Jack­ets roll over LFO to se­cure 14th straight re­gion ti­tle in 2014

The Standard Journal - - SPORTS -

FORT OGLETHORPE — In high school sports, sus­tained suc­cess is hard to come by. With play­ers com­ing and go­ing and the way tal­ent runs in cy­cles, it’s hard to be con­sis­tently dom­i­nant.

But the Cal­houn Yel­low Jack­ets have fig­ured out the for­mula. A streak that started in 2001 con­tin­ued for another year on Fri­day night as the Jack­ets de­feated LFO, 59-0, to clinch their 14th straight re­gion ti­tle and claim the No. 1 seed out of 6-AAA for the Class AAA State Play­offs.

Cal­houn coach Hal Lamb said it says a lot about the pro­gram to con­tinue the run of re­gion ti­tles for another year.

“I told the kids after the game that they should never take this for granted be­cause win­ning re­gion ti­tles is some­thing spe­cial that should never be taken for granted,” said Lamb. “We’ve got such a great com­mu­nity, school sys­tem and ad­min­is­tra­tion along with some very spe­cial kids and a spe­cial coach­ing staff.”

On a cold, rainy, windy night on the road, the Jack­ets (9-0, 7-0) came out and took con­trol early to take those fac­tors out of the mix. Cal­houn scored on ev­ery drive of the first half, rolling up 20 points in the first quar­ter and 20 in the sec­ond to take 40-0 half­time lead.

Scor­ing in the first quar­ter was Cal­houn quar­ter­back Kae­lan Ri­ley on a five-yard run and Bay­lon Spec­tor on a 15-yard pass from Ri­ley. Ri­ley had a big night, run­ning for 84 yards on six car­ries and throw­ing for 135 yards on 8-of-10 pass­ing with three TDs in just one half of play. (The starters didn’t play after the half with a big lead and run­ning clock.)

The other first-quar­ter touch­down came on a blocked punt that Lan­don Rice knocked down and Thomas Lester scooped it and scored from 12 yards away. Rice later par­tially blocked another punt.

The sec­ond quar­ter was much of the same with Ri­ley throw­ing TD passes to Chazz Moss from 21 yards out and Spec­tor from 19 yards out. Cole Jack­son also had a two­yard touch­down run.

The Jack­ets de­fense held LFO (3-7, 3-5) to 57 yards in the first half and just 71 yards for the game. Cal­houn also had two fum­ble re­cov­er­ies in the contest.

LFO’s lead­ing rusher was Shamar Ca­toe with 43 yards on nine car­ries.

Lamb said he thought his play­ers stepped up and played well de­spite some tough weather con­di­tions.

“We couldn’t re­ally throw the ball the way we wanted to early on be­cause of the wind and rain, but I think our kids han­dled the weather well,” said Lamb. “They took care of business, and you could tell even in th­ese con­di­tions that the kids were re­ally fired up to play with a re­gion cham­pi­onship on the line.”

The sec­ond half was much of the same as the Jack­ets got in their younger play­ers for valu­able ex­pe­ri­ence. The three touch­downs in the half came on a four-yard TD run by Jor­dan Towe, a one-yard plunge by Jess Ral­ston and an eight­yard scam­per by Gauge Gid­dens. Towe fin­ished with 57 yards on four car­ries as he was the third lead­ing rusher be­hind Ri­ley and Olico Den­nis (61 yards on three car­ries). Gid­dens fin­ished with 43 yards on the ground.

The Jack­ets wrap up the reg­u­lar sea­son next Fri­day on the road at Coahulla Creek; the loss wrapped up the sea­son for LFO.

“We want to go up to Coahulla Creek, play well and end the sea­son on a pos­i­tive note go­ing into the play­offs,” added Lamb.

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