Jefferson 31, Calhoun 14

By Michael Alpert

For the AJC

Bryant Shirreffs ran 139 yards up the field Saturday, but seemingly 500-plus if you counted scrambling.

Repeatedly turning apparent losses into key gains, Jefferson’s senior quarterback proved slippery for defending champion Calhoun, running for three short touchdowns as Jefferson won its first Class AA championship, 31-14, at the Georgia Dome.

“He was winded after the first quarter,” Jefferson coach T. McFerrin said.

But after catching his breath and accepting the championship trophy with teammates on the field, Shirreffs acknowledged, “I’m going to be tired in the morning, but this is the best way to end my senior season.”

Though Jefferson was underdog against Calhoun, Shirreffs said he had an uncanny sense beforehand. Apparently knowing the Chinese calendar, he noted this being the Year of the Dragon and an ideal title chance for the Jefferson Dragons who reached championship games in 1975 and ‘77.

“I don’t know what it was, but I had a feeling in my heart we would win,” he said. “… Funny things have happened (this year).”

Surprising Calhoun (14-1) in the Yellow Jackets’ fifth consecutive state championship game culminated a season that started inauspiciously for Jefferson (14-1). The Dragons lost their season opener 22-7 to rival Commerce, and even after winning 13 straight, faced daunting odds against a Jackets team that had won 29 straight since losing the 2010 final.

The Dragons scored on three of four possessions in the first half and led 21-7 by intermission, and after letting the Jackets within a touchdown, pulled away with Shirreffs’ third score and Chandler Schlutow’s 36-yard field goal.

Calhoun coach Hal Lamb said he was heartened once within 21-14 on Carter Edwards’ third-quarter interception and Taylor Lamb’s 75-yard touchdown completion to Tydus Curtis a snap later, but Shirreffs continued to elude.

“He made big plays all game,” Lamb said. “We had several people on him, but just missed tackles.”

Jefferson went up 7-0 on Tristen Jackson’s 1-yard run mid way through the first quarter, but Calhoun tied with Taylor Lamb’s 17-yard scoring pass to Logan Walraven with 29 seconds left in the period. The Dragons gained their halftime advantage on Shirreff’s 3- and 1-yard runs and stayed far ahead in overcoming Taylor Lamb’s 279 yards passing.

McFerrin, who coached Elbert County to a championship in 1995, considered Saturday’s win in his fourth year at Jefferson one of his biggest in 300-plus over 38 seasons as a head coach.

“We’ve been underdogs all year,” he said. “We’re not all that big or all that fast, but we’ve gotten a lot better to win a game like this.

“We’ve got guys who played their guts out,” he added. “They wanted to win and thought they could.”

JEFFERSON 31, CALHOUN 14

Jefferson: 7 14 7 3 – 31

Calhoun: 7 0 7 0 – 14

J — Tristen Jackson 1 run (Chandler Schlutow kick)

C — Logan Walraven 17 pass from Taylor Lamb (Jonah Gallman kick)

J — Bryant Shirreffs 3 run (Schlutow kick)

J — Shirreffs 1 run (Schlutow kick)

C — Tydus Curtis 75 pass from Lamb (Gallman kick)

J — Shirreffs 1 run (Schlutow kick)

J — Schlutow 36 FG

40 comments Add your comment

TURD FERGUSON

December 15th, 2012
7:15 pm

fifener pod

December 15th, 2012
7:16 pm

what do u mean calhoun lost

TURD FERGUSON

December 15th, 2012
7:16 pm

way to go Jefferson, you made Jackson County proud.

GTVET

December 15th, 2012
7:24 pm

Congrats to Jefferson and all your fans on a job well done..You should be VERY proud of your team……..Tough one Calhoun,but am still and always will be proud of you…We will be back…

Winks

December 15th, 2012
7:24 pm

T. McFerrin is a fantastic coach. Great track record. Sort of like basketball coach Larry Brown; he doesn’t stay in any one place for very long.

Elephant Man

December 15th, 2012
7:35 pm

Congrats Jefferson! Way to make it 3 State Champs from North Georgia. -Your friends in Gainesville

Get a Life

December 15th, 2012
8:23 pm

Take that Calhoun! You take after Buford in the way you recruit.

JCorry

December 15th, 2012
8:28 pm

Congrats to Jefferson and Bryant Shirrefs on a fantastic season! Impressive win over mighty Calhoun.

dave2323

December 15th, 2012
8:30 pm

Enter your comments here

dave2323

December 15th, 2012
8:38 pm

wow jefferson…… you beat i think the top 5 team in the state…… Shirreffs wow what a player

College Scout

December 15th, 2012
8:40 pm

Looks like Calhoun’s recruiting couldn’t get them a state title this year. Bottom line to this game is Calhoun got beat by a better quarterback. Best quarterback play Ive seen in championship in a long time.

HPDawg

December 15th, 2012
8:51 pm

GTVET says -> “That said anyone that knows football knows why Calhoun really lost this game.” So, it was because “Simple ,,gumbyhead..Jefferson had more on the scoreboard than Calhoun….Got it now????Geeze”.

Freakin’ brilliant….. I am so edumacated now. You need to be on the ESPN…………………………..
HAHAHAHAHAHAHAHAHAHAHAHAHAHAHAHAHAHAHAHAAHHAHAHAHA

Bulldawg

December 15th, 2012
8:58 pm

Calhoun had to stop Shirrefs and they could not do it. He single handedly put Jefferson on his back and willed them to a state title. He made play after play and it seemed like it was always on third down. Definitely some the best QB play I’ve seen in a long time.

Congratulations to both teams. Calhoun is certainly down after this one, but they’ll be back in the hunt next season.

Stinger63

December 15th, 2012
9:02 pm

I will stay above the fray, and just say congratulations to Jefferson on a great win.

Chan

December 15th, 2012
9:03 pm

That wasn’t just a victory by Jefferson. That was a lesson.

ben

December 15th, 2012
9:10 pm

the yellow jackets did not get beat. they got dominated. sheriffs looked like a tim tibow who could actually throw the ball. maybe jefferson, gainesville, and buford should get together and show the rest of the state how to play some football.

JP

December 15th, 2012
10:02 pm

Enter your comments here

JP

December 15th, 2012
10:10 pm

Better team won, period. Lamar County and Jefferson have laid out a blue print on how to stop Calhon for future opponents: Take away the inside run on the zone read, and make Calhoun throw the ball to beat you. Calhoun’s passing sheme is very simplistic, relying heavily on screens and five to ten yard out patterns. They have almost no vertical passing attack, and, with the exception of number 4, have no diffrence-makers at wide receiver. Calhoun’s play calling and game plan on offense was poor. On defense, Calhoun simply got pushed around, and man-handled by the Jeferson quarterback. He, not Taylor Lamb, is the best AA quarterback, and its not even close.

Justin Martyr

December 15th, 2012
10:11 pm

I said it earlier this week that Jefferson would win, because of coaching and a team that knows it will win!

Dawg '94

December 15th, 2012
10:34 pm

Way to go Dragons!! The Jefferson boys were out-matched the last 3 games. Those young men showed what playing with heart will do for you. Win a state championship!!

Dawg '94

December 15th, 2012
10:41 pm

Bryant Shirrefs is SOMETHING ELSE. ANY college in the country would be better with him on their campus.

steve

December 15th, 2012
10:50 pm

What a QB in that Shirreff!! He looked like Johnny Football out there.. If I were a Ga Bulldogs coach, I’d be calling this kid tonight! He’s going to be a stud in college and I bet more than a couple of Ivy League schools will be trying to get him.

WolvesArePeaking

December 15th, 2012
11:53 pm

Dang why are they still hateing on Buford in AA…… Lmao! Y’all wish you was Buford!

JHS

December 16th, 2012
12:57 am

Bryant is an incredible athlete, but someone needs to give some LOVE to the AMAZING defense of the Dragons!! The D has proven time and time again, they are the BEST of the BEST!! And kudos to the kicker for driving some of the kickoffs outta the end-zone!! GREAT TO BE A DRAGON!!!!!!

BullDawg Rick

December 16th, 2012
2:18 am

Congrats Jefferson & to you JWALLER!!

JeffersonDragon

December 16th, 2012
3:34 am

I told you something neat was going to happen

NurseBecky

December 16th, 2012
6:38 am

I am so proud of the Jefferson Dragons. You humbled Calhoun and showed a lot of class in doing it.

WarEagle

December 16th, 2012
6:40 am

Shirreffs made Lamb look like a third string qb today. Gatorade needs to rethink who the best QB really is in the state. Shirreffs is a now state champ, offers to an ivy league school and probably more to come while Lamb is going where? South Alabama? This isn’t the last we’ll hear about Shirreffs. Just the beginning. Go Dragons!!! What an awesome performance.

A father

December 16th, 2012
8:02 am

N. GA. schools representin’

8AA

December 16th, 2012
8:59 am

Is this the 1st Football State Champ from 8AA Region….think Commerce won it back in like 86′ but I don’t know if they were A or AA? Anyone know if Region *AA has won it all before….

Way to go Jefferson! Goes to show you a good coach make all the diffrence in the world!

YELLERJACKETZ1

December 16th, 2012
12:01 pm

congrats dragons on a great game played

Hubert Green

December 16th, 2012
12:10 pm

T McFerrin is one of the best high school football coaches in Georgia.

Jimmy

December 16th, 2012
12:13 pm

How does Calhoun recruit?

BullDawg Rick

December 16th, 2012
12:29 pm

Wherez that Colhoun smack talker???

Can you say BLOWN OUT!!!

Be happy with your one in five years!!! I’m sure the community is proud.. No need to beat down another, as you have the team that you beat once outta 4 tries..

(This is NOT meant for the class Yellow Jackets, the loser that was spewing all over himself KNOWS who he is!!)

Roger

December 16th, 2012
12:55 pm

Calhouner is a loser. He is hiding in a corner in his mom’s basement.

GICentral

December 16th, 2012
12:58 pm

The curse of Allred strikes again! Gotta love it. Jefferson dominated and proved they were not a one man show. Calhoun got hammered!

GICentral

December 16th, 2012
12:59 pm

If Calhoun recruits, they better get a new recruiting coordinator.

FandeFutbolAmericano

December 16th, 2012
1:01 pm

Muy buen juego de Jefferson. Calhoun fue llevado al cobertizo de madera. Translation: Very good game Jefferson. Calhoun was taken to the wood shed.

No dawg in the fight

December 16th, 2012
4:34 pm

I don’t think Calhoun recruiting is an issue, I watched last years Buford game, Buford had an ol that avg 275 vs a Calhoun ol avg 225. Buford had seniors going to UGANDA, ala, auburn & lsu, calhouns best player went to Tenn Chatanoga. This year calhouns best player is going to south ala, that’s pretty crappy recruiting. I live in dekalb co and Buford coaches are everywhere trying to get the best 8 graders to come to Buford. Any dispute of this is a lie.
Jefferson and especially the qb deserve all the credit, what a game he played

WolvesArePeaking

December 17th, 2012
10:40 am

No dawg in a fight…….. Stop crying! People pay to come the the almighty Buford! Kids parent want the best for there kids and Buford provides the best facilities in the state of Georgia… Soooo y’all should be somewhere taking notes! We got 9 championships to your 1 lol! Enjoy it and I bet you this isn’t our last 1