|By Gaylen Duskey |
In a series of 10-12 plays in the fourth quarter Friday night Calhoun fans had a chance to see what might have been and what was.
Cory Metz ripped off tackle for 12 yards. Then he hammered the middle for six more. Next Tyler Bennett lofted a picture-perfect pass that Bronson Clark hauled in for a 35-yard gain. It was a picture of what might have been.
Then the ugly specter of what was raised its head. The Red Devils fumbled the ball away and on the first play from scrimmage Jacob Yanero raced 78 yards to the Calhoun two. On the next play the Eagles scored.
Although it was a series of about a dozen plays in the fourth quarter of Braxton's 45-18 win over Calhoun it was a microcosm of the Red Devils' season.
With Metz finally healthy, or at least running like he was healthy, the Red Devils had a big, quick back and were able to move Clark to wide receiver where he was all-conference last year. The offense clicked as it hadn't done since the season opening game of the year, a victory over Gilmer County and the Red Devils only win in a 1-9 campaign.
But that was only a glimpse of the promise.
The reality was not that nice.
Calhoun suffered player losses to transfers and many potential starters just not coming out for the team. Those things snowballed in a hurry when injuries hit an already depleted squad turning a promise into a season long nightmare for the coaches, players and fans. It was made palatable by the fact that the players Calhoun did end up with did not have a hint of quit in them. They got pounded but they took the opponent's best shot and returned their best shot in kind.
Braxton, 7-3, jumped off to a big early lead as Yanero, whose father was originally from Calhoun County, scored twice on runs of four and 46 yards. Another Eagle touchdown made it 21-0 before Calhoun could get untracked.
But when Calhoun got its offense going it moved the ball with relative ease, getting on the board when Clark tallied from three yards out.
The teams traded touchdowns with Bennett's 14-yard scoring pass to Dillon Mefford equaling a scoring pass by the Eagles.
It was 27-12 at intermission and still a bit of a ballgame.
But Braxton tallied 18 straight points before Calhoun would score again, this time perhaps with a glimpse at the future.
Calhoun's final score came with less than a minute to play when freshman Logan Moore hit Mefford with a 21-yard aerial.
Overall Calhoun passed for 259 yards and two touchdowns and Bennett and Moore combined to complete 17 of 28 passes with no interceptions.
Clark had 87 yards on seven receptions. He also had 54 yards rushing on 17 carries. Nathan Cosgrove had 69 yards on four receptions while Mefford had 67 yards on four receptions and Bennett 46 on two catches.
Calhoun graduated nine seniors: Clark, Bennett, Mefford, Ben Laughlin, David Villers, Justin Yeager, Calvin Knotts, John Jones and C.J. Myers.