After a dominant win to earn the top seed in the subregion last Friday, the Calhoun Yellow Jackets are on the verge of making state history this week.
The Jackets will visit 6-AAA North No. 4 seed Murray County on Friday at 7:30 p.m. with their sights set on a win and a region title, which would be their 17th straight. Calhoun (8-1, 4-0 subregion) would tie Lincoln County’s all-time consecutive region title mark they set from 1982-1999.
Calhoun coach Hal Lamb said the streak, which started in his third season with the Jackets in 2001, is stunning to think about and his team is embracing the chance to make their mark on state history with a win on Friday.
“If you just sit back and think about it, it’s really amazing,” said Lamb. “All the work from so many people that has gone into it, players, coaches, administration, community, it’s almost unbelievable. Hopefully we can go up there, get a win and tie the state record. We’re talking about it with the team, and they know how big a game this is. We need to go to Murray County ready to play and take care of business.”
The Jackets are coming off one of their most complete and impressive victories of the season last Friday as they visited previously unbeaten and top-10 ranked Bremen and put on a clinic on both sides of the ball in a 48-0 win. The offensive effort had several big contributors, including a 245-yard, four-touchdown performance from quarterback Gavin Gray, a 133-yard, two-touchdown performance from Zack Fuller, a 96-yard, one-touchdown receiving night from Brannon Spector and an 81-yard, one-touchdown receiving performance from Bralin Barton, among others.
On the defensive side, the Jackets pitched the shutout against the Devils’ explosive offense, forced three turnovers and had five sacks. Logan Parker got the Calhoun defense on the scoreboard as well with an interception return for a TD.
“I think our kids were really ready to play last Friday,” said Lamb. “That game had really been the talk of the region and around the state, and our kids were pumped up. We played well in all three phases really. I was very happy with how we performed.”
The Jackets now turn their attention Murray County (3-6, 1-3 subregion) who is playing spoiler. They might not be playing for a region title, but they are playing for their season as an upset win would put them in the playoffs for the first time since 2005. The Indians are led by workhorse running back Tucker Gregg, who is the program’s all-time leading rusher.
Lamb said he is making sure his team is not taking Murray County lightly.
“They are very good offensively with a good running back in Gregg,” said Lamb. “Coach (Chad) Brewer is doing a really good job up there getting them back on track the last few years, and we have to be prepared to play well. The bottom line is a region championship is on the line for us, and we need to win to move on or our season is over.
“We’ve got to contain the running back, but I feel good about our defense, especially against the run. On offense, we just need to execute our gameplan, and as always, we can’t have turnovers.”