ROCK HILL, S.C. - The Rock Hill Bearcats played their first home game of the season Friday night, and Ryan Adams drove down from the University of North Carolina.
Adams, a former standout for the Bearcats in football and wrestling, came home to watch his little brother, Phillip Adams. He picked a good game.
Rock Hill scored 22 points in the final quarter and beat previously undefeated South Aiken, 34-3.
The Thoroughbreds were held to 28 yards rushing and 59 yards passing and had 12 plays that ended in negative yardage.
Adams, a senior defensive back, punt returner and the backup quarterback, played the game of his life.
"All I do is go out there and do my job, do what the coaches ask of me and try to help the team,'' Adams said. "We go out and play Bearcats football every Friday night, and this year a lot of people aren't giving us the respect we deserve. We are the defending Big 16 state champion, and we plan on going back to Columbia this year.''
Rock Hill and South Aiken went into game tied for 10th in this week's Associated Press poll. With the Bearcats clinging to a 6-3 lead at the half - which ended with an Adams interception - Rock Hill coach Joe Montgomery pulled started Ben Poore for a series and inserted Adams.
Adams led the Bearcats on a 51-yard, nine play drive to the Thoroughbreds' end zone. He carries five times for 38 yards. His last run was a 2-yard romp around left end that put Rock Hill up 12-3. He wasn't finished.
Adams fielded a 40-yard punt from South Aiken's Bret DiTullio early in the fourth quarter at the Bearcats' 15. He ran toward the wedge, then cut right. A clearout block by Donkay Degraffenreid sprung Adams into the open and he raced down the sideline for an 85-yard touchdown.
"Phillip really gave us a spark,'' Montgomery said. "We put him in for a series in the second half, and after that our offense played well. We still have to get better, but I was really pleased with the way our line blocked in the second half.''
Rock Hill scored again on its next possession, this time on a 25-yard Jay Jackson run. Jackson played most of the game at tailback because Bryant Venable was out with a slight ankle injury.
Then it was time for one of those plays you seldom see. South Aiken quarterback Calvin Fuller backed into the end zone to throw. The Thoroughbreds' tailback, Rod West, was called for holding in the end zone and the Bearcats were awarded two points for a safety, pushing their lead to 28-3.