(08/30/2008)
By Gaylen Duskey
realfang@citlink.net

It's hard to find fault when a team wins 58-6.

And that's exactly what Calhoun did in its season opener at Gilmer County. The Red Devils were methodical and businesslike in putting the Titans away early making the question change from "who?" to "how much?" in the first quarter.

The Red Devils, 1-0, did all that behind an awesome running attack led by junior tailback Randy Fluharty and a machine-like offensive line.

In the game Fluharty had 270 yards on 20 carries while scoring a pair of touchdowns. He was joined by fellow backfield starter Jeremy Conley with a pair of touchdowns as well as his younger brother Darrenger Fluharty who also had a couple. Zach Moore, Sean Gungle and Aaron Yoak also had scores for the Red Devils, with Yoak's coming in a 60 yard interception return.

Yet for all the glamour of the victory there were also a few warts.

For instance:

1. Calhoun had eight fumbles. Fortunately the Red Devils only lost one.

2. The Red Devils had 11 penalties for 90 yards with two of those penalties taking points off the board, one on a punt return touchdown by Randy Fluharty and one on a touchdown run also by Randy Fluharty.

3. The kicking game struggled a bit as the Red Devils brought in a couple of new kickers to replace two departed all-state kickers - Jeff Goodrich and Nick Whytsell. Calhoun had one punt blocked and missed on a couple of extra point kicks and a field goal try. To be fair the field goal attempt was plenty long enough but it sailed slightly off to the right.

4. And the defense had a mental lapse late in the second quarter allowing Gilmer County to score a touchdown when the game still could have become competitive. The Titans' score made it 24-6 but after that Calhoun went back to methodically dismantling Gilmer.

After Fluharty's punt return was called back after stopping Gilmer on its first possession of the game Calhoun quickly went to work to atone and did at the 9:41 mark of the first as Fluharty galloped in from 11 yards out.

Fluharty scored again minutes later - again after a touchdown was called back - on a 10 yard run at the 6:07 mark.

Jeremy "Spanky" Conley scored with 1:26 remaining in the opening period on a four-yard run to make it 18-0.

Calhoun kicked it up to 24-0 at the 10:53 mark of the second period when Sean Gungle blasted up the middle from 12 yards out.

But then the offense sputtered a bit, a punt attempt was blocked, and Gilmer was in business on the Red Devils' 26.

It took a penalty and a couple of completed passes before Sam Dennison connected with Daniel Delude from 16 yards out to put the Titans on the board and cut the score to 24-6.

Calhoun scored again on Moore's run from a yard out to make it 31-6 with a minute remaining in the half effectively killing any momentum Gilmer may have built up.

The second half was all Calhoun as Conley's 2-yard run at the 9:02 mark of the third quarter pretty well was the last offensive series any of the starters would see.

After that Yoak picked off a Titan pass and rambled 60 yards for the score to make it 44-6 with 11:45 remaining.

Following that Calhoun's reserves put the finishing touches on things with freshman Darrenger Fluharty scoring twice - from nine yards out and 21 yards out with one second left to play.

Calhoun returns to action next Friday night on the road at Ritchie County (0-1) a 53-6 loser to St. Marys.

Gilmer, 0-1, is at South Harrison, 1-0.


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