Garces High senior Cruise Adams is in his first season as a varsity starter, and he’s making it count. The Rams are a top-50 team from Bakersfield in the competitive state of California, and the spread offense specialist was forced to pass a tough test to start the season.
With the Rams down 20-0 against San Luis Obispo, he threw three touchdowns in the fourth quarter to preserve a 21-20 win. In the same game, he finished with a season-best 370 yards on 25-of-42 passing.
Arguably the best Division 2 team in the Central Section, Garces faced its first Division 1 opponent of the season on Sep. 7. The Bakersfield Drillers are ranked 14th in the state and needed every minute of game time to shake off Adams and the Rams.
Garces led 24-21 early in the fourth quarter before Bakersfield came away with 13 points and the win. “That game showed us what we’re capable of. We have the talent to hang and compete with anybody. If we play our best game, we can defeat any team we play,” Adams reflected.
That sentiment carried over to the games following the Bakersfield loss, as the Rams came away with three dominant victories to move their record to 5-1. In those games, they outscored their opponents by a combined 131-13.
Looking at their remaining schedule, one would reasonably expect the Rams to win out heading to the playoffs. But Adams doesn’t let that fact deter his team’s focus. “We prepare every week like we are going to play BHS again.” And as if that wasn’t enough to deal with, Adams is also the Rams’ punter and one of two place kickers. As a junior, he kicked a 41-yard field goal so rest assured he can hit more than just PATs.
Off the field, Adams is receiving college attention from San Jose State, Utah State and UNLV among others. It’s an exciting progression after following his father’s direction. “My dad played tight end at Long Beach State, and he started practicing with me when I was younger. I remember we’d go outside and I would throw 200 passes every weekend, and that’s how it all started.”
Now part of the NFA system, Adams’s primary coach is L.A.-based Mansur Ivie. As Adams told me, “We’ve already trained about five times together since the season started to work on some fundamentals. He’s doing a great job in terms of getting together with me.”
Helping Garces become such a dangerous team so quickly speaks to the talent level possessed by Adams. Look for the Rams to gallop confidently into the playoffs and perform well there later this season.