ADAIRSVILLE -- It was a tale of two halves for Adairsville head coach Jim Kremer, but the Tigers came through on Homecoming night, defeating the Coosa Eagles 31-14 at Tiger Stadium.
"We let our guard down a little at the end," said Kremer, "but we'll take the win."
The Tigers (3-2, 1-0 Region 7A-AA) took it to Coosa (3-3, 1-1) early, as running back Steven Hawk's 25-yard run set up Mike Upshaw for a 1-yard score and an early 7-0 lead. The first quarter was owned by Adairsville, and the momentum carried into the next 12 minutes.
After a stalled drive, the Tigers put Coosa on its own 1-yard line with a 33-yard punt.
Adairsville capitalized when linebacker Trent Gulledge tackled Coosa running back Demetre Miller in the end zone for a safety and a 9-0 lead.
On the following Adairsville drive, quarterback Cody Kremer connected with Michael Gwin for a 33-yard gain in the middle of the field. That play set up the Tigers and Hawk for a 2-yard score, pushing their lead to 16-0 midway through the second quarter.
Kremer added another score when he faked a pass play that cleared the middle of the field for him to scramble. He made his way to the Adairsville sideline and dove over the pylon for a 26-yard score to push the lead to 23-0 at halftime.
"We came out ready to play," said Jim Kremer.
Coosa was not ready for the first half, but the Eagles made up for it in the second half.
On their opening drive, quarterback Brooke Bingham converted a first down on a 38-yard run, taking it all the way to the Adairsville 2-yard line. The run set up Dylan Simmons' 1-yard run into the end zone. The Tigers were hoping to respond, but did not get that chance.
After the ensuing drive stalled, Adairsville kicked the ball away, but the defense was strong enough to stop the Eagles.
However, on the punt, the Tigers were flagged for a roughing-the-kicker penalty, giving Coosa a fresh set of downs to work with. The momentum shifted when running back Camey Hannah went up the middle on the Tigers' defense for a 27-yard touchdown. Coosa trailed 23-14, but had Adairsville on the ropes.
Coach Kremer would not give in easily.
After a stalled drive, the Tigers were set up to punt again to Coosa.
However, Kremer ran down the sideline to call out a different play to his team. As everyone in Tiger Stadium looked up to watch the ball soar through the air, Easton Jones was on the ground with the ball running down the Adairsville sideline as the fake punt was on. Jones beat one Coosa defender and made his way to the end zone for a 76-yard score. The drive would not end there, as Cody Kremer found tight end Zach Coker in the back of the end zone for a 2-point conversion and a 31-14 lead.
"It's ironic," said Jim Kremer. "He (Coosa head coach Chad Perry) used that on us (referring to his Calhoun days) in 2004 in the playoffs. He was at Dublin and it lead to an 86-yard touchdown, so I had it in the back pocket ready to use."
Late in the fourth quarter, Coosa was in hurry-up mode trying to muster up another score. It worked, as Bingham went 3-of-4 on the Eagles' final drive. The passing plays of 26, 24 and 16 led to Bingham's 1-yard score. The extra point was good, but the ensuing onside kick was not. The kick only went eight yards, giving the Tigers the ball and the victory.
"We have no excuses for our second half," Kremer said. "Coosa's a very good team and I'm not taking anything from them, but we have to learn to execute a little better."
Now, the Tigers prepare for Armuchee, but Kremer is more concerned with the health of his players.
"The main thing is that we get healthy," Kremer said. "If we can do that and play all four quarters, I think we'll be successful."
SCORING BY QUARTERS
1 2 3 4 F
COO 0 0 14 7 21
ADA 7 16 8 0 31
ADA -- Mike Upshaw 1-yard run (kick good)
ADA -- Trent Gulledge safety
ADA -- Steven Hawk 2-yard run (kick good)
ADA -- Cody Kremer 26-yard run (kick good)
COO -- Dylan Simmons 1-yard run (kick good)
COO -- Camey Hannah 27-yard run (kick good)
ADA -- Easton Jones 76-yard run (conversion good)
COO -- Brooke Bingham 1-yard run (kick good)
1st downs 17 11
Rushes-yds 44-185 35-206
Passing yds 123 68
Comp-Att-Int 8-16-0 3-10-0
Total yds 308 274
Penalties 2-15 6-40
Fumbles-lost 4-2 2-1
Punts-yds 6-224 5-146
Rushing -- Coosa: Dishon Glanton 12-77-1, Dylan Simmons 13-52-1, Brooke Bingham 11-33-1, Demetre Miller 7-22, Troy Case 1-1; Adairsville: Cody Kremer 9-74-1, Steven Hawk 9-67-1, Mike Upshaw 10-36-1, D.D. Wilkey 4-20, Bradford Austin 2-10, Kaylon Carter 1-1.
Passing -- Coosa: Bingham 8-16-123-0; Adairsville: Kremer 3-10-68-0.
Receiving -- Coosa: Zac Hale 2-40, Brandon Wilkins 1-24, Case 2-20, Glanton 1-19, Ryan Packer 1-16, Miller 1-4; Adairsville: Jake Powell 2-35, Michael Gwin 1-33.