Sports

October 18, 2013

Every step a little closer

Dalton can’t afford to relax; Northwest, Southeast look to bounce back

(Continued)

Calhoun (5-1, 3-0) at Murray County (1-5, 0-3)

There’s an obvious gap between the current state of things for Calhoun — a state power that has advanced to five straight Class 2A title games — and Murray County, which faces the Yellow Jackets tonight for homecoming.

Murray County first-year coach Chad Brewer, though, sounds like a man welcoming Calhoun and the challenge it will no doubt provide his Indians.

“For our guys, it’s a chance to see how they measure up against the best,” Brewer said. “They might be surprised what they can do if they put their minds to it. Calhoun is well-coached in every phase of the game. They have what you want your players to be. If you’re looking for something that they don’t do well, you will be looking for a long time.”

Calhoun dominated Murray County 69-0 last season en route to its 12th straight region championship and 14th consecutive appearance in the state playoffs.

Calhoun suffered its first regular season loss since 2008 when it lost 42-7 to Class 4A’s Carrollton earlier this year, but nonetheless brings a team comparable to the 2012 state runner-up. The Yellow Jackets are ranked fifth in the Georgia Sports Writers Association’s Class 2A state poll.

“We’re better on defense,” Yellow Jackets coach Hal Lamb said. “We’re not as good on offense. Our main thing about this game is to worry about ourselves and not slop around.”

Senior quarterback Fields Chapman — a starting linebacker last year — leads the high-powered spread attack. Wide receiver Tydus Curtis, another senior, is his primary receiver. On a big-play defense, senior end Austin Byrd has eight sacks.

Murray County quarterback Justin Smith has rushed for 412 yards on 92 carries this season while completing 76 of 135 passes for 660 yards and five touchdowns, including two to Petee Waldon during last week’s loss at Model.

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