WHO SAID A PAT IS BORING? — Adairsville head coach Eric Bishop's decision to go for the 2-point conversion and win in the waning minutes of Friday's home game against Chattooga will be the indelible memory of the season opener. However, despite its importance on the outcome of the game, the play call was a simple QB keeper off right tackle for Mason Boswell.
But, earlier in the game, Adaisville made things interesting on special teams.
Adairsville came right out of the gates with a score on its first drive of the game. Following a Boswell to Wade Conduff 37-yard touchdown, the Tigers came out in the swinging gate formation with the offensive line on the right side of the field and just long snapper Cameron O'Neal and Courtney Slocum lined up in the middle by the ball. Michael Cook took the snap out of a deep shotgun and ran the ball into the end zone for the 2-point.
The play was called back due to a penalty and Chris Rodriguez came on and made a longer-than-usual PAT for one point after all the hullabaloo, but it was not the last of Adairsville mixing it up on special teams.
Later in the game, facing a fourth-and-8 around midfield, Adairsville lined up in its typical double-wing formation out of the pistol and sent Rodriguez on a sweep from his slotback position. But, instead of running to try to pick up the three yards, Rodriguez punted it 27 yards, playing the field position battle.
Neither one of the two special teams tricks paid dividends for the Tigers in the end, but they showed a willingness to take some risks, which was a theme that won the day with the game-winning 2-point conversion.
QB 1 1/2 — Mason Boswell paced the Adairsville offense from the quarterback position Friday night, but Bishop has been adamant about playing junior Derrick Simmons at the position as well to give Boswell a breather from his workload in all three phases.
Simmons was ejected during the preseason scrimmage against Woodland on Aug. 10. According to a GHSA bylaw, Simmons did not have to be suspended for the game because of the ejection, which differs from the rule when its a regular-season game. Simmons, though, was still held out the first quarter by the coaching staff.
As a result of the team discipline, Tigers fans may not have seen Friday night exactly what the split at quarterback will be for the remainder of the season.
However, while Simmons may not have played much quarterback, he was heavily involved in the game. Adairsville inserted Simmons back into the lineup in the second quarter, and he took two drives behind center, one in the fourth quarter. Neither one resulted in a score, but he did hook up with Conduff for a 42-yard passing play down the Adairsville sideline on one drive. Simmons also saw action as a slotback and cornerback in the game, and caught the touchdown pass from Boswell for 17 yards on Adairsville's game-winning drive.