■ Easton run­ning back Adams romps to 4 TDs in blowout.

Run­ning back racks up 241 rush­ing yards, 4 TDs

The Morning Call - - SPORTS - By Michael Blouse Michael Blouse is a free­lance writer for The Morn­ing Call.


Easton en­tered Fri­day night’s East­ern Penn­syl­va­nia Con­fer­ence con­test against Lib­erty with three wins over three win­less teams.

Nah­jee Adams, the Red Rovers’ star run­ning back, said Easton was anx­ious to play a qual­ity op­po­nent.

“Ac­tu­ally, all week we were re­mind­ing each other this game would shape us for the rest of the sea­son,” Adams said. “It was a good test be­cause Lib­erty is a good team.”

If the game was in­deed a test, Easton aced it.

Adams rushed for 241 yards and four touch­downs as the un­beaten Red Rovers routed

Lib­erty 44-7 on a per­fect night for foot­ball at Cot­ting­ham Sta­dium.

Af­ter the Hur­ri­canes tied the score at 7 mid­way through the open­ing quar­ter, coach Jeff Braido’s Easton squad rolled up 37 straight points over the fi­nal three quar­ters to im­prove to 4-0 over­all and 2-0 in EPC South Di­vi­sion ac­tion.

Lib­erty, which went toe-to-toe with Beth­le­hem Catholic in a 27-22 loss last week, fell to 2-2 and 0-2.

“You can only play who’s on your sched­ule,” Braido said. “We played three teams [Po­cono Moun­tain West, White­hall and Dieruff] that hadn’t won a game all sea­son. And I told our kids we haven’t proven any­thing to any­one. This was our first true test tonight.

“I talked to them about play­ing all 48 min­utes of the foot­ball game, which we hadn’t done dur­ing the first three games. I think they did a pretty darn good job tonight.”

Amaz­ing Adams: A 5-foot-10, 185pound ju­nior, Adams has amassed 927 yards and 12 touch­downs through Easton’s first four games. He av­er­ages an as­tound­ing 10.9 yards per carry.

It was ap­par­ent from the Red Rovers’ open­ing pos­ses­sion — an 80-yard, 10-play touch­down drive — that Adams was in for another huge night. He car­ried 21 times for 146 yards and three TDs in the first half.

“My of­fen­sive line did a re­ally good job of block­ing on the first drive,” said Adams, who was voted a team cap­tain. “When we punched it in, I had a re­ally great feel­ing we were go­ing to play 48 min­utes of foot­ball and we did that ex­tremely well.”

“Nah­jee’s been great,” Braido said. “He’s hum­ble, he’s very well spo­ken. And he’s a tremen­dous leader on and off the field. Ob­vi­ously, he’s a great weapon to have.”

Adams’ touch­downs came on runs of 11, 1, 5 and 78 yards.

His 78-yarder with 4:12 left in the third quar­ter made the score 44-7 and set into ef­fect the run­ning-clock mercy rule.

Adams, smartly, men­tioned Easton’s O-line of tack­les Pa­trick Shupp and Josh Arias, guards Derek Frinzi and RJ Gisler, cen­ter Gio Raso and tight end Do­minic Fal­cone sev­eral times in his postgame in­ter­view.

“To run for that many yards, it’s all about will,” he said, “and my of­fen­sive line and the coaches.”

Stel­lar sec­ond: Easton dom­i­nated Lib­erty 24-0 in the de­ci­sive sec­ond pe­riod, turn­ing two spe­cial-teams mis­cues by the Hur­ri­canes and one turnover into points.

Adams started the Red Rovers’ scor­ing spree with a 1-yard touch­down plunge early in the quar­ter.

Then, af­ter Jack Rothen­hausler couldn’t scoop up a low snap and Easton tack­led the Lib­erty punter at the Hur­ri­canes’ 19, Red Rovers kicker Jaxon Heine­meyer con­verted a 31-yard field goal. Lib­erty then fum­bled on its next pos­ses­sion and Easton quickly cashed in as Adams scored from 5 yards out.

Easton’s fi­nal touch­down of the first half came af­ter Do­minick Ap­gar blocked a punt. Rovers quar­ter­back Cole Tran­sue scored on the next play, a 4-yard run.

“I think all three phases [of­fense, de­fense and spe­cial teams] did an out­stand­ing job tonight,” Braido said. “With the com­pe­ti­tion in our con­fer­ence, you’ve got to be on in all three phases ev­ery week. So hope­fully, we can con­tinue with that into next week.”

Canes chat­ter: Lib­erty coach John Truby was frus­trated with his team’s per­for­mance af­ter a solid ef­fort last week.

Se­nior quar­ter­back Dal­las Holmes scored the Hur­ri­canes’ only touch­down, a 48-yard sprint on a de­signed run. Lib­erty, though, man­aged only 34 yards rush­ing and 72 pass­ing.

“The sec­ond quar­ter, it got away from us,” Truby said. “We didn’t help our­selves in a lot of spots.

“But they came out and they just phys­i­cally beat us. We def­i­nitely did not han­dle their phys­i­cal­ity like we did against Beth­le­hem Catholic last week. Re­ally, I’m just dis­ap­pointed we didn’t show up and play bet­ter, but give the credit to Easton. They came out and just flat steam­rolled us.”

To the fu­ture: The Hur­ri­canes and Red Rovers both are back in ac­tion on Fri­day, Sept. 20.

Lib­erty plays Park­land (2-1, 1-1) at BASD Sta­dium while Easton wel­comes Em­maus (3-1, 1-1) to Cot­ting­ham Sta­dium. Both EPC South con­tests are sched­uled to start at 7 p.m.


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