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Lamar County-Calhoun preview

By Ken K. Green Lamar County travels to Calhoun to take on the defending state champion Yellow Jackets in the semifinal round of the GHSA Class AA state playoffs this week. The Trojans are 12-0-1 and the Jackets, Region 7-AA champions, are 13-0. When and Where: Friday at 7:30 at Phil Reeve Stadium on the CHS campus near downtown Calhoun To get there: Take I-75 N to exit 312. Turn left onto GA-53 W. Take a slight right onto GA-3/U.S. 41 N/S Wall Street. Turn left onto Court Street/Georgia 136 Connector West. Continue to follow Court Street onto Oothcalooga Street and turn left onto Yellow Jacket Street. The trip is approximately 125 miles or about two hours and 15 minutes. Admission: $15. Tickets are available at the local high school office until Friday at noon. The ticket window at Calhoun will open Friday at 5 p.m. Weather: Mostly cloudy with a slight chance of rain and temperatures in the low 50s throughout the game. ADVISORY – A 12-0-1 Blue Thunderstorm is building strength and is set to strike Calhoun Friday at 7:30 p.m. This storm will be especially detrimental to pesky insects. Last week: Lamar County beat Lovett 35-28. Calhoun beat Brooks County 49-14. Calhoun’s other opponents: Playoff bound schools AAAA Ridgeland (42-35), AAAA Dalton (55-41), AAAA Carrollton (46-35), Coosa (35-0), Pepperell (45-13), Model (35-0), Wesleyan in the first round (42-10) and Washington-Wilkes in the second round (34-7). They also beat Dade County (50-14), Murray County (69-0), Armuchee (53-0) and Chattooga (49-14). Series: First meeting. Yellow Jacket offense: Averaging 46.5 points per game (Lamar allows 10.5 ppg). Yellow Jacket defense: Yielding 13.5 points per game (Lamar is averaging 37.1 ppg) Top Calhoun players: #11 Sr. QB Taylor Lamb, #1 Jr. RB Alex Urbano, #7 Sr. WR Josh Barnes, #43 Sr. DL Sebastian Willer, #54 Sr. LB Jackson Brumlow, #10 Sr, DB Donnell Anthony Calhoun head coach: Hal Lamb is 161-43 overall in 16 seasons. 14 at Calhoun (156-28), 5-15 in 2 seasons at Upson-Lee (1997-98). 13 straight post seasons (34-11). Prediction: Cal Preps projects Calhoun a 34-28 winner. Maxwell Ratings picks the Jackets by 24. Rankings: The Trojans are ranked 3rd by Maxwell Ratings, 4th by Max Preps and the Associated Press and 5th by the Atlanta Journal Constitution. The Jackets are #1 in all four polls. Game notes: The Jackets run a pro-style shotgun spread offense rarely shifting or going in motion. Lamb,recently named Georgia’s Gatorade Player Of The Year, has completed 247-of-359 (68%) pass attempts for 3,167 yards (244 ypg) and 34 touchdowns with five interceptions through 13 games while running for another 302 yards on 56 carries (5.4 ypc) and 11 touchdowns. Last week against Brooks County, he was 23 of 31 passing for 366 yards and four touchdowns while scoring another two touchdowns on the ground. Several Calhoun receivers have had big years led by Barnes 81 catches for 1,002 yards and five touchdowns. When they run the ball they like to give it to Urbano who has rushed for 1,119 yards and scored 21 touchdowns and also has 31 catches for 313 yards. Against Brooks he had 121 yards on nine carries last week including a 99 yard run from scrimmage. He also caught six balls for 58 yards. Calhoun employs the 3-3 stack defense relying on slants, stunts and blitzes to put pressure on the opposing offense. The Jackets returned only one starter from last year’s state championship team and gave up 111 points in their first three games this year but have only allowed an average of seven points per game since. Things you should know: Spectator buses are again be available this week for the trip. A 55-seat charter bus for adults only is $25 per seat (due to length of trip) while the student only school bus is again $10 a head. Reservations may be made at the high school office during business hours and payment is due at the time of reservation. The buses will leave the high school Friday at 3:30. The football team will leave at 12 noon and fans are encouraged to bring signs and noise makers to give the Trojans a huge send off.

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