The Calhoun Yellow Jackets commemorated Homecoming by bringing the offensive fireworks to The Reeve on Friday, treating the capacity home crowd to a commanding 41-10 subregion victory over the Haralson County Rebels.
The Jackets (5-1, 1-0 subregion) deployed the reliable offensive formula of utilizing the physical rushing of running back Zack Fuller to open up passing lanes for quarterback Gavin Gray, who aired the ball out efficiently and accurately all evening.
Fuller got Calhoun on the board by powering in a four-yard rushing touchdown to cap off the team’s successful opening drive, and bookended that with an additional four-yard scoring scramble in the third quarter to pad the team’s lead. Fuller finished with 59 yards on eight attempts, and added 10 yards on one reception.
“Offensively, I think we played extremely well, and I think we were able to control the flow of the game for most of the night,” Calhoun head coach Hal Lamb said.
After completing a couple high-percentage throws on the first drive, Gray’s night took a brief turn when he forced a ball into double-coverage for an interception on the second possession. However, the turnover only seemed to light a fire under Gray. He delivered a precise throw to wide receiver Bralin Barton on the following drive, who broke numerous tackles and sliced through the Rebel defense for a 63-yard score.
Gray also produced with his legs, deceiving and out-sprinting Haralson County (0-4, 0-1) to the outside for a six-yard rushing touchdown. He added more insurance for the Jackets when he tossed it to wide receiver Payton Morrow, who flashed some agility and quickness of his own for a 49-yard dash across the goal line to increase Calhoun’s total.
Gray registered 353 yards on 18 completions. He also chipped in 33 yards on the ground.
Calhoun enjoyed an explosive performance from numerous members of its talented receiving corps. Luke Moseley came down with a few timely, impactful grabs for the Jackets, posting 90 receiving yards on four catches. Including the score, Barton tallied 94 yards on four snags. Logan Parker and Rucker Reeves also made valuable contributions to the prolific passing attack.
“We were really pleased with the way that Gavin was able to look past that early mistake and complete some really nice passes tonight,” Lamb said. “Our receiving group is definitely one of the better aspects of our team. They all ran good routes and made key catches for us.”
The disruptive Jacket defense was off-balance in the first quarter against the Haralson County offense, which emphasized quick-hitting, dink-and-dunk passes to apply pressure and move the chains.
The Rebels’ dual-threat quarterback Luke Cash finished with 90 yards passing, including a touchdown, and 37 yards rushing. A large percentage of Cash’s production was linked to versatile offensive weapon Treylon Sheppard, who racked up 79 receiving yards and a 23-yard score to pair with 21 yards on the ground.
“They were a really well-coached football team, and we didn’t play up to our standard on defense in that first half,” Lamb said.
However, Calhoun’s defense was able to buckle down and make adjustments at the half, preventing Haralson County from getting a first down in the third quarter and keeping them off the scoreboard the entire second half to seal the Homecoming win.
“Homecoming is a special time for us, and I knew it would be a big crowd, so I wanted us to show the fans what type of football team that we have here,” Lamb said. “It was an exciting atmosphere from the first possession to the last one.”
The Jackets make a brief trip south to square off with subregion foe Adairsville next Friday.