Gallery: Undefeated Hornets Win Home Opener

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 09/08/2012 - 01:01

A potent offensive attack and "white out" conditions at Hornet Stadium proved too much to overcome for Adrian as Saline won 58-20 to improve to 3-0.

Kevin Gross rushed for four touchdowns and Tyler Palka completed 12 of 19 passes for 264 yards and two touchdowns to lead the Hornets.

In the first half, it appeared the teams were headed for a shootout. Palka connected with Gage Hammond on a beautiful  38-yard passing score. Adrian answered with an 80-yard drive that resulted in six points. Adrian began its next drive with good field position and added six more points early in the second quarter for a 12-7 lead. But the Hornets responded with a 62-yard drive that resulted in an eight-yard touchdown rush by Palka.

The see-saw game continued, with Adrian using short basses and the speedy of running back Isaac Gradeless, to march 80 yards down the field and take a 20-14 lead with 7:48 to play in the second quarter.

It took Saline less than three minutes to regain the lead. Gross scored on a 25-yard scamper through the Adrian defense. Hammond's kick made it 21-20.

It was hard to know it at the time, but the game changed on the next possession, as Saline forced a three-and-out. The resulting Hornet drive ended when an end zone pass for Hammond deflected into the hands of an Adrian defender for an interception. The player elected to turn return the interception instead of taking a knee in the end zone and the Hornets stopped him at the Adrian six. Saline stopped Adrian cold and Adrian punted from their own five. Saline started its next drive at the 26 and took a 24-20 lead when Hammond booted a 29-yard field goal as the first half expired.

The reinvigorated Hornet defense stopped Adrian in its tracks to start the second half. An Adrian fumble was recovered by Matt Barbu..On the next play, Gross rushed 10 yards for a touchdown. Saline led 31-20.

Adrian's next drive nearly got them back in the game. A 31-yard touchdown pass was dropped in the end zone on third down. On fourth down, Matt Monahan stopped a receiver short of the first down marker and Saline took over. Saline's 75-yard scoring drive ended in a two-yard touchdown run by Gross. Saline led 38-20. 

The Hornets put it away on the next drive when Ashby blocked a punt. Nader El- Awar recovered and returned it to the Adrian four. Gross rushed it in and Saline led 44-20.

Saline added to its lead with a 34-yard passing play between Palka and Caleb Luckett. Brad McCormick finished up the Hornet scoring with 52-yard touchdown run.

Gross finished with 83 yard rushing on 17 carries. He rushed for four touchdowns. He also also gained 91 yards on four catches. McCormick rushed for 89 yards on 11 carries. 

John Smutny, Barbu, Matt Goeman, Ashby, Alex Kendig and Jake Swick were each in on seven tackles. Barbu recovered a fumble. Matt Monahan picked off two passes.

The Hornets host Pioneer next week.

Tran Longmoore's picture
Tran Longmoore
Tran Longmoore is a veteran community journalist. He is founder and owner of He is co-publisher of The Saline Post weekly newspaper. Email him at [email protected] or call him at 734-272-6294.

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