It took two quarters of football, but the American High Eagles football team found their running game and dominated the second half with 34 unanswered points to earn a 34-14 comeback victory at Dougherty Valley Friday.
American (2-1) struggled before halftime with three three-and-out series during its six first-half possessions and accumulated only five first downs. But those struggles would disappear immediately after the intermission as the Eagles scored touchdowns on every possession of the second half except for the final drive that ran off the clock.
"We challenged a few key guys at halftime," American head coach Bret Casey said of the second-half scoring barrage. "We've had a couple guys that we've counted on all year really step up for us in the second half."
The Eagles' first score came on their second play from scrimmage with a 22-yard run from Drew Lyell. A Dougherty Valley fumble on the ensuing possession allowed American to tie the score on a 2-yard quarterback keeper from Ryan Barker.
American running back Eric Adair took his team's first lead on the first play of the fourth quarter with a 6-yard run. Adair was the second-half star for the Eagles, recording 110 of his 132 rushing yards in the second half.
"My line blocked real well and I just told coach to keep giving me the ball," Adair said. "I just saw the holes that my linemen were giving me and I got those yards."
"Our line started to wear them out," Casey said. "Our game plan all week was to win the battle at the line. We kind of got away from that in the first half, and we decided at halftime to go with what we do best."
After taking the lead for good, American added two more scores -- a 30-yard interception return from Deangelo Cox and another keeper from Barker -- to seal its second victory of the still-young season.
Dougherty Valley's first half scores came via the ground, with touchdown runs from Lanre Adelekan and Kody Knezeak.
American 34, Dougherty Valley 14
American 0 0 14 20 — 34
Dougherty Valley 0 14 0 0 — 14
DV — Adelekan 5 run (Kwnagmin kick)
DV — Knezeak 9 run (Kwnagmin kick)
AMR — Lyell 22 run (Mayoral kick)
AMR — Barker 2 run (Mayoral kick)
AMR — Adair 6 run (kick failed)
AMR — Cox 30 interception (Lyle 2-pt conversion)
AMR — Barker 2 run (kick failed)
Rushing: AMR — Adair 27-132, Lyell 19-100, Barker 8-20, Basurto 3-10, Pinkney 2-3. Totals: 59-265. DV — Adelekan 6-33, Knezeak 2-23, Larkin 5-20, Edejer 1-11, Adeoti 6-3, Farooq 2-(-21). Totals: 22-69.
Passing: AMR — Barker 5-12-0, 92. DV — Farooq, 4-21-1, 63.
Receiving: AMR —Adair 2-42, Giwa 2-38, Lyell 1-12. WAS — Edejer 1-31, Do 2-14, Montano 1-18. Fumbles/Lost: AMR — 3/0. DV — 1/1.
Records: American 2-1, Dougherty Valley 0-3.