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Highland Home upsets Calhoun

Highland Home upsets Calhoun
By Eason Franklin
The Lowndes Signal
Highland Home’s Flying Squadron (5-4) defeated Calhoun’s Tigers (-) at home in a 34-32 upset Friday night.
The Flying Squadron took the lead early in the first quarter, but were evenly matched by the Tigers leading up to the second half.
Squadron quarterback Kase Kelly scored the first touchdown of the game three minutes in on a 15-yard run against the Tigers. Junior Chris McCullough followed up with the extra point.
With 1:10 left in the first, Calhoun’s Trevontae Hardy broke out on a 40-yard touchdown run against the Squadron. The PAT was no good.
Highland’s defensive back John Dunn eased in a four-yard touchdown run for the Squadron followed by a failed field goal attempt by McCullough.
Well into the second quarter, Dunn intercepted a short pass by the Tigers’ Devel Goldsmith.
The Squadron took advantage of the interception with a score on the drive by wide-out Lewis Johnson.
After a successful PAT, Highland Home held a commanding lead of 20-6 over Calhoun.
Goldsmith answered the Squadron’s touchdown with a 50-yard run on first and long, however the Tigers’ touchdown was called back to the 17-yard line due to a penalty.
Calhoun’s Jonterrence McCray secured a Tigers’ touchdown on the drive with a one-yard touchdown run.
Highland Home brought the ball within field goal range late into the first quarter, which was blocked by the Tigers.
“The guys played every down,” said Calhoun’s Coach James Bibb. “They even played from behind.”
Calhoun returned to the second half with a fury. On the Tigers’ first drive of the third quarter, Goldsmith scored another Calhoun touchdown on a three-yard quarterback sneak.
After a poor snap, the PAT was not good.
With 2:42 left in the third quarter, Calhoun fumbled on their own 33-yard line which was quickly answered with a touchdown for the Squadron by Raheem Berry. McCullough’s extra point was good.
Bibb commented saying the fumble was the game-turning play for the Tigers.
“We gave them good field position and they scored off that drive,” Bibb said.
Calhoun quickly responded with a 55-yard pass from Goldsmith to Keldrick Exford for a touchdown.
At the beginning of the fourth quarter, Highland Home found themselves with a narrow 27-24 lead over the Tigers.
The Squadron scored another touchdown on the following drive with a handoff to Dunn. The PAT was no good.
Goldsmith kept Highland Home on their toes answering with a 13-yard touchdown run followed by a two-point conversion by McCray.
The score remained 34-32 Highland Home as the fourth quarter drew to a close.
With 0:51 left in the fourth, the Tigers found themselves on the Squadron’s 31-yard line. Goldsmith gained 9-yards on the next play giving Calhoun the first down at the 21-yard line.
Goldsmith followed right up with a 5-yard run with 0:26 left in the game.
After an incomplete pass, Goldsmith ran the ball for a 15-yard gain with only 0:12 left in the fourth.
Highland Home held their ground, stopped Calhoun short of the goal line and won.
Flying Squadron Coach Tom Pinkston noted what a difficult game Calhoun played.
“It was a back-and-forth scoring game,” said Highland Home Coach Tom Pinkston. “We had a hard time stopping them, but when we had to…we did.”
Calhoun will take on Central-Hayneville’s Lions (0-7) next Friday at Central. Central lost their last game to Billingsley 46-18.
Highland Home will face Luverne next week on the Tigers’ territory.