I’ve purposely written little about Calhoun, saving focus for Class AA’s top-ranked defending state champions down the season’s stretch.
But this week’s game against Carrollton, one of only 10 between ranked teams, is compelling.
The unbeaten Yellow Jackets (2-0) have been rock solid atop the AA rankings through the season’s first two outings. Last week they beat Dalton 56-41 on senior night, thanks to capturing six turnovers, Taylor Lamb’s two touchdowns passing and two running, and Alex Urbano’s three scores. Impressively, they rallied from 34-24 down and overcame six touchdowns by Dalton’s Kelvis Rhodes.
But Friday, things get potentially dicier. Class AAAA’s No. 3 Carrollton (1-1) arrives for perhaps the Jackets’ truest test so far. Trojan running back Jarvis Terrell undoubtedly has Calhoun’s attention after rushing for two touchdowns and 105 of the Trojans’ 409 yards in last week’s 42-12 defeat of Chapel Hill.
“Carrollton has three or four guys who can really run,” Calhoun coach Hal Lamb warned. “They spread the ball around pretty well.”
It’s the Jackets’ third straight game against AAAA opponents, before seven consecutive region games beginning Sept. 21 against Dade County. Lamb called it a playoff-type game, perhaps his team’s last chance to experiment before region games that count most.
“We’re still experimenting and trying to find new combinations of players and piece together our identity,” he said.
Here are some other games to watch:
– Marist (1-1, No. 2 in AAAA) at Lovett (2-0, No. 5 in AA): The Lions haven’t allowed either of their first two opponents to score more than once, but hope not to have lost momentum while idle last week. Marist enters the teams’ first meeting Friday having lost to Thomas County Central 21-17 last week.
– Fitzgerald (2-0, No. 3 in AA) at Monroe-Albany (1-1): The Purple Hurricanes have allowed just six points in two games and hope to be similarly stingy Saturday at Hugh Mills Stadium. The Hurricanes are 2-0 against the Tornadoes and coming off a 31-0 shutout of Irwin County, when Romarrius Gaulden rushed for 129 yards and two touchdowns and Ron Swain chipped in 95 of Fitzgerald’s 373 rushing yards.
– Greater Atlanta Christian (3-0, No. 6 in AA) vs. Chamblee (2-0): Kyle Scales, who has 452 yards and seven touchdowns rushing, leads the Spartans into tonight’s game at North DeKalb Stadium. GAC is 2-0 against the Bulldogs, but the teams haven’t played since 1993.
– Vidalia (2-0, No. 7 in AA) at Long County (1-1): Look for Dakota Paradise to potentially make a difference for Vidalia, after making 42- and 34-yard field goals in last week’s win over McIntosh County Academy. The Indians also enter Friday’s Region 2-AA game playing strong defense, having picked off three passes last week.
– Warren County (1-0) at Washington-Wilkes (2-0, No. 9 in AA): The Tigers burst into the rankings with Friday’s 21-6 defeat of Lincoln County, when Tomarkus Young rushed for 114 yards and Buck Robinson passed for 186. The Devils have played only once, beating Glascock County two weeks ago.