Thanks to a big fourth quarter, the Calhoun Yellow Jackets (6-1, 4-1 region) overwhelmed the Murray County Indians (4-4, 2-4 region) 35-0 at Murray County High School on Friday. It is Calhoun’s second shutout of 2019.
After a Jake Prather interception on the second play of the game, running back Jerrian Hames scored an early 1-yard touchdown run to take a 7-0 lead. The Jackets scored once more in the first quarter, thanks to Jake Morrow (29-of-37 for 284 yards and a touchdown pass) hitting Cole Speer for a 13-yard touchdown, but were unable to do get back on the scoreboard until the fourth quarter.
While the Jackets saw a good amount of success offensively, the Murray County defense frustrated them on the Indians’ side of the 50 and the red zone.
Yellow Jackets head coach Clay Stephenson chimed in on Calhoun’s offensive struggles in plus territory and the red zone.
“When you get down there, you can’t have mistakes,” Stephenson said. “You can’t get behind the sticks. You can’t commit penalties or lose yards. On both sides of the field, I feel like we lost yards a couple times on penalties, and we had a bad snap one time that put us behind the sticks…You got to move forward when you get down there. We moved backwards a few times. Just eliminating mistakes when you get down there is the big thing.”
Despite Murray County’s stingy defense in regard to the scoreboard for most of the game, they could not generate much on offense, as the Jackets’ defense played lights out. Even though the Indians kept the Jackets’ off the scoreboard again in the third quarter, the Murray County seemed to waive the white flag in the fourth quarter, as they put their backups in.
Calhoun capitalized on Murray’s capitulation, as they rattled off three touchdowns, including a pick-six by Brett Bradley on a bad fake punt pass attempt from well inside Indian territory. Calhoun then put in its reserves and ended up winning by five scores.
“Overall, I thought we played well,” Stephenson said. “We controlled the game, but we’ve got to be able to finish those drives… The second half we came out and took care of business.”
The Jackets will host Coahulla Creek at Hal Lamb Field at Phil Reeve Stadium next Friday, Oct. 25 at 7:30 p.m.