<HR><CENTER><B>Adrian rolls to big win<br> in Fulda Thursday</B></CENTER>

By John Rittenhouse

The Adrian football team opened the 2000 season in impressive fashion Thursday by rolling to a 27-8 road win in Fulda Thursday.

The defending Little Sioux Conference champions were expected to be tested by an improved Fulda team, but it was the Dragons who made a statement.

First-year starting quarterback Mark Kroon threw for two touchdowns and ran for another, and the AHS defense forced the Raiders to punt without registering a first down in six of their eight offensive possessions of the game.

"It was a good start for us," said Dragon coach Randy Strand. "We still have a few bugs to work out, but we'll be OK."

After losing most of its players who played the skilled positions on offense to graduation last season, Adrian entered the 2000 season with something to prove on that side of the line of scrimmage.

It didn't take long for the Dragons to serve notice that they will be able to move the ball. After receiving the opening kick, AHS put together a long drive that chewed 7:32 off the clock before Kroon scored on a three-yard run with 4:28 remaining in the opening quarter. A successful Kroon-to-Seth Bullerman conversion pass followed the touchdown.

"We took the opening drive and put it in the end zone. It was a typical Adrian drive, sixteen plays, 80 yards," Strand said.

The Adrian defense also made a good debut when Joey Anderson picked off a Fulda pass to end the Raiders' opening possession and give the offense good field position at the Raider 20-yard line.

Five plays later, Bullerman scored on a three-yard plunge. The pass for a conversion was incomplete, leaving the Dragons with a 14-0 cushion at the 1:14 mark of the first quarter.

Adrian increased its lead to 21-0 with another long drive with its fourth possession of the game.

The Dragons marched 80 yards in six plays, including a 46-yard run by Bullerman. Kroon hooked up with Brad Lonneman for a 20-yard scoring pass to cap the drive, and Levi Bullerman added the extra point to make with 1:36 left to play in the first half.

Adrian made a bid to put the game away early with a good drive to start the second half, but the possession ended on downs on the Raider four.

Fulda, however, fumbled moments later, and Dragon Jared Henriksen recovered the ball on the nine.

Kroon tossed a five-yard scoring pass to Seth Bullerman two plays later to make it a 27-0 game with six seconds left in the third quarter.

Fulda scored eight points in the fourth quarter, but the game had been settled by then.

Adrian yielded its first points of the season when a bad snap from center sailed over the head of Anderson, the Dragons' punter. Anderson ran the ball down at his own two-yard line and wisely threw the ball out of the back of the end zone for a safety.

After receiving the ensuing free kick, Fulda put together a 57-yard scoring drive capped by Brent Winter's one-yard run.

Fulda's scoring drive was its best possession against an Adrian defense that limited the Raiders to three first downs and 88 total yards in the game.

"We played really well defensively. They were supposed to be the air-it-out team of our conference. We snuffed that out by intercepting their first two passes," Strand offered.

Adrian makes its home debut against Russell-Tyler-Ruthton tomorrow night.

Team statistics

Adrian: 205 rushing yards, 90 passing yards, 295 total yards, 12 first downs, zero turnovers, two penalties for 10 yards.

Fulda: 81 rushing yards, seven passing yards, 88 total yards, three first downs, three turnovers, eight penalties for 55 yards.

Individual statistics

Rushing: Tyler Bullerman 19-66, Kroon 11-47, S.Bullerman 6-68, Henriksen 7-15, Dusty Henning 2-1, Nate Bullerman 3-8.

Passing: Kroon 7-14 for 90 yards.

Receiving: Lonneman 2-36, S.Bullerman 2-13. Travis Rupp 1-26, T.Bullerman 1-12, Henriksen 1-3.

Defense: Lonneman eight tackles and one sack, Henriksen seven tackles and one fumble recovery, Nick Voss seven tackles, Kroon one interception, Anderson one interception, N.Bullerman one sack.

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