Answer time at the Dome

– Can anyone stop Calhoun? Lamar County became the only team besides Ridgeland to come within a touchdown of the Yellow Jackets in the semifinals, 21-14. Defending state champion Calhoun has won 29 in a row since losing a third straight final to Buford in 2010. The Jackets’ average margin of victory, 45-14, is intimidating.

– Is this the year of the T? That’s Jefferson coach T. McFerrin, winner of more than 300 games in 38 years as a head coach. In a tenure including some hiatuses, he has only one state title, though, in the fifth of his six seasons at Elbert County in 1995. But since shirking five years of retirement to take over the Dragons in 2009, he’s never had a run like this. He’s reportedly won 12 region championships, had nine undefeated regular seasons and now is playing in a fourth state championship.

– Who’ll block Wesley Simonton? The Dragons linebacker snuffed Fitzgerald’s field goal attempt to force overtime in the quarterfinal, then added 14 tackles, including three for loss, in Friday’s 42-14 win over Greater Atlanta Christian in the semis. I suggest several be assigned to him.

– Who’s the better quarterback? Much focus is on Calhoun’s Taylor Lamb and Jefferson’s Bryant Shirreffs. Both are clutch guys. Lamb’s 3,638 yards last season was the most of any returning player, and his 3,166 and 34 touchdowns through the quarterfinals had him on track to top last year’s yardage by 16. Shirreffs ran for two TDs and 134 yards Friday, after his scoring pass and conversion toss dashed Fitzgerald in triple overtime.

– Do Jefferson folk even remember 1975 and ‘77? Those are the two times I could find the Dragons reached finals, about when many of Jefferson’s parents were entering high school. In ‘75, the Dragons (10-3-1) lost 39-13 to Irwin County, and in ‘77, they (10-4-1) fell 22-7 to Lincoln County. Current players haven’t been around for anything beyond the Dragons’ second-round appearances of 2003 and ‘07-09, until now.

– Dare the Dragons throw near Calhoun’s Donnell Anthony? The Rome News-Tribune reported the senior defensive back intercepted Lamar’s desperation pass in the end zone as time expired, and also picked one off at the end of the first half. Of the 10 turnovers Calhoun has caused in four playoff games, four have been Anthony interceptions, according to the News-Tribune.

29 comments Add your comment

Stinger63

December 8th, 2012
12:34 pm

The Swarm is on the way back to the Dome! Should be a head-knocker of a game.

Stinger63

December 8th, 2012
1:00 pm

Congratulations to Lamar County on a great season. Even though you did not leave Calhoun with a ticket to the Dome, you did leave Calhoun with RESPECT! You certainly gave us all we wanted, and then some. For Calhoun, maybe that was an eye-opener and will help us get re-focused on the task at hand.

Bulldawg

December 8th, 2012
1:45 pm

I think Calhoun overlooked Lamar to some extent. The media had Calhoun favored by anywhere from 12-24 points and Lamar was a relatively unknown opponent since the two teams had never met. Everyone already had Calhoun at the Dome and Lamar didn’t take too kindly to the media’s opinion.

Calhoun’s offense made a lot of mistakes, but the defensive scheme of Lamar had a lot to do with that. It was a very well played game by both defenses.

Lamar is definitely a top 3 team in AA. Extremely well coached, disciplined, fast, and very conditioned as many of their players went both ways. I don’t think Calhoun would want to line up and play them again next week.

As Stinger63 said, Lamar County has earned Calhoun’s respect and they will not be taken lightly if the two teams meet again next season. This game will help Calhoun refocus for Jefferson and hopefully make them more determined to take the state title once again. As Mark Richt would say, “Finish the Drill”.

YELLERJACKETZ1

December 8th, 2012
5:16 pm

THANKS LAMAR FOR A GREATLY PLAYED GAME,ALSO TREMENDOUS SPORTSMANSHIP!!!NOTHING BUT CLASS GOOD LUCK TO ALL IN YOUR FUTURES!!!

Jason

December 8th, 2012
5:48 pm

Lamar County you guys played great and you did give Calhoun a run for there money. Your Fans were classy and so were your players. You guys have some great team speed. A lot of times I would see teams get mad when there team would come up here and get beat but your team and your fans showed a lot of class. Great Gan and Great Fans.

DragonFan

December 8th, 2012
7:00 pm

Back when the preseason All State team was being discussed, I mentioned Wesley Simonton of the Jefferson Dragons on a much improved Dragon defense. He has had over 175 tackles with 30 plus for loss. The Dragons are going to the Dome. I hope he has earn a spot on the final All State Team.

Monroe's First Redcoat

December 9th, 2012
6:18 pm

Calhoun is a great team. The Ye;;owjackets dominated nearly everyone they’ve played. But they haven’t played JEFFERSON.

GO DRAGONS!!!!!!!!!!!

Monroe's First Redcoat

December 9th, 2012
6:19 pm

Calhoun is a great team. The Yellowjackets dominated nearly everyone they’ve played. But they haven’t played JEFFERSON.

GO DRAGONS!!!!!!!!!!!

Monroe's First Redcoat

December 9th, 2012
6:22 pm

Boy, do we need an “edit” feature on this thing…. :-)

Jacketaxe

December 9th, 2012
7:34 pm

Just happen to be playing Saturday, better bring some game.

Panther Fan

December 9th, 2012
9:57 pm

Good luck Calhoun – we will be rooting you on also – (Panther Fan). Unlike the Marist dad who blogged on our “comments” page and whining, we will support you and not cry about losing to you. SEE YOU THERE!

GTVET

December 9th, 2012
11:08 pm

Jackets roll to State Championship……..Ridgeland takes Trophy home too…..SIC UM NW Georgia..

Elephant Man

December 10th, 2012
4:24 am

This should be an interesting game, can’t wait to see Jefferson represent NE GA and Calhoun represent NW GA. This just goes to show everyone that in AA the best football is played up north. Good luck Calhoun, but I’ll be pulling for Jefferson. Go Dragons! -Your friends from down 129 in Gainesville

fifener pod

December 10th, 2012
9:31 am

I’m not one 2 complain that much, but when u have a Jefferson squad that probably has no more then 30 players compared to at least 75 kids playing for Calhoun, doesn’t it make u wonder about parody and how calhoun should be favored. Jefferson is playing with alot of heart right now, and keep in mind , these kids r 16 -17 – 18 yr. old, so anything can happen.

Jefferson

December 10th, 2012
10:45 am

The rosters are close as far as numbers, what is your point fif ? I hope Calhoun does play 75 players that would mean a running clock in the second half, but I don’t see that in the big one.

I really don’t think you know what you are talking about.

YELLERJACKETZ1

December 10th, 2012
11:04 am

THANKS PANTHER FAN IVE BEEN TELLING EVERYBODY THAT RIDGELAND BY FAR WERE THE BEST OF THE AAAA TEAMS WE PLAYED THIS YEAR.LOOKS LIKE YALL HAVE BEEN PROVING THAT.YALL CANT LEAVE NOTHING ON THE FIELD AGAINST THE CREEK GOOD LUCK! GO JACKETS BEAT JEFFERSON !!!

PANTHERMOM56

December 10th, 2012
11:17 am

GOOD LUCK YELLOW JACKETS!!! THE PANTHERS WILL BE THERE SUPPORTING YOU!

Stinger63

December 10th, 2012
1:09 pm

I watched most of the Jefferson/GAC Game on the internet yesterday. Jefferson looks to be balanced on offense with both power and speed in the running game, the QB looks very good running the ball and appears to have a very good arm. Defense looks solid a well. They are obviously a well-coached team with plenty of talent. Should be a great game!

@ Panther Fan and PantherMom56; Thanks for the support, and you can bet there will be plenty of Calhoun Fans stay and support Ridgeland!

GTVET

December 10th, 2012
1:15 pm

GO JACKETS!!!!! “…………Sic um Panthers!!

59bulldawg

December 10th, 2012
1:22 pm

I was in school at Jefferson during our last two trips to the championship game back in the 1970s. Those teams had heart too! All of us with Jefferson connections are extremely proud of this team and win or lose they are ALREADY CHAMPIONS to us. Calhoun is certainly a great team and they should be favored but don’t underestimate the heart and determination of these young men from Jefferson! GO DRAGONS!

nate from detroit

December 10th, 2012
1:41 pm

I know you can’t make real judgements based on one game, but Lamar is a much better “team” than I saw when Calhoun played Brooks Co. I don’t know how much mileage Brooks got with the pollsters by beating Valdosta earlier in the year, but Lamar was more disciplined, better fundamentally, and as athletic if not more athletic than Brooks. I expect a close game on Sat. and as with most evenly matched games the team that wins the turnover battle will probably win.

Jefferson

December 10th, 2012
4:07 pm

Lamar is better than Brooks, without a doubt.

YELLERJACKETZ1

December 10th, 2012
10:57 pm

IT WAS A WAR WITH LAMAR CO.CALHOUN WON FIRST HALF LAMAR WON SECOND.ALOT OF INTENSITY IN THAT GAME .WE NEED TO PLAY THAT WAY WITH OUR “D” THIS WEEK. GIT-R-DONE BACK-2-BACK

christophorm

December 11th, 2012
7:01 am

Just saw this jefferson QB ..Now that’s a QB !!

the champ is here

December 11th, 2012
7:21 am

Calhoun QB won gatorade player of the year in ga.don’t think our “D” well let him run like he did on fax.not to mention our offense is #1 in scoring in AA.Go Jackets.!!!!!!!!

Jefferson

December 11th, 2012
11:33 am

Jefferson does indeed have a great QB, he will have a shadow much like Parrish from Brooks did, his damage was minimal. Should be a good game.

fifener pod

December 11th, 2012
1:32 pm

Just to add to mr. Jeffersons commentary,Calhoun has 800 on enrollment, which would definitely put them in AAA .In fact they out number Buford High , whom have already moved up to AAA because of their enrollment.They out number Jefferson by 250, but who’s counting,or cares.They both beat Wash-Wilks by almost identical scores,34 to 7, 31-0..GO DRAGONS

YELLERJACKETZ1

December 11th, 2012
8:41 pm

DRAGONS WILL FEEL THE FULL FURY OF THE STING OF THE SWARM IN THE DOME THIS SATURDAY!!!!!!!!

JeffersonDragon

December 12th, 2012
1:05 am

There is something special about these Jefferson boys. They are playing on a whole different level right now. Everyone needs to come to the Dome and see.The energy is incredible. Something neat is going to happen