The 7-AA North victory ended a three-game skid for Chattooga (4-3, 1-2) and revitalized their hopes at playing in the postseason.
“(This game) means, really, the whole season,” Indians coach Jim Lenderman said. “We knew that we had to win tonight and we have to win the next two to go into the playoffs.”
Down 18-14 at the half, Chattooga cut the deficit to 25-24 in the third quarter before striking in quick succession early in the fourth to go up by 14 points.
After the Indians held Adairsville (4-3, 2-1) on fourth-and-one, Olajuwon Blair hit paydirt on a 45-yard touchdown run with 9:07 left in the fourth. He then ran in the ensuing two-point conversion to give the Indians a slim 32-29 lead.
Adairsville’s next drive began with a fumble into the hands of Chattooga linebacker Ryan Hamilton who ran it 31 yards into the end zone as the clock hit 9:00.
The kick by Bernardo Mosqueda was good and in the span of seven seconds, Adairsville had gone from a one-point lead to a 14-point deficit.
“Athletically, we could not match-up with them overall,” Adairsville coach Johnny Gulledge said. “We’ve got some good athletes and they’ve got some good athletes but they just had more of them than we did.”
With a 39-25 lead, the Indians’ defense held up, with Hamilton coming up with big tackles on third down, and the fans in Summerville had something to cheer about again.
“We have a good defense and a good offense,” Lenderman said, “and I think when they both come together, we’re hard to stop.”
Chattooga got solid showings from Blair and Rashad Ramsey as Blair ran for 108 yards while Ramsey had 92 yards on the ground and two touchdowns.
Perry gave the Indians some major momentum after Adairsville was held to four-and-out on the opening possession of the second half.
The senior speedster took the punt at his own 17-yard line and then cut his way down the field and into the end zone for an 83-yard return.
The kick by Mosqueda, who made all four extra point attempts and a 26-yard field goal, put Chattooga ahead 21-18 with 9:21 on the clock.
With starting Adairsville tailback Niagel Curtis hampered with an injury, fellow senior Chris Cowart took over and ran for 100 yards and a seven-yard touchdown with 4:55 to go in the third
After the Matt Woodring kick, the score put the Tigers up 25-21.
“I thought Chris came in and did an outstanding job at tailback,” Gulledge said. “He made some runs and made some plays that really kept us in the game when we probably shouldn’t have been.”
Adairsville had a one-yard run by quarterback Tyré Brown in the first. He had touchdown passes of 16 and 62 yards to Catlin Alford and Cymon Farmer, respectively, in the second half.
Chattooga travels to Calhoun next Friday to take on Gordon Central tune in to AM 1180 Chattooga County Radio for full coverage of the game.