Tigers looking to stay on roll in season finale
by David Royal
Nov 07, 2013 | 528 views | 0 0 comments | 26 26 recommendations | email to a friend | print
Adairsville has already punched its ticket to the state high school football playoffs.

But head coach Eric Bishop wants his Tigers giving the same effort that earned that destination when they line up for action at Tiger Valley on Friday night.

The coach said his Tigers can expect a challenge from Coahulla Creek.

“The first thing that stands out about them is defensively they’ve had a pretty good season,” Bishop said. “Cartersville (41 points), Ringgold (42 points) and North Murray (56 points) scored a good bit on them, but other than those three they’ve kept teams at or below their scoring averages. They’ve been doing some good things on the defensive side of the ball.”

He said that performance has to do with their fronts and coverages.

“It will be a good challenge applying our blocking and protection rules so we can be in the right place and not be out of place,” he said.

Adairsville coaches expect an educational outing for the entire offense.

“It’s a challenge for our offensive line and also our backs. They must recognize what the Colts are in and let it determine our response on each play. It’s the same way for our linemen, our quarterback, when we run a play-action pass and the regular running game as well.

“I think that’s one reason they’ve been good as they have. They create a little confusion or doubt in the mind of their opponents’ offense.”

The Colts, who are 2-7 overall, 1-5 in Region 5-AAA, are scoring 14 points per outing and allowing 30 points. But they are coming off a 56-14 loss to North Murray and that could hurt their performance or motivate them to try to finish their season on a high note.

The Tigers, 6-3 overall and 4-2 in the region, are fresh off a 39-8 victory over Gordon Central in which they sewed up the No. 3 seed in their region.

The Tigers have been successful on both sides of the ball, too, scoring 29 points and allowing 18 points.

Bishop said Adairsville has a lot of reasons to keep its play at a high level when the Colts come calling.

“One big thing is it will be senior night,” the coach said. “This is their last regular season game at Adairsville. We have 25 seniors who we’ll be honoring.”

It is a special moment for those seniors, as today’s game could potentially be their last home game on the field.

“This is a big moment for those guys, especially the ones who have been with us for four years,” he said. “This is not the end of their high school football careers but it is the beginning of the end. While we still have the playoffs ahead of us, we want a solid performance for our seniors.”

Those seniors have been a big part of Adairsville’s success this season and Bishop cited the effort by the seniors and the rest of the team last week in earning a victory over Gordon Central.

“They came out and took command of both sides of the line of scrimmage,” Bishop said.

He said they also showed determination across the board.

“We got a lead and didn’t sit on it,” he said. “We didn’t get sloppy, and we didn’t get satisfied. We tried to score on every drive. They showed the consistency we’ve been looking for all season long.”

Bishop said that was important because the team had experienced a loss the weekend before.

“Our defense gave up only 130 yards,” the coach said. “That was important on both sides of the ball coming out of a loss and in preparation for the playoffs.”

The Tigers also will be looking to enter the playoffs after a solid performance and Coahulla Creek could provide a stiff test as they close out the regular season.

Also being honored will be senior members of the Adairsville band, its cheerleaders, ROTC and coed team.

“They will all be honored at halftime,” Bishop said. “It will be a busy night for Ms. [athletic director Meredith] Barnhill.”