Despite a strong first half, the ADM football team fell in their 2019 season opener at home, losing out to non-district foe Bondurant-Farrar by a 28-21 final at Tiger Stadium.
Even though the Tigers sported a 14 point lead entering the halftime break, the visiting Blue Jays poured in all of their 28 points in the second half to hand ADM a quick 0-1 record right out of the gates. It really was a tale of two different paths as the Tigers made their living through the air while the Blue Jays did the most of their damage on the ground. ADM nearly dwarfed Bondurant-Farrar through the air with 270 yards and three scores while Bondurant-Farrar outrushed the Tigers 213 to 57 with a trio of scores. The difference for the Tigers, as noted by head coach Garrison Carter, was simply taking what the defense game them.
“Bondurant did a nice job of loading the box defensively and trying to stuff the run,” began Carter. “We simply took advantage of what their defense was giving us, they forced us to throw so we threw. At the end of the day good teams figure out how to win by different ways.”
The game held a defensive tone for the entire first quarter as both teams wrapped up the opening quarter with a scoreless tie. The first strike of the game came from the hometown Tigers following a Cole Williamson interception with nine minutes left in the opening half. The connection of Tate Stine-Smith to Tom Boorn kicked off the scoring and gave ADM the advantage 7-0. What would be an even more impactful combination throughout the night was Stine-Smith to wideout Nathan Conrad. The two connected for their first of what will be many scores to come late in the second quarter. Stine-Smith brushed off an earlier interception to connect with Conrad on a 48-yard pitch and catch to extend the Tiger lead 14-0 with just under two minutes left in the half.
That would end up being the halftime score as the host Tigers were looking very good with the 14-0 advantage at the half.
From there, however, it would turn out to be a tale of two completely different halves for both teams. Over half of Bondurant-Farrar’s offensive totals came in the second half, meanwhile, the host Tigers had slight trouble recreating their first-half output. A lot of the scoring on both sides occurred from 20 plus years out including Bondurant-Farrar’s first score of the game on a 63-yard pass from Cade Eichmeyer to Nick Chalfant.
The ADM offense then answered with a strike of their own later in the third quarter as Stine-Smith once again connected with Nathan Conrad for a score, this time from 79 yards out to take the 21-7 lead. As exciting as that was, the Tiger offense would be unable to find the endzone from there on out, all the while watching Bondurant-Farrar pour on the offense. The visiting Bluejays cut the lead down to a one-score game towards the end of the third quarter on a 70 yard run by Cade Eichmeyer. In total, the Tigers were outscored 28-7 in the second half which included a 14-0 run by the Bluejays in the fourth quarter alone.
The Tigers managed just 58 yards of offense across the fourth quarter and couldn’t find a way back into the endzone and with a 4th and 18 pass falling incomplete, they watched their season begin with a loss.
The Tigers totaled 327 total yards of offense on 69 plays run across the entire night. It was a trio of leaders for head coach Garrison Carter beginning with the passing attack as Stine-Smith produced 270 yards through the air with a trio of touchdowns and a pair of interceptions. Justice Paulson led the way on the ground for the Tigers, collecting 46 yards of offense on 15 carries. Stine-Smith’s favorite target was Nathan Conrad who led the team in receiving with 161 yards and two scores on eight receptions.
It was a strong outing despite the loss but there was still a lot left on the table and a big lesson learned as noted by coach Carter.
“I think the game was a big dose of humble pie for our team,” began Carter. “We left a lot of points on the field and you just simply don’t deserve to win when you let that many opportunities slip through your fingers. We believe we have a talented team with the ability to do some special things, but sometimes you have to get punched in the face to figure out what kind of team you are. I am excited to see how our boys respond to this adversity.”
The final marked the first time a Bluejay team has beaten the Tigers in nearly ten years but still leaves ADM with an 0-1 record heading into week two. The Tigers will be seeking to earn their first win next week as they hit the road to face yet another Bluejay squad as they take on Perry Friday, September 6.