Adams helps Science Hill scamper back to topple rival Dobyns-Bennett
Science Hill senior quarterback Jaylan Adams is a smooth operator that’s made things rough on Dobyns-Bennett.
A year after rushing for 304 yards and six touchdowns and passing for a TD in a 56-35 defeat of D-B, Adams helped Science Hill erase a 14-point deficit with three TD runs in the second quarter and the Hilltoppers (1-0, 3-0) cruised to a 35-14 Big East Conference road win Friday at J. Fred Johnson Stadium.
“I’m gonna call him Mister Adams from now on,” said Indians coach Graham Clark, whose teams have now lost six straight to their archrival after winning 19 straight in the series.
The key sequence in the storied series’ latest chapter came in the final minute of the first half. After driving 40 yards to the Science Hill 35-yard line, D-B was facing fourth-and-five with 39.5 seconds left. Indians’ quarterback Lendon Redwine couldn’t complete a pass to Ian Hicks.
Science Hill took over trailing 14-13 with 32 seconds left in the half, and on the first play, Adams bolted through the middle on a quarterback draw and made two impressive cuts en route to his second 66-yard TD run in as many seasons against the Indians.
Adams then rolled right to complete a two-point PAT pass to Drew Morrison, and just like that, Science Hill led 21-14 at intermission.
Science Hill converted a fourth-and-three with 1:58 left in the third quarter when receiver Aundre Butler took a jet sweep handoff 22 yards up the left sideline for a TD that gave the Hilltoppers a 28-14 lead.
The swift Butler scored again on a 10-yard TD pass with 9:03remaining in the game when Adams escaped pressure, rolled left and threw across his body into a small window in the middle of the end zone while another Indians defender was bearing down on him.
Adams, who is being recruited heavily by The Citadel, rushed for 181 yards and passed for 72 yards against D-B (0-1, 1-2). He has rushed for 392 yards and eight TDs and passed for 605 yards and three TDs while helping the ‘Toppers outscore D-B, Ooltewah and Elizabethton by a combined score of 147-74.
“It’s amazing, especially around the school people coming up to me and saying, ‘Good game,’” Adams said, “and seeing people just being happy for what I’m doing and being successful.”
Junior running back Ahmik Watterson rushed six times for 85 yards in the first half and sat out the second half with a deep thigh bruised.
“That really hurt us,” said Science Hill head coach Stacy Carter, who made a gutsy call going for a fourth-and-two at the Science Hill 41-yard line while trailing 14-7 with 5:35 to go in the first half. “I just felt like we needed to turn that momentum.”
D-B chewed up the vast majority of the first quarter while taking a 14-0 lead on two long TD drives. Keyo Taylor, 6-foot, 240-pound sophomore, capped a 14-play, 71-yard drive that last 6:43 with a 1-yard TD. Scatback Nic Bristol dashed through the middle to cap an 89-yard drive from 33 yards out for the Indians’ second score.
Science Hill’s fans began to fidget, and the Hilltoppers players and coaches might’ve even been antsy while D-B methodically moved down the field much of the first half while letting the play clock run down.
“It gets you nervous,” Carter said. “It had us having to make a big fourth-down call just to change momentum.”
Hard-hitting 155-pound linebacker Arthur James said he wasn’t nervous.
“To be honest, I don’t think so,” James said. “No, not for me, not for my guys – the linebackers. I mean coach always talks about when adversity hits you’ve gotta be cool, calm down, gather your thoughts and get back in the game. …
“It was a struggle at the beginning, because the defense didn’t really start out right. We was pretty soft on that first couple of drives. But as we went on – that’s the thing about Science Hill, we get tougher as the game goes on. We picked it up.”
Hicks had 14 carries for 84 yards and Bristol ran five times for 58 yards. Taylor tallied 52 yards on nine carries. James got Taylor on the ground a few times despite giving up some 85 pounds.
“He’s a big boy,” James said with a smile. “I just keep persevering. I don’t care how big you are, I’m gonna still keep going.”
Adams did begin to feel unnerved midway through the first half – kind of, at least.
“Uh, yes and no,” Adams said. “I knew that we was a better team than that and we had to come together and do our assignments.”
Science Hill outgained D-B, 439-333. The ‘Toppers outrushed the Tribe 367-183.
“Some of these kids – they’re athletic,” Science Hill defensive coordinator Ralph Nelson said. “That was the biggest difference tonight – speed. And up front we played real well.”
James, Jacob Abram and Denzel Medina were among the Hilltoppers defenders making numerous key plays.
Notes: Abram left the game with a foot injury in the second half, but it wasn’t initially believed to be serious. … Adams’ father, Science Hill running backs coach Gary “Shorty” Adams, rushed 41 times for 221 yards in Science Hill’s 21-13 win against D-B in 1988. … D-B’s Matt Diminick made an exceptional interception on a deep throw in the first quarter to give the Indians possession at their 11. … Carter expects Watterson to be available Friday when the Hilltoppers host Greeneville in a battle of unbeatens. Dobyns-Bennett will visit Sevier County.
Science Hill 35, Dobyns-Bennett 14
Science Hill 0 21 7 7 — 35
Dobyns-Bennett 14 0 0 0 — 14
DB–Keyo Taylor 1 run (Drew Miller kick)
DB–Nic Bristol 33 run (Drew Miller kick)
SH–Jaylan Adams 5 run (Grant Wilson kick)
SH–Jaylan Adams 3 run (kick failed)
SH–Jaylan Adams 66 run (Drew Morrison pass from Jaylan Adams)
SH–Aundre Butler 22 run (Grant Wilson kick)
SH–Aundre Butler 10 pass from Jaylan Adams (Grant Wilson kick)
First Downs 21 24
Rushing Att-Yds 43-367 36-183
Comp-Att-Int 6-13-1 16-35-0
Passing Yards 72 150
Total Offense 439 333
Fumbles-Lost 1-1 1-0
Penalties/Yards 8-64 8-72
Punts-Average 3-36.3 1-38.0