What was Adairsville quarterback Mason Boswell's first proclamation after being named senior homecoming king — complete with Tigers legend Vic Beasley in his entourage — Friday night?
Naturally, it was an 80-yard touchdown run about midway through the third quarter.
In Adairsville's dominant, 41-10 win over Coahulla Creek in Region 6-AAA, Boswell racked up just under 200 yards on the ground, including two touchdown rushes on the day.
"Obviously, when you get a player like Mason Boswell back, that certainly helps everything," Adairsville head coach Eric Bishop said of his star player, who missed the Tigers' previous game. "He did a lot for us tonight, not just on defense but quarterback, and he played in our pistol back position."
The Colts (0-3, 0-1) managed to score first on a 41-yard field goal around the five-minute mark of the first quarter. But from thereon out, it was practically all Adairsville (2-1, 1-0).
"Defensively, we had to make some adjustments there. On the first drive, they drove the ball right down the field," Bishop said. "Coach Jon Cudd, our defensive coordinator and our defensive staff, they always do a good job making adjustments. They ran power really good tonight, and they hit us for some big plays on it. They threw the ball a lot more than we were used to them throwing ... we had a couple of three-and-outs, prevented the touchdown, we were kind of bend-don't-break on offense tonight."
Junior safety Savaun Henderson got things going for the Tigers with a roughly 80-yard kick return touchdown about 13 seconds after the Colts' field goal to make it 7-3, Adairsville. The Tigers defense quickly forced a three-and-out and on their next possession, the Adairsville offense marched downfield and made it a 14-3 contest in the opening moments of the second quarter via a two-yard Boswell touchdown scramble.
With kicker Chris Rodriguez sidelined, Adairsville had to rely on senior Nic Jackson to play triple threat on offense, defense and special teams.
"Man, what a story that young man is," Bishop said of Jackson. "He kicked for us, he played linebacker, he played T-back, he kicked off, he kicked field goals. He hadn't kicked field goals since middle school ... he's doing everything but driving the bus right now."
Junior cornerback Ty Shawn Savage made a touchdown-stopping tackle on Coahulla Creek's ensuing kick return, but Coahulla Creek's drive was for naught as their kicker missed a roughly 25-yard field goal attempt. The Tigers' next possession ended with Boswell flipping the ball to sophomore wide receiver Courtney Slocum on the run for a 23-yard touchdown; following a successful 2-point conversion, Adairsville headed into halftime with a 22-3 lead.
Colts quarterback Cade Bates zipped a 19-yard TD pass to receiver Michael King to cut Adairsville's lead to 21-10 about 7 1/2 minutes into the third quarter.
Boswell's 80-yard rushing touchdown on the ensuing drive was pretty much the moment that drained Coahulla Creek dry. The Colts offense would make it to the Adairsville 42 on their next possession, only for Adairsville senior cornerback Danarous Johnson to intercept the pass on fourth down. That led to junior quarterback Derrick Simmons breaking off a 39-yard rushing TD with 1:20 to go in the third quarter. Less than 20 seconds later, junior linebacker Malachi Gardner secured another interception — this one, resulting in a defensive touchdown — for the Tigers, thus providing Adairsville the 41-10 final score.
"Simmons really grew up a lot from his last start at Cass and made some really good reads," Bishop said.
With the clock running through the final quarter, the last 12 minutes of the game were fairly uneventful. The Adairsville offense quickly went three-and-out as the Colts turned the ball over on downs around their own 38-yard line. Simmons appeared to have registered his second TD of the game — this one a 49-yard laser to Slocum — but a penalty against the Tigers wiped the points from the scoreboard. And from there, Adairsville seemed more than content playing the waiting game, as the integers on the clock soon struck all zeroes.
The 2-1 Tigers now prepare for a trip to Tallapoosa, with a 2-0 Haralson County squad that's outscored its opponents this season 70-7 awaiting them for a region road test next Friday.
"Haralson County is a much improved team from last year," Bishop said. "We'll work on our mistakes, make our notes from this game ... it's about fixing what we see on film in this game and being about us."