"I don't think there's any love lost between either school," Tigers coach Jim Kremer said of his Bartow County team, whose school is less than 15 miles from its Gordon County counterpart.
"I know they want to beat us real bad, and we want to beat them bad. They're only 10 minutes up the road. A lot of our kids know their kids. Our coaches know their coaching staff."
Adairsville (4-5, 2-3 Region 7A-AA) and Gordon Central (5-4, 3-3 Region 7B-AA) wound up as the No. 4 seeds in their respective sub-regions after both lost critical games over the past two weeks.
The Warriors dropped a game, 44-41, to eventual No. 3 seed Chattooga on Oct. 22, and the Tigers relinquished their chance for the No. 3 seed when they lost, 42-24, to Rockmart last Friday.
Kremer would like for his team to end the season on a winning note and keep the program headed in the right direction.
"Yeah, we'd like to be able to be in the playoffs, but there are 40-plus teams in (Class) AA that won't be in the playoffs," the second-year Adairsville coach said. "I told them this is a character game, and it's going to be our character vs. Gordon Central's character. ... It's a game these 23 seniors are going to remember the rest of their lives."
Warriors coach Chad Fisher believes the chance for his seniors to win their final prep game trumps any other factor, rivalry-related or otherwise.
"I think they'll be motivated regardless. It's going to be the last game for the seniors," Fisher said. "They're obviously a good football team and our kids (have) a chance to play for a winning record."
Gordon Central, he said, will need to play disciplined against Adairsville's offense.
"The biggest thing is we're going to have to play assignment football on the defensive end," Fisher said. "Adairsville runs an option attack and they got a lot of talent over there.
"They got a great coaching staff over there so our work's cut out for us."
Fisher will need another big game from running back Jayden Compton, who topped 150 rushing yards in a 41-14 win vs. North Murray, and wide receiver Tyshaun Clemmons, who caught three touchdown passes.
"Jayden's going to have to run the ball well, and we're going to need another big game from Tyshaun and the other receivers," the Warriors' coach said.
Senior quarterback Dre Prather will direct Gordon Central's spread offense.
"He's going to have to play well and get us in good plays and get us out of bad plays," Fisher said.
For Adairsville, Kremer hopes his team shores up a few issues, including kickoff coverage after the Yellow Jackets had great field position last week.
"You're not going to beat teams like (Rockmart) giving them short fields, but give them credit, too," he said. "They did a good job of executing."
He wants his team to execute better, something he's preached repeatedly.
"We just need to execute and play four quarters, like I've said all year long, and I hope we can do it in our last game," Kremer said.
The Tigers could use some momentum going into next year.
"I think it's real important (to win our last game). You always want to keep going in the right direction," Kremer said. "We've stumbled around all year and certainly didn't come out the way we wanted. ... We still feel like we have it turned around."
Adairsville and Gordon Central kick off at 7:30 p.m. today at Tiger Valley.