The Calhoun Yellow Jackets had been here before, final game of the season and playing for a state championship, against the Buford Wolves. After a scoreless fourth quarter, Buford scored first on a 33 yard field goal. Calhoun came right back with a field goal of their own and it was ties 3-3. Buford was blitzing from the outside so Calhoun made then pay on a Taylor Lamb screen pass to Darius Washington that went 63 yards for the touchdown and a 10-3 Calhoun lead. Buford would answer right back as CJ Moore , who had taken back kickoffs for touchdowns this season, sprinted around the right edge 68 yards for a touchdown and a 10-10 score that would go that way into halftime.
After the break Calhoun woke up after the teams traded punts and Lamb went 15 yards for a touchdown and added the two-point conversation giving the Yellow Jackets an 18-10 lead and the momentum. In the fourth quarter Calhoun would add two field goals and lead 24-10 with a little under 3 minutes to play. That’s when the fun started. After getting a break to bring back an interception, Sam Clay went to the right corner for Paris Head for a touchdown that would keep the Wolves chances alive trailing 24-17. The onside kick was recovered by Calhoun, however Buford had all 3 timeouts. The Wolves would force Calhoun to punt. The snap was low, the punt was blocked and Dillon Lee scooped it up and raced for a touchdown after all of a sudden it was 24-24 overtime was on the horizon.
In overtime Buford’s Andre Johnson would fumble-Buford’s fourth turnover of the game- on the first play and Calhoun pounced on it. The Yellow Jackets wasted no time lining up for a field goal on first down and Austin Griffith would nail it giving Calhoun their first state Championship since the year 19 and 53, ending Buford’s four year run and leaving the Wolves in massive tears afterwards.
Calhoun finished ranked No. 57 in the Rivals High Top 100 and Buford, who was as high as No. 9 finished at No.60. Calhoun is better than 57 and Buford is better than 60 in our eyes here at Total Sports Coverage, but feel they are where they are after you consider ALL things.
Tucker vs Lovejoy in Class 4A
Lovejoy’s defense has been a force all season allowing only 3.6 ppg entering the contest as has Tickers rushing offense. The Wildcats defense would face a stern machine in an offense in the Tucker Tigers who came in averaging 35.3 ppg. In other word you know something would have to give.
Tucker’s Jordan Landry scored on a touchdown run and it was 6-0 after a failed 2pt-conversion, something Tucker has used at will this season and early in ballgames like this attempt. Lovejoy just could not get anything going. In the second frame Tucker would record a safety after Lovejoy would start inside their own 5-yard line after fielding a punt there. That would result in a Tiger safety making it 8-0. Yusef Minor would stretch the Tiger lead to 15-0 on a touchdown run and a halftime lead of 15-0.
In the third Tucker would go right back to work pushing thier lead to 22-0 on a touchdown run from Dallas Rivers. RIvers did not play nor had a carry in the first half but had two back-to-back carries on this drive with e last resulting in the touchdown.
Lovejoy would not die however as they put together a drive in the fourth quarter ending with a Alejandro Bennefield to Arshard Jackson touchdown pass in the right corner for the final margin of 22-7. The 22 points would be the most that Lovejoy would allow in 2011. Tri-Cities scored 20 on them earlier this season and Tri-Cities went out in the quarterfinals with a loss to Northside-Warner Robins who would fall to Tucker the next week.
Tucker’s Head Coach Franklin Stephens won his second state title since being the sideline boss at Tucker with the other coming in 2008 against county rival and private school Marist.
Tucker finished the season undefeated at 15-0 and as the 26th ranked team in the Rivals High Top 100. Lovejoy did not make the Top 100 but has nothing to hold their head downs about. We at Total Sports coverage feel Tucker is a Top 15 team/program in the nation, but what do we know?