in the air and the crowd went wild as the final seconds ticked off the clock leaving a final of 34-24.
“I am proud the guys stuck together, fought hard, and never gave up,” said Adamsville Coach Brandon Gray. “We had a different game plan. We did everything in the world to give the game away. We had three turnovers, but I am proud of them for not giving up.”
Celebration took place on one end of the field, while disappointment dominated on the other sideline.
“We expected them to lay down when we jumped out real fast and they did,” said Bolivar Coach Keith Perry. “We had a lot of opportunities but we didn’t take advantage of them. We went to the 15 yard line two times with no points. We let one get away because we did too many stupid things.”
Neary had three touchdowns, 97rushing yards, 68 receiving yards, and 5 tackles. Alexander had one touchdown and 78 rushing yards. Chappell had one touchdown, 20 rushing yards, and seven tackles.
Kasey Hurley led with 10 defensive tackles and John Blakley, Josh Burks, and Josh Shoate each had seven tackles.
“It’s early in the season and we are still not where we want to be,” said Gray. “But as a coach I am very satisfied. Since I have been here we have had some great kids and that really makes you proud as a coach.”
With the win, Adamsville stands at 1-1 for the season and will travel to Riverside Friday at 7:30 p.m. to face the Panthers.