Fri., December 9, 2011 8:22pm (EST)

Calhoun Beats Buford to win AA Crown
By Brian Jones
Updated: 3 years ago

ATLANTA  —  
Photo by Buford High School
Photo by Buford High School
1952 was a great year for Calhoun because the Yellow Jackets claimed their first state title.


Fast forward to December 9, 2011 where the Yellow Jackets were facing Buford in the Class AA state title for the fourth consecutive year. Since that day in 1952, the Yellow Jackets have won 13 region titles but have yet to win another state crown.


But this time it would a different story as Calhoun quarterback Taylor Lamb and kicker Adam Griffith led the Yellow Jackets to a 27-24 win over the Wolves in overtime to earn their second state title in school history.


The game was tight at the start, as both teams missed field goals in the first quarter and stayed scoreless at the end of the first.


The second quarter is where things picked up for both teams. The Yellow Jackets and the Wolves exchanged field goals in the second quarter, but Calhoun started the fireworks midway through the second quarter.


Lamb threw a 63-yard touchdown pass to Darius Washington to give the Jackets the 10-3 lead. However, the Wolves answered on the ensuing drive, as running back C.J. Moore ran for a 68-yard touchdown run to tie the game at 10 before the half.


The third quarter was all Calhoun. The Jackets only scored one touchdown and that was when Lamb ran for a 15-yard score to give them the 18-10 lead, but the Jackets defense forced Buford to punt both times it was on the field.


The Yellow Jackets also dominated most of the fourth quarter. Griffith kicked a 46-yard field goal to increase the Yellow Jackets lead to 11. The Yellow Jackets recovered a fumble by Moore on the ensuing drive and that led to another Griffith 37-yard field goal to increase the lead to 14.


The Wolves would not give up. A big pass play from quarterback Sam Clay to Ryan Dillard led to a Clay touchdown pass to Paris Head to cut the lead to seven with 1:12 left in the game.


The Wolves got the ball back after the Jackets fumbled the attempted punt and was recovered by the Wolves Dillon Lee and was returned for a score. And just like that, the Wolves tied the Jackets with less than a minute left in regulation.


The Jackets got the ball back with 40 seconds left but decided to let the clock run out and try to win in overtime.


That was a great decision because even with the Wolves getting possession first, they could not do anything with it because running back Andre’ Johnson fumbled and it was recovered by Calhoun’s Heath Everett.


On the next play, Griffith kicked a short field goal and the Yellow Jackets finally take down the Wolves after losing to them in the finals the last three years.


With the win, the Yellow Jackets complete a perfect season and avoid tying a state record which is losing four consecutive championship games. Adairsville was the last school lose four straight championship games from 1969-1972.


Buford falls to 14-1 and its state best 27-game win streak comes to an end. The Wolves have won four out of the last five state championships and had they defeated the Jackets, they would have broken a state record.