The fourth-ranked Calhoun Yellow Jackets have been rolling since the Sept. 1 loss to Class AAAA No. 1 Cartersville, and last week’s 41-10 victory against Haralson County added to the momentum as they travel to Adairsville Friday for a Region 6-South opener.
“They are a really good football team,” said Calhoun coach Hal Lamb. “Especially offensively. They are scoring a lot of points. They are an option-oriented offense, so we will have to be really disciplined on defense if we are going to have a chance.”
The Tigers are 3-2 this season with victories against Cass (29-15), Model (49-14) and Murray County (49-30). Adairsville has lost to Ridgeland (48-7) and Ringgold (47-42).
In preparation for the triple-option, Lamb and Calhoun have focused on assignment football in practice this week.
“We have added 5-to-10 minutes to the practice schedule, just to spend time focusing on the option,” Lamb said. “But they are a very sound football team. We just have to be sound defensively. … I think we are getting better. I think the goal is to get better every week, and since the Cartersville game we have gotten better. So I think we are playing better in all phases, the kicking game, offensively and defensively.”
Calhoun is tied with No. 6 Bremen as the leader in the Region 6-South standings, but Lamb said he would just as soon forget about region standings.
“We are week-to-week,” he said. “Adairsville is our focus right now. With this format, you just cannot afford to lose a sub-region game because you’ll get behind the 8-ball. So we are going to focus on Adairsville, and then we will move to the next one next week.”
According to the Maxwell projections HERE, Calhoun is a favorite 96 percent of the time. The Yellow Jackets won last year’s game 29-3 and hold an 18-9 margin in the series that dates to 1968. Adairsville has not won a game against Calhoun in 12 tries since 1999.
Here are other top games to focus on this week:
— No. 1 Cedar Grove (5-0, 2-0) vs. Towers (2-3, 1-1): The defending champion Saints, who are coming off an off week, defeated Towers 28-0 last season. Cedar Grove is expected to move to 3-0 in Region 5.
— No. 2 Peach County (4-1, 1-0) at Central-Macon (1-4, 1-1): The Trojans will travel to Macon to face Central on Thursday night. Last year, Peach County was not challenged, winning 48-0. Expect the same.
— No. 3 Greater Atlanta Christian (5-1, 2-0) vs. East Hall (5-1, 2-0): Greater Atlanta Christian should have little trouble moving to 3-0 in Region 7 against East Hall. The Spartans defeated the Vikings 69-12 last season.
— No. 5 Jenkins (5-0, 2-0) vs. Islands (2-3, 1-1): Region 3 leader Jenkins is chasing its second region title in as many years when it takes on Islands on Friday. Last season, Jenkins took a 64-20 victory, and until the last game of the season against Beach (24-15), was not challenged. The Warriors are coming off a 35-6 victory against Johnson-Savannah.
— No. 6 Bremen (6-0, 1-0) does not play. It will play host to Haralson County on Oct. 13.
— No. 7 Monroe Area (6-0, 1-0) at East Jackson: The Purple Hurricanes are fresh off a 42-14 defeat of Jackson County and a 42-0 victory against Apalachee. Last season, Monroe Area defeated the Eagles 28-16. Monroe Area, Morgan County and Hart are all 1-0 in Region 8.
— No. 8 Crisp County (4-1, 0-0) does not play: It will travel to Monroe on Oct. 13.
— No. 9 Lovett (2-3, 1-1) at Stone Mountain (1-4, 0-2): The Lions are coming off a bye week after defeating Towers 42-8 on Sept. 22. Last season, Lovett shut out the Pirates 42-0, and this year should be no different.
— No. 10 Pace Academy (2-2, 2-0) vs. Westminster (1-4, 1-1): In what will be a crucial game in the Region 5 race, Pace Academy will be looking to avenge last year’s 49-36 loss to the Wildcats. Last year Pace lost at home, so the opportunity to beat Westminster at Westminster is large. Both teams rested last week.