FOUNTAIN MAKES IMMEDIATE IMPACT — Last season, the Cass offense was incredibly one dimensional. The team tried to keep defenses honest as best it could, but the passing attack just wasn't there.
Some of the onus was on the quarterback and some was on the pass-catchers. This year has already shown to be a definite upgrade.
Senior signal-caller Rett Moore has a season under his belt and looks confident on short and intermediate passes. The deep ball and passing in the red zone still needs some improvement, but when the defense can be stretched out, Moore showed Friday he can come through.
The biggest reason for that seems to be Jacquez Fountain.
A senior transfer from Mississippi, Fountain already looks to be a major piece for Cass this season. In his only regular season game, thus far, he caught seven passes for 121 yards in Friday's 19-10 win over Adairsville.
Wearing a blue jersey with the No. 13, Fountain looked like Odell Beckham Jr. at times with his ability. He also showcased some of the other sides associated with OBJ and other top wide receivers, particularly during a first half that saw him catch a single pass for 10 yards.
It will be up to Cass head coach Bobby Hughes and his staff to ensure Fountain keeps his cool.
"He's definitely a weapon," Hughes said. "We've just got to get him to understand teams aren't going to make it easy on him, and he can't get frustrated. He got frustrated in the first half, but he regrouped and got himself together. I'm proud of that."
As long as Fountain stays positive, he'll remain a positive impact on the Colonels. He excelled in the passing game, as one would expect, but Moore pointed out how much his presence has changed the dynamic of the entire offense.
"I don't know how else to describe him other than a blessing," Moore said after Friday's triumph. ".. Definitely a big-time game-changer and definitely helps the run game, too, because they have to respect him."
SIMMONS GAINS EXPERIENCE WITH BOSWELL OUT — It's hard to understate how much playing without Mason Boswell hurt Adairsville on Friday.
Boswell played just one defensive drive due to an ankle injury suffered during the previous week's victory over Chattooga.
"When showed back up Saturday for film, he had a great deal of swelling in it," Adairsville head coach Eric Bishop said of Boswell. "We've been doctoring it, nursing it and trying to rehab it all week. ... We thought maybe he could contribute a little more tonight. We just look at that as one more obstacle, one more piece of adversity that we have to look in the face."
The senior — who often stays on the field through consecutive offensive and defensive series, while sometimes remaining on the gridiron for special teams plays in between — does everything for the Tigers. It would be hard to argue Boswell's not the single most important player in the county to his team.
That showed Friday as Adairsville struggled to replace his production. His calming presence at quarterback was missed at times and his leadership on defense could have definitely helped his team slow down Cass.
Junior Derrick Simmons did an admirable job starting at quarterback. He got off to a fantastic start, marching the Tigers down the field for a touchdown on their opening possession.
Aside from a nice series just before halftime, Simmons found it difficult to sustain drives against a tough Cass defense. However, Bishop liked what he saw overall from Simmons, and his hope is that this baptism by fire bodes well for him and the team down the road.
"It gave Derrick Simmons a chance to come in here and get his first varsity start," Bishop said of Boswell's injury. "He played the whole game at quarterback and did some really good things. He made some progress at the quarterback position for us tonight. Hopefully, we'll look back at this in a couple of weeks and maybe we learned some things about our team, about Derrick and built some depth."
PERFECT TIME TO SAY BYE (WEEK) — With eight Region 6-AAA games all that remains on the schedule, it works out perfectly that Adairsville has an open date this coming Friday.
Even if everything had gone swimmingly during the Tigers' scrimmage and their first two regular season games, the break would come at a convenient spot on the schedule.
It would give the team a chance to rest up and refocus ahead of the games that truly matter. But given the struggles Adairsville has had over the first three games of the fall, it's safe to say the bye week is even more important than it otherwise would be.
Penalties, in particular, have been cause for concern. After struggling with pre-snap transgressions in the scrimmage with Woodland, Friday saw several flags fly for undisciplined play during and after the whistle.
"It was not so many pre-snap penalties as it was holdings and late hits after the whistle this week," Bishop said. "We've got to clean it up. Apparently, our accountability system for that isn't good enough."
He'll look to address the issues between now and Sept. 7 when Coahulla Creek visits Tiger Valley. The hope is that what his team has shown on the practice field will finally transfer to a Friday night.
"It's kind of designed that way to kind of get some bumps and bruises healed," Bishop said of the open date placement. "... You want to get back to fundamentals. Make a checklist of the things from film that we want to work on on the field next week and go from there.
"It's so out of character from us. You don't see these things on the practice field and that's what is kind of puzzling about it all."