Calhoun back home for Mountaineers
After two games on the road with a bye week sandwiched in between, it seems like it’s been a long time since Calhoun has donned its home jerseys. But this Friday, the lights will be back on and the stands will be packed at The Reeve as the team defends its home turf against rigorous region foe North Murray.
Calhoun (3-1, 1-0) will be riding into Friday’s clash against the Mountaineers on a wave of momentum from a resounding region crossover victory last week against Coahulla Creek. Utilizing the off week to rest and recuperate, the Jackets coasted to a 62-6 statement win against the Colts.
Calhoun head coach Hal Lamb said he was pleased with his team’s performance last Friday, satisfied that the Yellow Jackets played a clean game against an opponent they were expected to defeat.
“I thought we handled that type of game very well,” Lamb said. “We could have gone out there and played sloppy and not play as well as we should, but I thought we took care of business and did what we needed to do.”
Calhoun’s starting offensive unit didn’t have to register too many plays before the score got out of hand, but the personnel looked sharp while they were in. Quarterback Gavin Gray only threw three passes, but completed two of them for 56 yards and two touchdowns to wide receiver Luke Moseley. Running back Zack Fuller also enjoyed a brief, but successful, night, toting the rock five times for 86 yards and a score.
It was also a quality showing for the Jacket defense, which applied pressure to the quarterback and generated turnovers all evening. Defensive backs Aaron Hayes. Payton Morrow and linebacker James Prater all had interceptions that they quickly converted into touchdowns.
The Yellow Jackets might need a similar effort to top a tougher opponent such as the North Murray Mountaineers. This week in practice, Lamb said he has continued to hammer home the fundamentals so that his team continues to show improvement as the season rolls along.
“We are still simply focused on getting better in practice and trying to improve in all phases of the game on a daily basis,” Lamb said. “That is where our focus remains, continuing to get better in all aspects of the game.”
It has been a mixed bag for the Mountaineers, who have logged a 2-2 record so far this season. They do boast a dominant 61-20 region win over Haralson County, but have also suffered from significant defeats at the hands of Coosa and Heritage.
Calhoun’s defense will have to concern itself with steady North Murray quarterback Preston Poag Jr, who has been one of the most consistent signal-callers in the region over the past couple of seasons.
“They are a very good football team, they are very well coached and they always play extremely hard,” Lamb said. “They have a very good quarterback, and he knows what he is doing and knows where to go with the ball. They throw it a lot, so we can expect the ball to be in the air on Friday night for sure.”
Lamb acknowledged that the key to capturing victory on Friday will be maintaining defensive composure against North Murray’s vertical attack and limiting errors on offense.
“We have to contain their quarterback because he makes them go and he dishes the ball around very well,” Lamb said. “We have to contain him somehow and keep the ball away from their offense by sustaining drives. And we obviously have to win the turnover battle.”
With both teams having an adequate ability to air the ball out, this could be a close one early. However, the physicality of Calhoun’s defense and running game will prove too much for the Mountaineers. The Yellow Jackets run away with this one, move to 2-0 in region crossovers and defeat North Murray pretty handily.
Sonoraville’s Patrick Moore (left) prepares to make the handoff to Trenton Daniel during last Friday’s game against LFO.
Calhoun’s Brannon Spector looks for running room after taking a handoff during last Friday’s game.