By Roger Propst
Calhoun's Jr. Varsity football traveled to Elizabeth on Monday evening to take on the Wirt Tiger JV's at Tiger Stadium, and came away with a hard-fought 22-14 victory.
The game did not begin well for the Red Devils as they failed to get a first down on their first possession of the night after receiving the opening kickoff. Calhoun punted from its own 30 yard line with the Tigers getting the ball at the 45. The Tigers then marched down the field on a 7-play drive that ended in a 30 yard touchdown pass and a 6-0 lead. The Tigers converted the two-point try and the score stood at 8-0 with 5:51 remaining in the 1st quarter.
The Red Devils were again unable to move the ball and forced to punt for the 2nd time in two possessions. Wirt took over at the 50 yard line after the punt, but lost the ball on a fumble on 2nd down with Calhoun's Ben Laughlin recovering. Calhoun was able to move the ball on this possession for two first downs, but still trailed at the end of the 1st quarter 8-0. The drive ended when a Wirt defender stepped in front of a pass and intercepted at the Wirt 45 yard line.
Calhoun returned the favor by stopping the next Wirt drive with Austin Moore intercepting for the Red Devils deep in their own territory. The Red Devils finally got the offense clicking and moved the ball downfield on the running of Ben Laughlin, Nick Stevens and Randy Fluharty; Stevens getting the touchdown on a two yard run and Fluharty capping it with a run for the two pointer taking the score to 8-8 with 3.26 remaining in the 1st half.
The Red Devil defense then stiffened and forced a Wirt punt on its next possession with Calhoun getting the ball at the 34 yard line. Randy Fluharty then ran to the 12 for a 1st down, followed by a Laughlin run to a 1st and goal at the 4 yard line. Nick Stevens then sprinted into the endzone for a 14-8 Calhoun lead. Fluharty's run on the conversion attempt was good and the score stood a 16-8 Calhoun with 1:43 left in the 1st half.
Caden Arnold's kickoff went to the Wirt 36 yard line where the Tigers began their drive. However the drive ended in disaster for the Tigers when Calhoun defensive back Nick Stevens intercepted a Wirt pass and ran it back to the Tiger 3 yard line. Stevens then carried the ball into the endzone and a 22-8 Calhoun lead with 0.33 left in the half. The conversion attempt was no good. The Red Devils had scored all 22 of its points in a span of less than three minutes and led 22-8 at halftime.
Wirt received the 2nd half kickoff and took over at its own 32 yard line. On a 3rd down the Wirt ball carrier fumbled the ball, but it was picked up by a team mate who ran it in for a touchdown closing the score to 22-14. The conversion attempt was no good and the score stood at Calhoun 22 - Wirt 14 with 9:05 remaining in the 3rd quarter.
The teams battled back and forth the rest of the half with neither being able to dent the other's goal line. The Red Devils were able to make their 22 point outburst in the 2nd quarter stand up for a hard fought victory. Randy Fluharty and Caden Arnold led the stout Red Devil defensive in tackles on the night.