The Adairsville High football team scored a touchdown on a Mason Boswell-to-Derrick Simmons pass to make it a 20-19 Chattooga with a little more than two minutes left in the fourth quarter.
It was then that Tigers head football coach Eric Bishop decided to make a bold call.
Bishop decided to go for a 2-point conversion, either winning the game in regulation or sending the Tigers to a disappointing season-opening loss.
The risk paid off in full, as Adairsville put the ball in the hands of its star, Boswell, and he reached pay dirt for a 21-20 Adairsville lead, which would ultimately be the final score.
"The decision was really easier than you might think in that situation, because we missed the PAT on our second touchdown and we were driving and we had already made the decision and knew the play we were going to call if we got back to it because we were going to have them do it to tie the game," Bishop said of the call. "But then Chattooga missed their PAT, when they went up 20-13 [in the third quarter]. So basically, the decision had already been made from the previous series on how we were going to get the game tied. So when they missed it, we already had the decision made — the formation and the play."
After a dropped deep pass fell incomplete, which would have put Chattooga ahead, Boswell intercepted a pass on the next play, effectively ending the ballgame and giving the Tigers the win.
The game wasn't always so action-packed, however. Both teams struggled early on with numerous penalties. It seemed as though when one team would get just a little momentum, they found themselves hit with back-to-back penalties.
The Tigers finished the game with 11 penalties for 87 yards with Bishop saying they could be chalked up to inexperience.
“The first drive was good then we started spitting and sputtering after that," he said. "I think it’s just our inexperience we have only four returning starts on offense and five on defense.”
Adairsville took an early 7-0 lead when Boswell connected with Wade Conduff for a touchdown from 32 yards out. However, it would only take about five minutes for the visitors to march down the field and tie up the game when Mack Malachi rushed in from just a couple yards out.
Neither team would score again before the half.
After the break, Chattooga took a 14-7 lead. The host Tigers fired back, but they came up short on the extra point.
It wasn’t until the fourth quarter that the flags slowed down and the real action occurred. With just 6:08 remaining in the contest, Chattooga took a 20-13 lead.
However, the Tigers never wavered and maintained their composure with Boswell connecting with Simmons for the touchdown and Boswell scoring on the 2-point conversion for the win.
Defensively, senior middle linebacker Nic Jackson led the way with 11 tackles.
On offense, Boswell finished with 18 carries for 131 yards and a touchdown, while also going 5-for-17 through the air for 109 yards and a touchdown. Landon Ayers added 15 carries for 80 yards and Conduff had two receptions for 80 yards and a touchdown.
While Bishop undoubtedly will find plenty on film to work on, he can't complain with the end result.
“An opening win anywhere is good, but an opening win at home and especially in the fashion and regards to how poor our performance was [in the scrimmage] last week," Bishop said. "It was definitely emotional."