Jack­ets ex­plode early, coast to vic­tory

Calhoun Times - - SPORTS SATURDAY - By Tyler Ser­ritt

The Cal­houn Yel­low Jack­ets were re­lent­less and op­por­tunis­tic in all phases of game against Ther­rell on Fri­day, ef­fi­ciently dis­patch­ing the Pan­thers 52-6 in front of a rau­cous home­open­ing crowd at The Reeve.

The con­test started with a bang, with elu­sive wide-re­ceiver Bralin Bar­ton snag­ging the open­ing kick­off and slic­ing through de­fend­ers all the way to the op­pos­ing 24-yard line for a 61-yard re­turn. The Jack­ets (2-0) wasted no time get­ting the ball in the hands of bruis­ing run­ning back Zack Fuller, who bounced it out to the perime­ter and coasted in for a 23-yard rush­ing touch­down less than three min­utes into the game.

The Pan­thers (1-2) placed Cal­houn in pris­tine scor­ing po­si­tion by botch­ing a snap on a punt at­tempt that trav­eled 27 yards in the wrong direc­tion and ended up be­ing re­cov­ered by the punter on the two-yard line. Fuller once again had his num­ber called in the red zone, muscling in the two-yard score for a swift 14-0 ad­van­tage.

Due to the starters be­ing subbed out in the first half due to the gap in the score, Fuller only re­ceived six to­tal car­ries. How­ever, he made al­most each one im­pact­ful, knif­ing through the right side of the sec­ondary for a 27-yard touch­down be­fore the first pe­riod con­cluded. He fin­ished with 60 yards on the ground.

“Fuller is one of stead­i­est con­trib­u­tors for us, and he’s the type of guy that doesn’t have a lot of mi­nuses in his game,” Cal­houn head coach Hal Lamb said. “He’s a plea­sure to coach, and tonight he showed that he’s al­ways a threat to score.”

Also mak­ing a splash in the run game after Fuller’s de­par­ture was Jer­rian Hames, who juked past a de­fender for an eight-yard score, and Ju­lian Ipac who coasted in for a nine-yard touch­down in the sec­ond half.

Bar­ton was far from fin­ished mak­ing his pres­ence felt. The ag­ile and ex­plo­sive se­nior made an ex­cep­tional read on an of­fer­ing from Ther­rell quar­ter­back Khamar Carlisle for an in­ter­cep­tion to flip the field for Cal­houn mid­way through the first quar­ter, and then added an ex­cla­ma­tion point to the pe­riod with a 55-yard punt re­turn touch­down to cap off the 35-6 mar­gin.

“Bralin has re­ally come on over the past cou­ple of years, and he’s one of our most elec­tric play­ers,” Lamb said. “He’s an ex­cep­tional kick­off and punt re­turner, and we al­ways want the ball in his hands.”

Cal­houn quar­ter­back Gavin Gray was also im­pres­sive in lim­ited ac­tion, ac­cu­mu­lat­ing 70 yards pass­ing in the first quar­ter. Gray made per­haps his best throw of the night on the team’s third score with a per­fectly-timed, 10-yard back- shoul­der throw to wide re­ceiver Luke Mose­ley, who skied for an im­pres­sive grab in the back of the end zone with a corner­back draped on him.

While the Jack­ets’ of­fense was fir­ing on all cylin­ders from the first whis­tle, the de­fense also put forth a text­book ef­fort, hold­ing the Pan­thers to less than 100 yards of of­fense on the evening and gen­er­at­ing pres­sure from all an­gles. Among other nu­mer­ous de­fen­sive high­lights, Aaron Hayes snatched an in­ter­cep­tion in the sec­ond quar­ter and Joshua Hales com­pletely snuffed out an ex­tra point.

Wide-re­ceiver Ja­mon­tae Jean flashed as Ther­rell’s most dy­namic player, break­ing through for a 90-yard kick­off re­turn touch­down after the ball de­flected off of a fel­low player.

The Jack­ets were also pri­mar­ily clean in the spe­cial teams de­part­ment, with Eduardo Fa­jardo con­vert­ing all of his ex­tra point at­tempts and eas­ily nail­ing a 31-yard field goal right after the half.

Cal­houn will look to re­main un­de­feated when ri­val Sono­rav­ille trav­els across town next Fri­day for the first Re­gion 6-AAA con­test of the sea­son for both teams.

Pho­tos by TIM GODBEE / For the Cal­houn Times

( ABOVE) Cal­houn’s Zack Fuller (24) runs be­hind the block of Eli­jah Baldridge (65) in the first quar­ter on Fri­day. ( BOT­TOM) Cal­houn’s Bralin Bar­ton (4) breaks away from the Ther­rell de­fense on a punt re­turn for a touch­down in the first half.

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