Special to the Grove Sun
ADAIR-A great big crowd had gathered at Gene Winfield Field Friday night, presumably to watch their undefeated, seventh-rated Warriors take it to the Colcord Hornets. What they witnessed instead was a lesson in clock management, hard-nosed defense and some well-executed offense, that added up to what could best be described as a pants down 39-15 spanking.
The Hornets received the opening kickoff and got a good return by Canaan Sherrell to near midfield. Two snaps and a Chris Aguilar (15 carries for 89 yards) first down later, quarterback Sherrell tucked the ball and broke free for a 47-yard TD keeper. Aguilar added the extra point for a 7-0 lead with less than a minute and a half off of the first quarter clock.
The Warriors answered the Colcord challenge with a nine play scoring drive of their own. Staying on the ground for the first eight plays of the series, Adair marched into the visitor’s territory, where they faced a third and long. And that’s where Warrior senior quarterback Marshall Timmons (25 of 35 for 251 yards) connected with his wide receiver Michael Fraley for a 35-yard touchdown pass. A botched snap on the ensuing PAT forced Timmons to scramble to his right with the entire Hornet defense breathing down his neck. The holder, now turned passer, heaved a Hail Mary toward the corner a split second before
being thrown to the turf. And remarkably, Kolin Harris hauled in the toss for a fortuitous two-point grab and an 8-7 edge.
Momentum appeared to be clearly in the favor of the home team when Colcord’s offense fumbled the ball away on the third snap of the subsequent drive. And it was from that point that the Hornet ’blackshirts’ asserted their authority.
Moving the sticks once, Adair got near midfield, before the Colcord defense took over. A holding penalty followed by a Dustin DeMoss tackle of the Warrior receiver for a four-yard loss setup the game’s first punt.
An excellent 40-yard punt by Vern Barnes gave the Hornets their next offensive possession on their own five. A broken play moved the ball back to the three, where Sherrell (8 of 9 for 179 yards and 3 TD’s), moving to his right, dumped a short pass to Austin Gilbert. And the sophomore speedster did the rest. Breaking free from a pair of would be tacklers, Gilbert got to the sideline, kicked in the afterburners and outran the Adair defense for a breathtaking 94-yard touchdown. Aguilar’s kick was true and the Hornets were back on top, for good.
As the result of an out of bounds kickoff, the Warriors started their next series on the 35. After picking up a pair of first downs along the way, they found themselves facing a fourth and short on the 27. And the Hornet defense rose to the occasion when Timmons’s pass attempt to Fraley was batted by the onrushing line.
Lining up in the wishbone offense, Colcord pounded the ball at the home town defense. After moving the chains twice and with Adair overcommitted to the run, Sherrell found Chance Staneart for a 38-yard touchdown pass and catch. The PAT failed for a 20-8 score. The teams’ exchanged possessions and punts to close out the first half.
A short, out-of-bounds kickoff gave the Warriors the ball on the 40 to start the third period. After crossing midfield and going to the Colcord 27 on a 20-yard Timmons to Barnes completion, DeMoss dumped Timmons for an 11-yard loss. And on a fourth down Adair went for it. This time Sherrell broke up the pass attempt to give his team the ball back on downs.
What followed was the definitive offensive series of the game. Chewing up over seven of the nine minutes remaining in the third, the Hornet offense methodically reeled off 14 plays and picked up five first downs before Sherrell found Rusty James in the flats for a 22-yard TD play. Aguilar, who’d done the bulk of the rushing work on the previous drive, put the ball through the uprights for the 19 point lead.
The Warriors needed the rest of the third quarter and four minutes of the next before answering the drive with a seven-yard Timmons to Logan Crawford completion.
Oddly, with 8:05 remaining in the game, Adair did not attempt an onside kick and their guests started their next series on the 35. Putting together a dozen snaps and milking six minutes off of the clock, Colcord rolled to the Warrior three. Aguilar put six more on the board with a three-yard run at the two minute mark. Leading 33-15, the Hornet defense needed to keep Adair out of the end zone to gain the maximum (15) tie breaker point. And when it looked as if the Warriors might just score again, Sherrell intercepted the Timmons pass two yards deep in his own end zone. And the gifted senior added an exclamation point to the victory, when he broke free for his fifth score of the night from 102 yards away.
Following the game, an elated Coach Bud Simmons told his charges, “This was a great win, and it took everybody to win it. Hornet Power! Beyond that, I’m speechless.”
With the win over Adair, and with Kansas’s 39-6 win over Quapaw, District 2A-8 is now has a four-way tie for first place, with Adair, Colcord, Commerce and Salina all sporting 3-1 records in district play. The Hornets will travel to Quapaw on Thursday while Adair will travel to Wyandotte to take on the Bears. Also on Thursday, Kansas will travel to Ketchum while Commerce will host the Salina Wildcats.
Colcord 39, Adair 15
1st 2nd 3rd 4th Final
Colcord 14 6 7 12 39
Adair 8 0 0 7 15
C-Sherrell 47 yard run (Aguilar kick)
A-Fraley 35 yard pass from Timmons (Harris 2-PT pass from Timmons)
C-Gilbert 94 yard pass from Sherrell (Aguilar kick)
C-Staneart 38 yard pass from Sherrell (Kick failed)
C-James 22 yard pass from Sherrell (Aguilar kick)
A-Crawford 7 yard pass from Timmons (Timmons kick)
C-Aguilar 4 yard run (Kick failed)
C-Sherrell 102 yard interception return (Kick failed)