Adams leads Topper attack

Science Hill uses lethal rushing attack to top Elizabethton 50-25

Science Hill Jaylan Adams eludes Elizabethton defenders during the Hilltoppers 50-25 victory on Friday night at Kermit Tipton Stadium.
Science Hill Jaylan Adams eludes Elizabethton defenders during the Hilltoppers 50-25 victory on Friday night at Kermit Tipton Stadium.
More photos below

By Collin Brooks

Unlike the numerous tacklers he eludes on the football field, Science Hill senior QB Jaylan Adams embraces one of the biggest weights on his shoulders.

Being the face of a school with a large bullseye on their back.

“I embrace it because being the face of something and knowing that people know me, that lets me know that I have to carry myself in the right way and I have high expectations,” said Adams, who recently appeared on the cover of the NET Pigskin magazine and the Johnson City Press Football tab.

He fulfilled those expectations on Friday night, adding 104 yards on the ground on nine rushing attempts and three touchdowns to help fuel a Toppers rushing attack that finished the night with 364 yards. Adams also passed for 232 yards and a touchdown.

Things seemed a little stagnant in the first quarter for the Toppers until Coach Stacey Carter put all the confidence in his guy on 4th and 7. Adams scampered 30 yards to put the first points on the board of the night.

“We ran a draw on that,” Carter said. “Once he got past that first line, there was nobody there. He is going to do things like that.”

After that 30-yard run the Hilltoppers seem to loosen up a bit offensively.

“It was just a matter of figuring out what we needed to do and then doing our assignments,” Adams said.

After the game, Carter was quick to say what impressed him the most about the Hilltoppers victory.

“The way we ran the football,” he said. “Especially late when we were able to come out and run the ball against a pretty stout defensive line. That will make you happy when you can do that.

“We knew we had some speed guys that could do some things and we threw the ball pretty well. But we knew we had to run the ball and we ran the ball and that is something that you have to do.”

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The Hilltoppers tallied a 21-3 lead over Elizabethton at the half and they never looked back.

Science Hill junior Ahmik Watterson contributed 184 yards on the ground on 17 carries and broke a 87-yard touchdown late in the game. Other impressive highlights from Science Hill included 78-yard receiving touchdown by Aundre Butler and a 57-yard haul by T.J. Patton.

The most impressive defensive play of the night also came from the Toppers when Benjamin Gregg made a difficult interception, in which the ball found its way from his hands, to his legs, before he hauled it in. Shane Austin also grabbed an interception for the Toppers.

The Cyclones were led by Ryan Wetzel who had 10 catches for 112 yards and an impressive touchdown reception over a Science Hill defender.  Quarterback Carter Everett had 180 yards through the air on 17-of-27 passing. He had one touchdown pass and a rushing touchdown, but also threw two interceptions. Cyclone standout Corey Russell was contained to 67 yards on 19 carries.

While there were plenty of individual performances to highlight, Carter said that he was thrilled with the way his entire team played.

“This is a team not about one man, it’s about a lot of guys that can do things and some of them didn’t even get the ball tonight,” Carter said. “Jaylan is of course that catalyst to everything, but there are a lot of guys that can do a lot of things.”

While it may not be a one man show, one of the many men to watch that is fun is Adams, who admitted that he loves connecting on a deep pass just as much as he enjoy dodging on oncoming defender.

“I love doing both,” Adams said. “I love running but I know with my line I know that I can sit back there and get the ball to other people.”

The running is in his blood line, as his father and Science Hill running backs coach Gary “Shorty” Adams played for the Toppers in the late 80s and was a Mr. Football runner-up in 1988. Having him around helps instill a little bit more confidence his son.

“He’s just told me to be me and have confidence in my abilities and that helps to have a person you look up to believe in you,” Adams said.

Adams currently holds an offer from The Citadel and said that he has had conversations form coaches with Austin Peay, Air Force and the Naval Academy. A lot of those schools are talking about him as a slot receiver or scat back, while others would like to see him in the corner back position. It really doesn’t matter where Adams plays his playmaker skills will be apparent.

Elizabethton will host South Greene next week as Science Hill will take their longest road-trip of the regular season with a trip to Ooltewah.