UPPER SANDUSKY - Upper Sandusky linebacker Will Adelsperger said he didn't even know the football had come out.
Rams coach Jake Moyer said he didn't know another one of his LBs, Dermot Garza, was that quick.
But when the play was over, it was perhaps a 15-point swing and a turning point in Upper Sandusky's 40-12 season-opening win over Carey.
The Blue Devils trailed 20-12 late in the first half, but were driving. Dylan Noon, who had replaced Carey starting quarterback Matthew Holsinger after an ankle injury, had filled in admirably, already scoring a TD on a 35-yard run.
On a second-and-2 from the Ram 12, Noon was back to pass.
From his blindside, Adelsperger brought pressure, hitting him. Before Noon hit the ground, the ball came out.
Garza picked the ball up at the Ram 18 and went 82 yards, untouched. He reached the end zone with 22 seconds left in the half.
Suddenly, the Rams led 27-12 at the break.
"I've never seen (Garza) run that fast... and that far," said Upper Sandusky coach Jake Moyer. "I was kidding him about that."
The play wouldn't have been possible without Adelsperger, who also scored on a 24-yard touchdown run earlier in the half.
"It was a big game-changer," Adelsperger said. "I didn't even know the ball came out at first. I just see my teammate running and I'm chasing him as fast as I can, trying to cheer him on."
Adesperger was was untouched on the play.
"I was wide open," he said. "I don't think they knew I was blitzing."
Carey coach Todd Worst - whose team turned the ball over four times - said it was a big play.
"It hurts," Worst said. "You've got to finish drives."
Three of the turnovers the Blue Devils committed happened in Upper Sandusky territory.
Worst said his squad struggled against the Rams' line.
"We didn't match up very well; we knew that coming in," he said. "We knew that we'd have to rely on some big plays to stay with it. Hopefully we could score first and put some pressure on them ... it didn't work out."
Holsinger was injured early, but did return in the second half, scoring the Blue Devils' final points on a 5-yard touchdown run in the fourth quarter. The Blue Devils other touchdown came on one of the prettiest kick returns there will be this season. Bryan Powers took the kickoff at his 11, then took off. At one point it looked like he'd be tackled near the sideline. At another, an Upper Sandusky player appeared to have a hold of his legs. But Powers fought through the the attempt and made it to the end zone.
But that was it for a while for the Blue Devils, and the Rams took advantage.
Upper Sandusky opened the scoring with a 16-yard touchdown catch by Donald Barth, which gave the Rams a 6-0 first quarter lead. Carey tied it on Noon's TD. Adelsperger and Powers then traded TDs, but a missed two-point conversion by the Blue Devils allowed the Rams to maintain a lead at the end of the first quarter.
Pritchard - who ran for 97 yards and passed for 108 - scored a 1-yard touchdown, then Garza's defensive TD capped the first-half scoring.
In the second half, the Rams' Kolin Holloway added a 1-yard score, then Barth picked off a Holsinger pass and returned it 22 yards for a TD.
Moyer said it was a good defensive effort for the Rams.
"I thought we tackled, at times, extremely well," he said. "We talk about scoop and score. We practice that."
Alex Distel ran for 61 yards on 10 carries for the Blue Devils.