High School Sports

UNC recruit ties state record for most punt returns for touchdown in one game

Green Hope receiver Jordyn Adams (2) carries the ball on an end-around during the Southern Nash game at Green Hope on Friday, August 18, 2017. Southern Nash won the game 38-28.
Green Hope receiver Jordyn Adams (2) carries the ball on an end-around during the Southern Nash game at Green Hope on Friday, August 18, 2017. Southern Nash won the game 38-28. newsobserver.com

Green Hope senior wide receiver Jordyn Adams will only play high school football for one season in North Carolina, but that’s all the Tar Heels recruit needed to set a state record.

Adams, who moved to Cary last winter from South Carolina to be closer to his father, an assistant coach at North Carolina, returned three punts for touchdown against Cary on Friday in a 53-34 win. That ties him with marks set by East Duplin’s Vishone Kennion in 1997 and Reidsville’s Austyn Chestnut in 2016. The record will need to be officially reported to the N.C. High School Athletic Association to go down as an official record.

Adams, who will play in the U.S. Army All-American Game, was electrifying

His first return went 45 yards after Cary punted out of the front of its own end zone. Adams caught the ball on the left side of the field, stiff-armed one player, eluded two more while back-tracking behind the 50-yard line and reversing field to score on the right-hand side.

Adams’ second return, a 65-yarder, was more improbable.

He caught the rugby-style punt on a high bounce and one Cary defender just missed pulling him down for an immediate tackle and gain of zero yards. Instead, Adams made that defender whiff, stiff-armed another and sprinted down the left sideline before angling back to the right side for a touchdown.

Adams’ record-tying touchdown was 66 yards.

He was backing up to field another low line-drive punt, and backed up to the 30 as he eyed the Cary coverage unit one more time. Three Imps players got at least a glove on him as he weaved through the middle of traffic, but Adams found the end zone again after one stiff-arm and a few blocks.

The state record for the most punt returns for touchdown in a single year is seven by former Richmond County and UNC star Michael Waddell.

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