|By Gaylen Duskey |
Seth Moore rushed for 409 yards and four touchdowns. Johnny Hart had eight tackles, seven in the first half, and a fumble recovery and an interception. Calhoun Middle School had more than 500 yards total offense and defensively had seven sacks as it rolled to a 42-16 victory over a feisty Walton team 42-16 Thursday night at Mount Zion.
There were numerous individual stars yet it was a total team victory as the Red Devils even their season record to a final 4-4 on "senior" night as the eighth grade players and cheerleaders were all honored before the game.
The game itself had its moments even though Calhoun controlled both sides of the line of scrimmage from the opening play. Walton's speed however kept things interesting.
The Red Devils showed their dominance early in the game when the Tigers sent a runner into the line only to see him leveled by Moore from his linebacker spot.
After Walton had gotten a first down on a fourth down play Calhoun's defense tightened especially when the Tigers tried going at Hart, who had two straight tackles to stop the drive.
Once Calhoun got the ball it did not take long for Moore to set the tempo as he raced 55 yards for a score.
He added another touchdown on a 14-yard run and Caden Hicks scored the two-point conversion to give the Red Devils a 14-0 lead.
But Walton pulled off a Hail Mary type pass on fourth-and-14 early in the second quarter as AJ McGinness sneaked behind the Calhoun defense and hauled in a high and wobbly pass from Kaleb Greathouse for a 50 yard touchdown. Greathouse hit Ethan Moffatt for the extra point conversion cutting the margin to six, 14-8.
That seemed to light a spark under the Red Devils as they turned a tight game into a runaway with two quick touchdowns for a 28-8 halftime lead.
First Moore did what he did all game long - run pretty much wherever and whenever he wanted - with a 41 yard touchdown.
The next time Calhoun got the ball it moved it quickly down the field with a three-yard pass from Hicks to tight end Connor Ritchie putting six on the board. Hicks added the extra point conversion to set the score at the end of two quarters.
The two teams battled between the 20s for most of the third quarter before McGinness picked off a Calhoun pass and scampered 37 yards for a touchdown with :58.9 remaining. Greathouse ran in the extra point conversion.
It didn't take Calhoun long to retaliate as Moore scored on a 58 yard run as time expired in the period. Hicks' run for the two-point conversion gave the Red Devils a 20-point, 36-16, lead after three periods.
After stopping the Tigers, 3-5, on down in its own territory Calhoun penalties sent it backwards and it was facing a third and 18 from its own seven. That's when the Red Devils showed its dominance as Moore broke off tackle and rambled 77 yards before being pulled down by the speedy Greathouse.
Jakob Holcomb ran the next play down to the one yard line and the Red Devils brought in Christopher Kirkland in an attempt to give the diminutive kicker a touchdown. He scored but the play was called back by an aiding the runner penalty. Holcomb ran the ball down to the one again and on the next play scored to set the final at 42-16.
Calhoun had 520 yards total offense and 14 first downs.
Calhoun eighth graders Moore, Holcomb, Ritchie, Hart, Kirkland, Sam Poore, Allen Matheny, Trevor Lynch, Chris Thornton and Baylon Carter played their last game at the middle school level.