The Tigers, who are Region 5-AAA’s No. 2 seed, are averaging scoring 36 points per outing, cracking the 40-point barrier four times during the regular season with their highest total coming in a 70-55 victory over North Murray. They give up 29 points per game.
Hart County, the No. 3 seed out of Region 8-AAA, gave up just 22 points per game while scoring 25 points.
However Adairsville coach Jim Kremer isn’t all that impressed with the numbers his Tigers have put up because he believes their playoff future rests on how well they do on the other side of the ball.
“We give up some points, too,” he said. “If we can continue to get better defensively, then we should have a chance to keep playing next week.”
There are hopeful signs that will happen as Adairsville has steadily reduced its mistakes as a crop of new Tigers have learned their defensive roles throughout the season.
Kremer said he believes the Tigers can move the ball against Hart County, but he added it’s a different ball game in the playoffs.
“The thing about the playoffs is the intensity level goes up,” Kremer said. “They’re going to come over here very intense from the get-go. We have to surpass their intensity and try to beat them in all three phases of the game.”
Kremer said that Hart County, which runs out of the pistol formation, will provide a stiff test because the Bulldogs have a good coach in William DeVane and a lot of talented players.
“Coach DeVane is a seasoned head coach,” he said. “He coached Hart in ’99 in its state title game against Cartersville [won 27-21 by the Canes]. He’s been around.
“Hart also has some really good players. Their quarterback [junior Dakota Mitchell] is shifty and he can run and throw equally well. He has some good targets and a good running back.”
Mitchell, 5 foot, 7 inches, 180 pounds, has completed 86 of 140 passes for 1,490 yards, 13 touchdowns and four interceptions. He also is Hart's leading rusher with 132 carries for 695 yards and eight touchdowns.
The Bulldogs, who are 5-5 overall and 5-2 in Region 8-AAA, also have a solid defense, running a base 4-3.
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