Cal­houn back home for Moun­taineers

Calhoun Times - - SPORTS WEDNESDAY - By Tyler Ser­ritt

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.

Cal­houn wins,

Score:

42-17.

Pre­dic­tion:

File-LARRY GREESON / For the Cal­houn Times

Sono­rav­ille’s Pa­trick Moore (left) pre­pares to make the hand­off to Tren­ton Daniel dur­ing last Fri­day’s game against LFO.

File-TIM GOODBEE / For the Cal­houn Times

Cal­houn’s Bran­non Spec­tor looks for run­ning room after tak­ing a hand­off dur­ing last Fri­day’s game.

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