Tigers win at LFO to earn playoff berth
The Adairsville Tigers scored a pair of fourth quarter touchdowns capping lengthy drives and blanked host Lakeview-Fort Oglethorpe in the final period to defeat the Warriors 34-21.
The victory also advanced Adairsville to the Class AAA state playoffs next Friday night against a Region 5-AAA opponent to be determined.
Mason Boswell came up big for the Tigers in the victory. The junior quarterback ran for 209 yards on 27 attempts with three touchdowns and threw for 40 yards in the game. 137 of his rushing yards came after LFO tied the game in the third quarter.
Adairsville fell behind early after a one-yard touchdown run by Warriors' 1000+ yard rusher, junior Nathan Williams, but the Tigers' Travon Branch raced 78 yards for a score on the Adairsville's next possession to make the score 7-6. Josh Honea’s extra point kick hit the right upright.
Adairsville then set up their next score by recovering an onside kick.
Cody Henderson connected with fellow receiver Ethan Belcher on a 47-yard reverse pass play to set up Boswell’s one yard touchdown run.
Boswell then found Christian Steele in the back of the end zone on a two-point conversion pass and a 14-7 lead with 3:54 remaining in the first quarter.
The Tigers added another first half score late in the second quarter.
Boswell hit Belcher on a slant pass for 27 yards to set up a second Boswell touchdown run with 1:54 remaining in the first half. The 35-yard scamper down the left sideline and Honea's successful PAT gave Adairsville a 21-7 lead.
LFO came right back down the field on seven plays and took advantage of four Adairsville penalties. The 80-yard scoring drive was culminated on the final play of the first half when quarterback Zach Vaughn passed to Ruddy Ware for a five yard score. Baley Goins' extra point kick made the score 21-14 at the intermission.
The only score of the third quarter was a one yard run by the Warriors’ Vaughn. His keeper capped a 50-yard drive that only took five plays. It was set up by a blocked field goal attempt by Adairsville. Goins’ PAT tied the game 21-21 with 3:36 left in the third period.
Adairsville added their two long scoring drives in the final period to put the game away.
Boswell, who rushed 228 yards on 27 carries, ended a 92 yard, nine-play drive for the Tigers with a 5-yard touchdown run with 7:19 remaining. That gave Adairsville a 28-21 lead after Honea’s kick.
The most crucial play occurred when Boswell converted a fourth and two in the Tigers' own territory with a 36-yard keeper.
The final Tigers’ score came with only 1:31 remaining. Daylon Bailey hit paydirt from five yards out to wrap up an 88-yard, 10-play drive that included several strong Boswell runs. Belcher then intercepted a pass on LFO's next possession and the Tigers ran out the clock.
Branch finished with six carries for 111 yards and one touchdown. He also added one reception. Burgess rushed for 59 yards on 11 attempts. He also added nine tackles and a pass break up on defense. Bailey ran for a touchdown and 37 yards on five carries. Savaun Henderson chipped in on the defensive side with 11 stops.
Adairsville will open the Class AAA state playoffs next Friday as the No. 4 seed from Region 6AAA on the road at top ranked Cedar Grove. The Saints (10-0) have been the No. 1 team in Class AAA most of the season and are the Region 5AAA champions.