That's the time of the pigskin season when the teams that will eventually make the state playoffs start accumulating more wins and separating themselves from their region brethren.
That's why it's important for the Tigers (3-3, 1-1 in their region and tied with three other schools for second place behind Rockmart) to put their first region loss behind them and devote their energy to defeating the Dragons (3-3, 1-1) tonight.
Adairsville head coach Jim Kremer said a region win would be big for the Tigers, who are coming of a 21-0 loss to the Armuchee Indians.
"I'm not saying we could win the region outright but I believe a victory against Pepperell would go a long way for our confidence," he said.
He said the Dragons are a good team and their three losses have come against quality opponents.
"They've lost to Calhoun, Cartersville and Rockmart," he noted. "Against Rockmart last week, three of their (Yellow Jacket) scores came from good defensive plays. One time (their offense) went down to the 5-yard line and a Rockmart defender got the ball and ran 95 yards to score."
He said although Rockmart won 35-7, the Dragon offense was responsible for most of those points.
Kremer said the line play of the Dragons is something.
"They have by far the biggest line in the region and they are very physical," he said.
He said two Dragons will be playing at the next level, adding linemen have been signed by the University of Alabama and Georgia Tech.
The current crop of Tigers is quite familiar with that line play and also with the tenacity of the Dragons.
"Last year they knocked us out of the playoffs," Kremer noted. "That's all our seniors have been talking about. They know the Dragons are coming here this week to do that again -- in our house."
The two teams played last year with Adairsville the No. 3 seed in 7B-AA and Pepperell the No. 2 seed in 7A-AA (both are in 7A-AA this year) with the Tigers holding the upper hand until it counted.
"It was another of those games where we had it won until they scored with about 20 seconds remaining," he said.
He said this year's edition of the Dragons is tough, even if its record is not as bright. "We have our work cut out for us."
The Tigers will need to be just as tough to stay with the Dragons.
Kremer said Adairsville has seemed tough enough at times but said the Tigers haven't put it together for four quarters.
"No one really had knocked us around until the second half of our Armuchee game," he said. "In the first half, they had one first down and in the second half didn't run anything any different but I thought they knocked us around."
The coach said the Tigers would have improved their chances by scoring at least twice in the four times they were in the red zone in the first half against Armuchee.
Adairsville failed to score in its four scoring opportunities in the first half and ended up walking into halftime tied at 0-all despite having dominated its opponent on the road.
The failure to score came back to haunt them the second half, when the Indians came alive offensively and left the Tigers behind 21-0.
Kremer said the Tigers will be healthier for today's game, noting they have been dinged up the past couple of weeks.
Bradford Austin, their star running back, is back.
He added Cody Kremer, his son and team quarterback who missed most of the second half at Armuchee, will be back behind center.
The coach also believes the team is very capable when playing up to its potential.
"We're working on scoring and tackling," he said. "We're probably eight or nine plays away from being 6-0 on the year."
He said despite all the capable athletes who will be on both sides of the ball, the game will likely turn on who puts the most effort into it.
"Teams always have a new wrinkle but we're just trying to get better at what we're got at," he said. "But this one is going to come down to who wants the game the most."
Kickoff is at 7:30 p.m. today in Adairsville.