Sidnee Johnson scored three touchdowns — two from long distance — to lead the Tigers past the Warriors, and Marcus Childers employed the aerial route for one score and hoofed it in from four yards out for part of his contributions to the winning cause.
Head coach Eric Bishop said the offense set the tone for the evening by shutting down its own miscues.
“We needed our offense to have a game like that,” Bishop said. “We stepped it up on offense tonight. We got some of that consistency that we’ve been looking for. It was a great night.
“Sidnee Johnson had another outstanding night, but this is not a one-man show. We roll in a lot of kids and that offensive line is coming around. Our potential is through the roof right now.”
Johnson scored on touchdown runs of 55, 51 and one yard. He had six carries for 141 yards. Childers fired a 20-yard touchdown strike to Austin Harris and ran one in from four yards.
The team’s other two touchdowns came on a 14-yard run by Dallas Cannon and a 1-yard rush by Chris Blackstone.
The Tigers’ first touchdown did not come until they had handled some adversity. The Warriors picked up a first down and then had to punt from their own 35.
That punt proved too hot for the Tigers to handle, however, and LFO looked to be in business when they recovered it at the Adairsville 39. But the Warriors couldn’t take advantage as the Tigers defense stood its ground and held LFO to three and out, turning the ball over on downs.
The Tigers ran one play and fumbled but somehow recovered and advanced the ball to LFO’s 20 in the six-play drive. On the seventh drive, Childers connected with Harris and Adairsville was up 7-0 after Dakota Hines converted the first of seven point-after-touchdowns he made on the evening. The touchdown was Childers’ first completion of the night, coming with 4:31 remaining in the period.
The Tiger defense flexed its muscle and held LFO to three plays the next drive. The Adairsville offense then took eight plays to cover 57 yards, the biggest chunk coming on a run by Johnson and netting 26 yards. Childers capped the drive with a four-yard run and Adairsville had a 14-0 lead.
After holding the Warriors to three plays, Adairsville took back over on offense after receiving the LFO punt at its own 43.
An eight-play drive — six on the ground and two through the air — gave the Tigers their second touchdown of the night when Childers called his own number and carried the freight for four yards that led to a 14-0 lead with 37 seconds remaining in the first quarter. Hines again made the PAT for the Tigers.
Adairsville scored its third touchdown of the first half on a drive that started on its own 15-yard line. Tristin Smith rushed for 11 yards to give the Tigers the ball at their 26. Childers then connected with Morgan Garrison for 14 yards and then 11 yards to advance to the Adairsville 49. Johnson pounded into the heart of the Warrior line two plays later until he found empty space and then sped his way to completing a 51-yard touchdown run that gave the Tigers a 21-0 lead.
Johnson added to his point total the second play of the second half when he found a seam in the LFO line and scored his second touchdown, this one after a 55-yard run and ringing the Tigers into a 28-0 lead.
Johnson scored yet another touchdown the next Adairsville drive, this one a one-yard run that put the Tigers up 35-0 with 8:22 remaining in the third quarter.
The Tigers raised their point total to 42 on a 14-yard run by Cannon with 1:17 left in the third quarter.
Adairsville scored its final points with 5:30 remaining in the game when Blackston found the goal line from a yard out.
Bishop had words of praise for the effort by Childers, his quarterback.
“He’s getting into mid-season form now. Marcus, the best thing he does, is he’s like a coach on the field,” Bishop said. “He’s really keeping us in the right play and making sure everybody is lined up and knows their assignment.”
Adairsville used the game to improve to 2-1 overall, with wins over Armuchee and Pepperell. The Tigers’ only loss came to Cass.
The Tigers play their second region game next week as they visit Ringgold, a traditional power in northwest Georgia. Kickoff is at 7:30 p.m. for that contest.
LFO dropped to 1-3. It next plays Gordon Central, which it visits Friday with the kickoff at 7:30 p.m.