By Gaylen Duskey

FLATWOODS - Some estimated the rain that fell on the Braxton High School football field over the last few days at about four inches.

And while the traction was not too bad for that much rain the moisture did make it hard to hang onto the ball.

While Calhoun had a bit of trouble hanging onto the ball, the Red Devils did shut down Braxton's offense en route to a 17-0 win over the Eagles earning a trip to the state Class A playoffs.

The third-ranked Red Devils could move up to second place and assure home field advantage throughout the playoffs up to the Class A championship game if they beat St. Marys this coming Friday at home.

While Calhoun had a few problems with finding the handle on the ball from time to time they didn't show it in the first quarter as they took the opening kickoff and quickly went the length of the field with the final 56 yards coming on a pass from Matt Houchin to Roman Rader. Nick Whytsell added the extra point to make it 7-0.

Calhoun got the ball back and scored not long after that although the touchdown did not come without a few strange moments as the Red Devils were whistled three times on the drive and hand one scoring run nullified when they call time out just before the ball was snapped.

But when Caleb Hart broke into the end zone and Whytsell kicked the extra point it was 14-0 and it looked like a route could be on.

That was not to be the case, however, as Calhoun suffered a couple of fumbles and an intercepted pass killing several drives.

Fortunately Braxton, now 2-7, was unable to muster any offense whatsoever until the final drive of the game when it moved into Calhoun territory only to be stopped on downs with less than a minute to play.

Calhoun, now 8-1, got its last points on a Whytsell field goal.

This coming Friday's game with St. Marys carries massive playoff implications for the Red Devils.

Should Calhoun win it could be ranked as high as second and no lower than third, which would give it a home game to start the playoffs and home games thereafter (if second) or until the semifinals (if third).

Should the Red Devils lose they will still be in the playoffs but might fall out of the top eight which would mean they would play on the road in the first game and probably throughout.