Jackets use big plays to pull away, earn win over Red Bud
The Calhoun Middle School football team made sure to get the ball in the hands of its playmakers and utilized its dynamic and agile offense in a 42-12 victory over crosstown and region rival Red Bud last Thursday.
The game started off with a bang when Calhoun’s Cole Speer received the opening kickoff and juked and cut through the Phoenix special teams unit for an 80-yard score.
Speer cemented himself as the Yellow Jackets’ biggest threat as the game wore on, hauling in a 48-yard touchdown later in the first quarter from starting quarterback Dylan Faulkner. Calhoun running back Robert Warner also helped the team get on the board by punching in a oneyard rush over the goal line for six.
“I thought our offense played really well, especially considering Red Bud was really successful at stopping our running game,” Calhoun head coach Eric Rigney said. “They forced us to throw more than we anticipated, but Dylan and our receivers made some great plays.”
Speer capped off his spectacular half by jumping over a cornerback and snagging a 34-yard receiving touchdown as the time expired in the second quarter to push the score to 27-0 heading into the break.
“Cole is just an unbelievable athlete,” Rigney said. “He can run, block, catch and play great defense. At times he looks unstoppable out there, and he’s just an excellent player all-around.”
After a quiet, scoreless third quarter for both teams, Red Bud started to make some noise in the final quarter when running back Zach Lyles powered in a 24-yard rushing touchdown. The Phoenix also took advantage of good field position after Trevor Childers intercepted a pass. There was a fumble near the end zone, but fortunately for Red Bud Nick Beddington was there to scoop up the recovery.
Calhoun was able to halt the rally with a 75-yard kickoff return touchdown on the next possession by Christopher Lewis. Kaleb Ray also added a score to help the Jackets reach its final 42-point total and crucial region win.
“This is the type of win that brings your team together,” Rigney said.
Calhoun’s Christopher Lewis (4) looks to get around Red Bud’s Wesley Burgess during the first half of last Thursday’s game.