By Gaylen Duskey

Visiting Calhoun Middle School got a taste of its own medicine - long distance touchdown runs - Thursday night and found it a bit of a bitter thing to swallow as unbeaten Braxton Middle took a 32-8 victory. The 5-0 Knights had touchdown runs of 65, 64 ad 52 yards in the first half to take a 24-0 lead.

Benjamin Fincham scored on a 52 yard run late in the first quarter following a long, but failed Calhoun drive to give Braxton a lead it would never relinquish.

The next time the Knights got the ball Fincham struck again, this time from 65 yards away to give Braxton a two-touchdown lead and essentially put the game away.

A 64-yard scoring gallop by Tim Osborn the next time Braxton got the ball made it 24-0 and put the Red Devils, 3-2, in a come-back mode that they would stay in the rest of the game.

Calhoun did its best to mount a rally with a touchdown late in the first half when Casey Ritchie teamed up with Ethyn Miller for a five-yard touchdown pass. That play came after a Calhoun touchdown run had been called back on the previous play.

The Red Devils were hampered by penalties all game long as the Knights played a seemingly perfect game until time was running out in the third period when they were whistled for their first penalty.

The extra point conversion on Miller's touchdown reception was a pass from Casey Ritchie to Jonathan Taylor, the Red Devils lightning quick back.

Taylor had gone into the game with 718 yards rushing and 11 touchdowns. Many of Taylor's touchdowns had come from long distance. While Taylor did go over 100 yards rushing again - 28 carries for 167 yards - the Braxton defense did find a way to bottle him up with his longest run being 31 yards while keeping him out of the end zone except for the extra point conversion.

With the Knights keying on Taylor Seth Moore (55 yards on five carries) and Casey Ritchie (30 yards on eights carries before being injured) carried some of the offensive load.

Other than the three long touchdown runs the Calhoun defense forced Braxton to attempt to grind up the middle on offense and did a relatively good job at holding the bigger Knights.

Calhoun will return to action Thursday when it plays its last home game entertaining Clay County in a key CWVAC West matchup. The Red Devils are still in control of their playoff destiny and with wins over Clay and Walton in the final game of the season could make the CWVAC championship game against the East Division winner, which probably will be Braxton County.

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