Cody Starcher breaks through Trailblazers on the kick off return

Starcher continues his 60 yard kick off return with the
Trailblazers trailing behind with the goal line is in sight

Story and photos by Patty Haught

Calhoun Middle School football team hosted their first home game of the season on Thursday, Sept. 25th. They took on the unbeaten Trailblazers of Ritchie County Middle School. Despite the efforts of the Red Devils they couldn't handle the tough Ritchie County team and lost 34-12.

Calhoun started out strong and surprised the Trailblazers with an onsides kick. The Red Devils recovered it and began their offensive series. Although things looked good for the Red Devils they fumbled the ball on the first play and it was recovered by Ritchie county.

Ritchie moved the ball down the field with only a slight mishap when they fumbled the ball but quickly recovered. They continued down field into Calhoun territory and scored with 5:10 left in the first quarter. The extra point attempt was good and the score was 8-0. Calhoun took over after the Ritchie County kick off, but only moved the ball a short distance down the field before fumbling the ball away.

Ritchie county's quarterback, Trevor Shepler threw a 40 yard pass hitting his man for another Trailblazer touchdown. Again the extra point attempt was good and the score stood at 16-0 with only 1:52 left in the 1st quarter.

Calhoun again took control of the ball after the kickoff. Things began to look hopeful for the Red Devils after a gain of about 26 yards and a couple first downs then bad luck struck again. The Red Devils were called for a holding penalty which set them back an additional 10 yards they tried a pass play but it was intercepted by Ritchie County.

The Trailblazers took advantage of the mistake and once again began moving the ball down the field for another touchdown. Calhoun was able to hold them on the extra point attempt and the score was 22-0 with 2:24 left in the first half.

Ritchie County kicked off and the ball was caught by Calhoun's Cody Starcher. Starcher ran the ball down the field through a host of Ritchie County players but was able to break through for a Calhoun touchdown on a 60 yard kick off return to finally put Calhoun on the boards. The 2 point conversion failed and the score was 22-6 with 2:09 remaining in the 2nd quarter.

Ritchie County would once again get the ball, but Calhoun's defense buckled down and held the Trailblazers thanks to a quarterback sack by Phillip Norman. Ritchie County was forced to punt and Calhoun gained control of the ball with 43.6 seconds to go in the half. Despite their efforts Calhoun was only able to gain a first down before Ritchie County would take over on downs with 6 seconds remaining. With time running out in the first half Ritchie County was unable to score again. The half time score stood at 22-6.

The second half of the ballgame looked a lot like the first half with Calhoun gaining some yards before turning the ball over. Ritchie County continued to capitalize on the those turnovers and scored once again bringing the score to 28-6.

Calhoun's Cody Starcher caught another Ritchie County kick off and returned it for for about 30 yards before being brought down. Calhoun continued to run the ball, even after a penalty on the Red Devils. Finally, Calhoun's Jared Haught had a 28 yard run into the end zone for another Red Devil touchdown. The extra point attempt failed and with 14 seconds left in the 3rd quarter the score was 28-12.

Calhoun attempted another onsides kick and much to the surprise of the Calhoun fans it was ruled on the field that it didn't go 10 yards. Ritchie County took over the ball, but soon fumbled which was recovered by the Devils with 3.7 seconds left in the 3rd.

Calhoun moved the ball down the field gaining another first down, however after another short run they were plagued with another penalty and came up short of the much needed 1st down. Ritchie County once again would take over the ball and once again would score, bringing the score to 34-12. Although Calhoun tried they were unable to get on the boards again and the ballgame ended with a final score of 34-12.

Calhoun Middle school will be home again this week, playing host to Braxton County Middle School. Kick off is set for 6:30 on Thursday, October 2nd.

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