Adair-Casey makes adjustments to beat Aurelia 54-30 in state eight-man title game.
ADAIR - The halftime break was not a good thing for Aurelia. Myron Radke wishes they never had one.
Aurelia, ranked third in the state in eight-man football, took a 22-14 lead over top-ranked Adair-Casey at the half. The Bulldogs looked like the best team in the state and the Bombers looked anything but.
The second half was a complete reversal. Adair-Casey showed flashes of the team that averaged 63 points a game this season and Aurelia showed signs of fatigue.
It all added up to a 54-30 win for Adair-Casey in the state championship game before a crowd of 2,300 in Adair.
Radke tried to explain what happened in the second half, where his team was outscored 40-8.
"We just couldn't keep them blocked," he said. "They played good. I don't think we played that bad. They changed their defense and it screwed up our blocking schemes. They played like we did in the first half. We came out flat. We should've never stopped at halftime."
Aurelia took its opening possession of the game and scored when Kasey Reilly threw a 17-yard TD pass to Brent Kai. Reilly ran in the 2-point conversion for an 8-0 lead.
Adair-Casey answered 1 minute, 24 seconds later when John Kesselring threw a 15-yard pass to Brady Carney. Connor Moore's PAT made it 8-7.
The Bulldogs went back up 14-7 on a 5-yard run by Heath Brecher just 54 seconds into the second period. However, the Bombers responded again 1 minute, 13 seconds later when Kesselring and Zak Sheeder hooked up for a 60-yard TD to tie the game at 14-14.
Aurelia put together another excellent drive to answer the Bombers' score. Kai finished it with an 18-yard TD run. He then caught the 2-point conversion pass for a 22-14 lead with 8:14 left before halftime.
The second half, however, was all Adair-Casey. The Bombers scored three touchdowns within a 7-minute time span to take a 35-22 lead.
Jared Uhlman ran 13 yards for the first score, and the 2-point conversion pass tied the game at 22-22 with 7:23 to play. On the Bombers' next possession, Kesselring fired a 44-yard TD pass to Jesse Clarke for a 29-22 lead.
Aurelia was stopped on its third straight possession, and a Heath Brecher punt was downed on the Bombers' 1-yard line. Two players later, Uhlman raced 77 yards down the left sideline for a touchdown. The kick was blocked for a 35-22 lead with 50 seconds left in the third quarter.
The fourth quarter did not get any better. Adair-Casey scored on its first possession when Uhlman ran it in from 1 yard out for a 41-22 lead with 10:47 remaining.
Aurelia got possession of the ball, and on the first play, Reilly threw a pass that was intercepted by Clarke and returned 27 yards for a touchdown. The PAT made it 48-22 with 10:34 left.
Trailing by 26 with 10:34 left, Aurelia put together a scoring drive, but it lasted nearly 4 minutes. Reilly threw a 17-yard TD pass to Kai with 3:15 remaining to cut the deficit to 48-30.
Adair-Casey tacked on a score late in the game.
Aurelia was outgained on the ground 293-142. Brecher had 114 yards for the Bulldogs. Reilly completed 10 of 19 passes for 94 yards. Kai caught eight of those for 84 yards.
Brecher led Aurelia's defense with 18 tackles. Reilly, Matt Sangwin and T.J. Schaefer all had 10 apiece.
Aurelia finishes 8-2 overall.
"I'm proud as heck of our kids," Radke said. "They did their job the best that they could. They have nothing to be ashamed of. We made some mistakes that they took advantage of. It was a fun season and a great time."
Aurelia 8 14 0 8 - 30
Adair-Casey 7 7 21 19 - 54
A-Kai 17 pass from Reilly (Reilly run)
AC-Carney 15 pass from Kesselring (Moore kick)
A-Brecher 5 run (run failed)
AC-Sheeder 60 pass from Kesselring (Moore kick)
A-Kai 18 run (Kai pass from Reilly)
AC-Uhlman 12 run (Clarke pass from Kesselring)
AC-Clarke 44 pass from Kesselring (Moore kick)
AC-Uhlman 77 run (kick blocked)
AC-Uhlman 1 run (run failed)
AC-Clarke 27 interception return (Moore kick)
A-Kai 17 pass from Reilly (Sonksen pass from Reilly)
AC-Kesselring 5 run (run failed)
TEAM STATISTICS A AC
First downs 15 11
Rushes-yards 51-142 44-293
Com.-Att.-Int. 10-19-1 5-11-1
Passing yards 94 152
Total net yards 236 445
Return yards 81 71
Punts-Avg. 5-37 3-34
Fumbles-lost 1-1 1-0
Penalties-yards 3-35 6-71
Rushing-Aurelia: Brecher 28-114, Kai 7-34, Reilly 16-(-6). Adair-Casey: Uhlman 20-184, Kesselring 7-58, Sheeder 9-38, Carney 4-19.
Passing-Aurelia: Reilly 10-19-1-94. Adair-Casey: Kesselring 5-11-1-152.
Receiving-Aurelia: Kai 8-84, Sonksen 1-6, Weathers 1-4. Adair-Casey: Clarke 2-72, Sheeder 1-60, Uhlman 1-5.
Tackles-Aurelia: Brecher 18, Reilly 10, Schaefer 10, Sangwin 10, Corderman 8, Sonksen 8.