The Upperman Bees got the response they were looking for as they got back into the win column with a 48-6 win over Cannon County on Friday night in Baxter.
The Bees (3-2, 2-0) celebrated Homecoming by racing out to a quick start and never looking back as they rolled to the blowout Region 4/3A win.
“We spent all week trying to figure out a way to get a spark,” said UHS head coach Adam Caine. “We looked at schematic changes, some personnel changes… We really had a physical week. The thing I was most pleased with was the changes we did make seemed like it provided us a little shot in the arm. I hope we can continue to build on those types of things.”
The Bees faced question marks coming off a narrow loss against Livingston Academy in week four, but responded by outgaining the Lions 444 yards to 115 in Friday’s win.
Caine said he was pleased.
“I was very pleased with the energy level, the focus and the competitiveness,” said Caine. “When you come off a game like we did at Livingston, you just want to see a group of guys kind of get in the foxhole together and come out and play some team football. I think we did that. We executed pretty well in all three phases.”
Junior Ty Dutchess was dominant in the game. He got the scoring started for the Bees with a 67-yard touchdown rush less than four minutes into the game. Josh Manis’ PAT gave Upperman a 7-0 lead. Junior Jyron McClellan tallied his second touchdown in two weeks later in the quarter, and Dutchess put the game away with three seconds remaining in the first on an 87-yard touchdown rush to move the lead to 21-0.
Caine said his staff made a point to give players who performed well in practice opportunities on the field, and it showed as Caden Shanks, Thomas Ensor, Daniel Metzgar and Elijah Petty all scored touchdowns.
Dutchess led the way on the stat sheet. He rushed for 179 yards and two touchdowns on just four carries, averaging 44.8 yards per carry. He was also 2-2 through the air for 47 yards and a touchdown.
“He’s got really good speed,” said Caine on Dutchess. “The old saying goes ‘speed never goes into a slump,’ If we can block and get him loose, he’s able to go the distance. We found that out about Ty last year. He’s only gotten better. When he takes care of the football I think he’s as good as anybody in the state. I was very pleased with him. I’ve never seen a stat line quite like that.”
Sophomore tailback Terrance Dedmon rushed for 104 yards on five carries. McClellan added 34 yards and a touchdown on four carries.
“I’ve been very pleased with the way (McClellan’s) come on the last few weeks,” said Caine. “He is a talented runner. He’s a kid that wants the football, and I think that’s important. We’re going to reward the kids that work hard in practice and reward the kids who perform on Friday night. He’s one of those guys.”
The Bees will now turn their attention towards a matchup with Oneida (4-0). Oneida has been strong to open the season, outscoring their opponents 116-19 through four games.
“We’re going to try to flatten out this roller coaster ride we’ve been on,” said Caine. “I do see a team that’s hungry and eager to do well. I think they really want to win. Each week we’re learning what it takes to win. I think they know Oneida and the tradition and the physical brand of football they bring in. As long as we have a good week of preparation then we’ll be able to get ourselves into a competitive game and hopefully pull it out.”
Kickoff between the Bees and Oneida is set for 7 p.m. Friday in Baxter. It is the High School Football Game of the Week and will be broadcast live on the UCR Facebook page and on Newstalk 107.7 and 1400 the HUB.
Photos by David Little