The Adairsville Tigers (1-0) kicked off the 2023 high school football season by defeating the Cherokee Bluff Bears (0-2) 21-7.

Adairsville received the opening kickoff and struck early. Jonathan Gough threw a 63-yard touchdown pass to give Adairsville the early lead. The Tigers’ defense kept the Bears out of the endzone of the following drive. Adairsville capped off its second possession with a short rushing touchdown from Ethan Blome to go up 14-0 late in the first quarter. The Tigers would take their double-digit lead into the second quarter.

Early in the second quarter, Cherokee Bluff had a good drive, but Adairsville cut it short as Tamarius Wilkey caught an interception in the endzone to regain possession for the Tigers. Unfortunately, Adairsville was unable to capitalize on the takeaway and had to punt. This interception would be the last bit of action from the first half, and after a string of scoreless drives, Adairsville took its 14-0 lead into halftime.

Cherokee Bluff opened the third quarter by receiving the second-half kickoff, but they struggled to move the ball and eventually had to punt. Adairsville’s offense made the most of the turnover as Gough found the endzone on a short quarterback run, giving the Tigers a 21-0 lead. The Bears’ scoring drought came to a close late in the third quarter as they found the endzone to make the score 21-7.

Early in the fourth quarter, there was some madness as both teams traded turnovers on back-to-back plays. Adairsville had the first turnover as Gough threw an interception targeting Blome. Luckily for the Tigers, their defense came through on the next play, forcing and recovering a fumble to get the ball back. Cherokee Bluff tried to get back into the game late in the fourth quarter, but the Bears’ offense continued to struggle moving the ball down the field, and Adairsville’s defense made another huge play, recording a strip sack and recovering the fumble.

Tigers will face the Rabun County Wildcats at home next week. Kickoff is set for 7:30 PM. You can stream the game on the Adairsville Sports Network.