Calhoun ready for improved Eagles

Alex Farrer, Calhoun Times Sports Editor

Calhoun cleaned up a lot of the mistakes they made two weeks ago against Carrollton in a 38-0 win over Dade County this past Friday.
But Jackets head coach Hal Lamb says there’s still a ways to go.
Calhoun (3-1, 1-0) will get another chance to take a few more steps toward that on Friday when they host Coosa at Phil Reeve Stadium.
Lamb said he saw exactly what he needed to see as far as progress in the win over Dade County.
“We were much better,” said Lamb. “The defense was tremendous, the special teams were improved and the offense was better, but it’s still a work in progress.
“We definitely made strides this past week, and that’s really good to see after the Carrollton game.”
Coosa (2-2, 0-1) heads to Calhoun coming off a tough 21-15 loss to Pepperell last Saturday in the annual Shrine Game. New head coach Todd Wheeler and the Eagles had a chance late to take the lead, but they threw an interception on their final drive as they left Lindale with a loss.
Lamb said he had a chance to watch that game on Saturday and came away impressed by what the Eagles can do.
“They are very athletic,” said Lamb. “Coach Wheeler has done a tremendous job there, and they are very capable of coming of coming in here and playing well.
“Offensively, they are mostly out of the I-Formation, but they like to throw it out of that too. And defensively, they are a 3-4 team that is going to try to make plays all over the field.”
This past Friday, the Jackets started slow against Dade County, but got going in the second quarter thanks to an efficient night from quarterback Fields Chapman. The senior was 12-of-17 passing for 175 yards and three TDs, two going to Chandler Curtis and the other going to Tydus Curtis.
The defense was dominant against the Wolverines as they recorded their third shutout in their first four games. Austin Byrd led the way with nine tackles and three sacks, Dustyn Harris forced two fumbles and Mitch Morrow returned one of those for a touchdown.
Lamb said he was happy with the overall team win.
“We made progress on offense, and we only had one turnover which is big,” said Lamb. “Any time you have one or less turnovers, you are doing well.
“And the defense was tremendous. Three shutouts in the first four games says a lot about how well they are playing. I’m really please with our defense.”
Lamb said his team needs to build on last week and continue to come ready to play a tough game each Friday, with this week’s matchup at Coosa being no exception.
“We’ve got to anticipate that Coosa is coming in here ready to play and looking to beat us,” said Lamb. “We can’t take anyone lightly, especially a formidable opponent like Coosa.
“If we’re ready to play and don’t turn the ball over, we’ll be okay, but we can’t make mistakes or Coosa will make us pay for them.”
The Jackets got back on track last Friday by running over and past Dade County. It was just what they needed after having their confidence shaken a little the week before in Carrollton.
Now, they get to host a Coosa team that looks to be improved from last season and is primed to battle for one of the four playoff spots in 7-AA. They are also a little salty after dropping one to their Floyd County rival, Pepperell, on Saturday.
Still, Calhoun is the more talented and deep team, and that will show.
Score: Calhoun wins, 35-10.