FAMILIAR TERRITORY — Some high school football teams might have a game or two throughout the course of a season that is decided in the fourth quarter. For Adairsville, though, nail-biters have been extremely common over the last two seasons.
The Tigers have seen seven of their last 16 games decided by one score, dating back to the 2018 season opener. Adairsville has bookended that stretch with two eerily similar games.
In both instances, the Tigers used late touchdowns and successful 2-point conversions to rally for 1-point wins. It happened in a season-opening 21-20 victory over Chattooga last year, and Friday's 22-21 triumph over Lakeview-Fort Oglethorpe followed a nearly identical script.
In between, Adairsville has seen five other games come down to the final moments, including each of the team's three home games this season.
Last year, the Tigers saw North Murray score a touchdown on the game's final play; the following week, Adairsville picked up a 13-12 win over LFO; and later in the season, head coach Eric Bishop's team fell 14-10 to Sonoraville.
In this year's home opener, Adairsville came out on the right side in a 14-7 victory over Bartow County rival Cass. Three weeks later, the Tigers had a potential game-winning field goal blocked, as Haralson County took a 13-12 win.
While the next two games will be tough with Calhoun and Sonoraville upcoming, Adairsville will close the slate with extremely winnable games against Murray County and Ringgold.
Chances are that at least one of the contests will come down to the wire. If it does happen, there's no team more prepared for such a scenario than the Tigers.
PHEW, THAT WAS CLOSE — It is doubtful the Region 5-AAAA title will come down to style points, so the Cartersville High football team can just be pleased with the 16-14 win Friday at Central, Carroll, improving the Canes’ record to 6-0 and 2-0 in region play.
The Canes were heavy favorites entering the game against Central, and upset alerts rang throughout the state when Cartersville fell behind by a score of 7-3 late in the third quarter. Nevertheless, Cartersville was able to prevail.
Most teams around the state have close calls like that all the time, but the Canes and their now-54 game win streak are not most programs. Games like that are so uncommon since Trevor Lawrence took over as starting quarterback in Game 3 of the 2014 season, that only six of those 54-straight regular season wins were determined by a margin of victory of 10 or fewer points.
Cartersville head coach Conor Foster didn’t seem worried after the game, and the Canes should extend that regular season win streak to 55 next week at LaGrange. However, it is the following week when Cartersville’s streak will be in peril. That’s when Sandy Creek comes to Weinman Stadium, and the Patriots are also undefeated so far this year. They just beat likely region playoff team Troup County Friday, 44-7, much more convincingly than the Canes beat Central.