History was once again made on the gridiron Friday night as the ADM football team notched a 3-0 record by defeating Grinnell on the road 15-12.
The win gave the Tigers their first 3-0 start in six years and just their second since the 2012 season where they won five straight games to start the season.
It happened in dramatic fashion as the Tigers had to come back from a 12-0 deficit put up by Grinnell as the first quarter came to an end. The second quarter provided all the offensive output for the Tigers and all the offense they would really need. With nine minutes left before the halftime break, ADM connected on a 17 yard pitch and catch between sophomore quarterback Tate Stine-Smith and junior receiver Thomas Boorn. That score marked Boorn’s second touchdown through the air. Boorn would also have a hand in delivering a safety against Grinnell to decrease the deficit to 12-9.
The second entrance into the end zone for ADM football came on a nice 11 yard run by Justice Paulsen. That brought the game to a 15-12 mark in favor of ADM, their only lead of the game which would end up sticking for the win. Just as impressive as the offense, the Tiger defense allowed a big goose egg on the board for Grinnell the final 36 minutes of play, highlighting one of the biggest strengths for the Tigers for head coach Garrison Carter.
“Coach Rupe and the defense has been phenomenal,” began Carter. “They won these last three games early for us while our offense continues to develop.”
Through three games, the Tigers have given up an average of just nine points per game against their opponents who averaged 19, 21, and seven points per game last season.
ADM football indeed stood strong defensively and what followed from that 15 point second quarter was a scoreless second half for both teams, giving ADM a 3-0 start to the 2018 season.
Overall the Tigers put up 365 yards of total offense which came primarily on the ground. Nearly 88 percent of the offensive production came on the ground as senior Nick Bradshaw led the way with 167 rushing yards on 30 attempts followed by Stine-Smith with 131 rushing yards on 22 carries, and followed by Paulsen who totaled 11 carries for 21 yards and a touchdown. In the passing game, it was the first game without an interception for Stine-Smith who completed six-of-eleven pass attempts for 46 yards and a touchdown. Afterwards, coach Carter talked about the play and development of his sophomore quarterback.
“Tate played really well,” began Carter. “He’s a sophomore and will have lots of ups and downs as he continues to grow as the quarterback. His teammates around him have done a great job making plays and helping him out.”
On the defensive side, senior Spencer Collins led the way with nine and a half tackles followed by both Nolan Harsh and Thomas Boorn with six and a half tackles each.
It was the first game out that the Tigers had such a deficit but they bounced back in an impressive way which was certianly not lost on coach Carter.
“There’s a saying that I really like that is the game will always come back to you,” began Carter. “I think the biggest thing that happened is that even when we got down two touchdowns early, no one panicked and the game did come back to us. The most mentally tough team won the game.”
While the win is great, the Tigers, in their never ending pursuit to get better, have a few things still needing to be addressed according to coach Carter.
“We have to continue to get better offensively,” said Carter. “We watch the film and it seems like every play we have nine or ten guys doing their job perfectly and one guy not. When we get all eleven guys doing their job to the max of their ability every play, we will do some special things.”
Coach Carter also mentioned how cleaning up infractions will be a key moving forward.
“Penalties and mental errors are killing us right now,” started Carter. “We have to get that cleaned up if we want to reach the places we hope to be at come the end of the year.”
Overall though, the Tigers earned their 3-0 start and fans, coaches, and players alike can’t help but feel great.
“It feels good to have a start like this,” said senior Lucas Heitz before the game. “We’ve put in a lot of time and we’ve dedicated ourselves to this team and as great of a season as we can get.”
Coach Carter shared those thoughts.
“3-0 feels great,” began Carter. “We have a lot of things to improve on but ultimately the only number that matters at the end of the day is the one in the win/loss column. I’m so proud of the toughness and resiliency of this group.”
The newly minted 3-0 Tigers will now be welcoming in the likes of Boone for their homecoming match up this week which will begin Friday at 7:30 p.m.