Tigers stung by Yellow Jackets

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Six turnovers in the first half by the Adairsville Tigers helped Calhoun cruise to a 61-0 victory Friday night.

The Yellow Jackets scored 42 points off four interceptions and two fumbles on kickoff returns committed by the Tigers in the first half.

“Right from the start, things didn’t go the way we expected them to,” Adairsville head football coach Eric Bishop said. “Hats off to Calhoun. They're a great football team with a great coaching staff. Calhoun is a team that puts pressure on you to play perfectly and we didn’t do that tonight. You can see why they’re ranked No. 1 in the state and are the defending champs.”

On the opening kickoff, the Yellow Jackets recovered a fumble by the Tigers, which gave the team a first down at Adairsville’s 20-yard line. Four rushing attempts later and a score by Zack Fuller, Calhoun (6-0, 4-0 Region 6-AAA) held its first lead of the game.

After the Tigers’ (3-4, 2-3 Region 6-AAA) first offensive possession was cut to an end after a three-and-out, the Yellow Jackets marched down the field for their second touchdown of the game. This time, Fuller scored off an 11-yard run to cap off a nine-play, 67-yard drive with 6:30 left in the first. 

With the Tigers back on offense, facing a third-and-5, Mason Boswell’s pass was intercepted by Calhoun’s Eric McKnight, who returned it to the Tigers' 20-yard line. 

One play later, Gavin Gray connected with receiver Brannon Spector for Calhoun’s third touchdown of the night. The Yellow Jackets led 21-0 with 4:53 left in the first quarter.

Before the end of the first quarter, both teams came up short of putting up more points on the scoreboard. 

On the second play of the second quarter, Boswell was intercepted once again, this time by Calhoun’s Davis Allen. With the Yellow Jackets starting their drive on Adairsville’s 5-yard line, Jonkell Tolbert scored his first touchdown of the night after a 4-yard run, having only gained one on the previous play. Kicker Eduardo Fajardo missed the extra point, at which point Calhoun led 27-0.

On the next drive for Adairsville, Boswell’s pass was intercepted for the third time in the game, this time by Calhoun’s Bralin Barton. On the first play of the Yellow Jackets' possession, Gray connected with teammate Luke Moseley for a 24-yard touchdown pass.

Before the end of the second quarter, Calhoun’s Fuller and Julian Ipac added two more touchdowns for the Yellow Jackets, having gained possession of the ball via two more turnovers. 

By halftime, Calhoun led 47-0. 

During the second half, Calhoun’s Jake Morrow connected with Cedric Lacey for a 56-yard score and Jerrian Hames scored via a 17-yard run to extend the lead to 61-0.

The Tigers will look to bounce back into the win column next Friday when the team travels to Sonoraville.

“Just like I told the team just now, we have to forget about this one and go back to work on Monday,” Bishop said. “The coaching staff and I will go back to work this weekend and we’ll get ready to make a run in these last three games of the regular season, and hopefully find a way into the playoffs. This one doesn’t hurt any more than others regardless of the score, we have had three one-point games already and they all count the same. We have to remain focused during the next three weeks and take care of business.”