Calhoun is within striking distance of Georgia High School Football history, but there is a big hurdle standing between them and having a chance to make that history.
The Jackets (7-1, 3-0 Region 6-AAA South) are aiming for their 17th straight region title, which would tie Lincoln County’s all-time mark of consecutive region titles they set between 1982-1998, but to have a chance to do that they first have to deal with a very good Bremen team on Friday on the road.
The Devils (8-0, 3-0 Region 6-AAA South) aren’t just satisfied playing the spoiler role, however, as they also have designs on winning a region title. So the stage is set for one of the biggest games on the Class AAA slate on Friday at 7:30 p.m.
Calhoun coach Hal Lamb said everyone knows how big the game is, but his staff and players’ job is to stay focused on the task at hand and not all the extra that goes with it.
“It’s very important,” said Lamb. “We can’t worry about all the hoopla. We’ve got to play the game between the lines and not worry about all that stuff to have a chance to win. It’s going to be a big game and a playoff-type atmosphere, but we’ve got to focus on what our job is and play every play to the best of our ability.”
Bremen is undefeated and ranked in the top 10 along with Calhoun. The Jackets lead the all-time series 7-5, including a 46-21 victory at The Reeve last season. It will be the first time Calhoun has played at Bremen since 1996 and the first time there under Lamb.
The veteran coach said he know his team is going up against a very talented, well-coached and motivated team.
“It’s going to be a big challenge especially going there for the first time,” said Lamb. “It’s a huge game, and their fans are going to make it a tough atmosphere. They are a very good team too. They play hard and are well-coached. They are very aggressive on both sides of the ball so we have our work cut out for us.”
The Jackets head into the contest with a lot of momentum coming off their 41-3 victory over rival Sonoraville. Calhoun led 13-3 early in the second quarter but put the game away with three touchdowns before the half. Quarterback Gavin Gray had a huge night in the passing game with 358 yards through the air and four touchdowns with Drew Rutledge (141 yards, two TDs) as his top target. The Jackets’ defense held Sonoraville to just 113 total yards as well.
“I thought it was one of our better games on offense and defense,” said Lamb. “We had a few mistakes on special teams that we have to clean up, but other than that it was a really good win against a quality team.”
The winner of Friday’s game will go on to visit the No. 4 seed from Region 6-AAA North next Friday and would likely secure a region title with a win (excluding some farfetched scenarios). The loser, on the other hand, will likely visit Ringgold in the region play-in game with a State Playoff berth on the line.
Lamb said there are multiple keys his team must accomplish in order to come away with a tough road win against the Devils.
“I feel like we need to establish our running game and really get it going to establish our passing game,” said Lamb. “On the defensive side, we’ve got to contain their speed. They are very multiple on offense and have several guys that can make plays. We’ve got to win the turnover battle as well.”