The weather might’ve delayed the start of Friday night’s Calhoun-Sonoraville matchup at Phil Reeve Stadium, but there wasn’t any stopping the Yellow Jackets once the game finally did kick off.
The Jackets racked up three TDs in the first quarter, added a touchdown and a field goal in the second half and saw their defense completely shut down their rival Sonoraville’s offense to build a big early lead and coast to a 38-0 home victory to open the Region 6-AAA slate.
Calhoun (3-0, 1-0 in 6-AAA) built a 31-0 lead at the half and then added one more touchdown in the third quarter for the final push as the Jackets rolled to the victory and improved to 11-0 all-time against the rival Phoenix (1-2, 0-1 in 6-AAA). Calhoun coach Hal Lamb said his team handled the different routine because of the delay well and was led to the win by their defense once again.
“The weather kind of threw everything off-kilter, but our kids handled it well and took control from the start of the game,” said Lamb. “Our defense played really well again, and our offense did some good things although I thought we still could’ve played better. Our offensive line played well and pushed them off the ball, and Zack Fuller ran it well again. He’s a warrior and has a nose for the goal line.
Fuller finished with 103 yards on 15 carries and three touchdowns and also added one catch for 21 yards in three quarters of work, and quarterback Gavin Gray had 200 yards passing on 14-of-26 throws with two touchdowns. Luke Moseley had two catches for 68 yards and a touchdown, and Bralin Barton had three catches for 48 yards and a touchdown.
The game was pushed back due to inclement weather that caused a 40-plus minute delay. The kickoff came around 8:15 p.m., and Calhoun was in the end zone not too much later after defensive back Aaron Hayes picked off a Sonoraville pass on the first play from scrimmage, and Fuller ran in one of his two first-quarter touchdowns from 11 yards out to make it 7-0 early in the first quarter.
Hayes once again picked off a pass and returned it deep into Sonoraville territory on the next possession, and Fuller once again punctuated the sequence with a TD run, this time from two yards out to make it 14-0.
Calhoun went up 21-0 late in the first quarter following a few changes of possession as Gray connected with Moseley for a 53-yard touchdown pass that was tipped in the air by a Sonoraville defensive back, hauled in by Moseley and taken into the end zone.
Gray added his second touchdown pass of the first half with a little more than three minutes to play in the second quarter as he completed a short throw to Barton, who did the rest of the work weaving in and out of defenders for a 22-yard TD connection.
The Jackets added late points in the second quarter as Eduardo Fajardo booted through a 26-yard field goal as time expired in the half to make it 31-0. Fajardo also converted 5-of-5 extra points in the game.
The lone score in the second half came in the final minute of the third quarter as Fuller ran one in from four yards out.
One of the few bright spots in the first half for Sonoraville (1-2, 0-1 in 6-AAA) came on a fumble recovery by Mason Moraitakis that was forced by Colton Richards on a sack. Offensively, there wasn’t much production to go around thanks to Calhoun’s suffocating defense as the Phoenix were held to just 53 total yards.
Along with Hayes’ two interceptions, Calhoun’s Payton Morrow gave his offense a short field as he partially blocked a Sonoraville punt midway through the second quarter.
Calhoun is on the road next week as they look to move to 2-0 in 6-AAA when they visit North Murray; Sonoraville will be off next week before they take a trip to Murray County on Sept. 21.
NOTE: Calhoun played without starting safety and receiver Brannon Spector in Friday night's game as the senior missed the contest with an unspecified injury.