The Adairsville Tigers (1-3, 1-0) picked up its first victory of the season against the Ringgold Tigers (2-2, 0-1) on Friday night by a score of 48-34.
In a game that featured very little defense, both teams combined for 54 points in the first half. In a back-and-forth affair, Adairsville scored first via a 32-yard touchdown pass from Rodger Redd to Ethan Belcher, but Hiram relied on the arm of Cole Kibler and the hands of Drake Starks to tie it up in an 11-play, 61 yard drive.
Adairsville had a lot of success with special teams and it was never more evident than when Tyler Riley ran a kickoff 85 yards back for a touchdown. Ringgold would score on a 6-play, 80 yard drive in the following possession on a Ty Jones 11-yard touchdown run to tie the game at 14. Adairsville got an explosive run from Travon Branch, who ran 42-yards for a touchdown to give Adairsville a 21-14 lead, but Hiram would have an answer.
Kibler ran the ball nine yards in, but fumbled in the endzone. Unfortunately for Adairsville, Ringgold would recover the ball to score the touchdown, but would miss the extra point to preserve the Adairsville lead 21-20. Adairsville got another big kickoff return from Nathan Boswell to set the Tigers up on the Ringgold 35, and Rodger Redd would find Travon Branch two players later for a 31-yard touchdown pass to give Adairsville a 27-20 lead following a missed extra point.
Following Kibler’s fumble at the Ringgold 27, the Tigers looked to have another touchdown, but the ball was fumbled in the endzone, thus giving Ringgold a second chance to tie up the game at its own 20. The Tigers took advantage and scored with just over one minute remaining in the first half.
To open the third quarter Adairsville would score its second kickoff return for a touchdown as Branch took it 95 yards to give Adairsville a 34-27 lead. Continuing the game’s trend, Kibler and the Tigers would answer right back as the quarterback ran the ball in from 15 yards out to tie the game up at 34.
The Adairsville defense would stand strong in the fourth quarter and not allow another touchdown. Redd found Bryce Burgess from nine yards out for a touchdown to give Adairsville a 41-34 lead. Ringgold was marching down the field late in the fourth quarter, but would fail to convert its second 4th down of the drive and would turn the ball over deep in Adairsville territory.
Big runs by Branch and Christian Steele would set up Boswell for his second touchdown of the game with 38 seconds left and seal Adairsville’s first victory of the 2016 season.
Adairsville’s 0-3 start came against non-region opponents and the Tigers played their best game of the young season against Ringgold Friday night to open up region play. On tap next for the Tigers is a road game against Murray County, which is 3-1 on the season, but 0-1 in region. Kickoff between the Tigers and Indians is scheduled for 7:30 PM.