The No. 4 state-ranked Trojans end their best-ever season with a 12-1-1 record while No. 1 Calhoun — the defending Class AA state champions — improves to 14-0. The Jackets advance to face the Jefferson High Dragons (13-1) in the 2012 Class AA state championship game on Saturday, Dec. 15 at 2:30 p.m. in the Georgia Dome.
The win for Calhoun — its 42nd straight home win and 18th straight home playoff win — marks the team’s fifth straight trip to the Class AA state finals (2008-12).
“This was one of those good games where you hate that someone has to lose. I have to credit Calhoun’s defensive game plan; they forced us to work more inside than on the perimeter and it worked,” said Trojans first-year head coach Franklin Stephens. “There’s a reason why they’ve been to so many state title games and won it all last year.”
Calhoun got the party started at the 5:59 mark of the first quarter when quarterback Tyler Lamb rushed for a 1-yard touchdown to give the Jackets a 7-0 lead. Lamar answered with a Jeremy Fletcher 18-yard TD run to tie the game at 7-all early in the second quarter.
After that, it was the Alex Urbano show for Calhoun. The standout running back scored on TD runs of 2 and 22 yards in the second to give the home team the 21-7 halftime lead.
“We stalled on a couple of drives and had some costly penalties that hurt us in the second,” Stephens said. “In fact, penalties hurt us all game: We had a big play and a TD called back because of penalties.”
Antwan Wallace’s 9-yard TD run at the 9:07 mark was Lamar’s final points of the season, making the final margin 21-14, Calhoun.
“Both teams played good defense, but we didn’t do a good job of making plays,” said Stephens. “It’s a testament to Calhoun’s defense.”