The Adairsville Tigers defeated the Douglass Astros on Saturday afternoon 55-26 in the first round of the Triple-A GHSA State Playoffs.

The Tigers began the game with an onside kick, which was recovered by kicker Arthur Lefler. Adairsville turned the onside recovery into points as Ethan Blome scored on a short run to give Adairsville an early lead. While the offense appeared to be humming early on, the defense struggled. On Douglass’ first possession, the Astros gashed the Tigers in the middle of the field and capped off the 75-yard drive with a 40-yard touchdown pass to Antoine Watkins. Douglass attempted a 2-point conversion, but was unsuccessful, thus allowing Adairsville to hold onto its lead.

On the Tigers’ second possession, Chris Roper scored to tack onto the Adairsville lead. After the defense showed holes in Douglass’ first possession, Adairsville came out motivated. The Tigers were able to force a fumble, which was recovered by Hayden Blalock. As good teams often do, Adairsville turned the fumble recovery into points as Grayson Belcher caught a touchdown pass from Jonathan Gough.

Douglass once again struggled on offense and was forced to punt. Adairsville brought the house and blocked the punt. With the ball at the Astro 5-yard line, Blome scored his second touchdown of the game. After another empty possession from Douglass, Adairsville would score once again as Kolt McCord found the end zone to give Adairsville a 34-6 lead. The Astros scored once more before the half, but the damage had been done.

Adairsville’s Chris Roper scored twice in the second half, while the Adairsville offense chewed the clock and was able to limit the number of touches for the Astros. With just a few minutes remaining, Peyton Bowen added a late score as Adairsville edged closer and closer to a big game next week. Douglass scored a late touchdown, but by then the damage had been done.

With the win, the Tigers advanced to the second round of the playoffs where a matchup against highly touted Oconee County awaits. The Warriors defeated Lumpkin County 49-21 on Saturday. This will be a rematch of last year’s first-round matchup when Oconee County defeated Adairsville 29-22 at home. On Friday night, the Tigers will be the team with home-field advantage with a chance to play in the quarter-finals on the line.