With two wins back to back, Central wins regional rivalry game over Calhoun 62-

Published 4:19 pm Saturday, September 16, 2017

By Fred Guarino

The Lowndes Signal

The Central High Lions defeated their arch rivals the Calhoun Tigers 62-0 Friday night on the road to go 2-2 on the season and 2-0 in Class 2A Region 3 play.

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And according to the Alabama High School Football Historical Society, the Lions have now hold a 26-25 lead in the series between the two teams.

Also, according to the Alabama High School Athletic Association, the loss by Central at Francis Marion on Aug. 25 was actually considered a pre season contest.

The loss by Calhoun dropped the Tigers to 0-3 and 0-2in Class 2A Region 3 play. It also marked the third straight game in which the Tigers failed to score.

Calhoun fell to Keith 49-0 in a non-region bout and to regional opponents Goshen 51-0 and Central 62-0.

Central fell to Francis Marion 34-6 and Bullock County 58-34 in non-regional contests before defeating Zion Chapel 40-20 and Calhoun 62-0 in regional battles.

Following the win, Central High quarterback Keegan Blackman said, “I feel good, but I know we can do more. I just don’t want to beat Calhoun; I want to do more than that. I just want to keep winning. I live, eat and sleep football every night.”

Central head football coach Quinn Hambrite said rivalry games like that with Calhoun are the kind that can sneak up on a team. He said, “You really don’t know if your guys are going to handle business, one because it’s a rivalry team and two, because you know they (Calhoun) haven’t scored all year.”

Hambrite said, “It was a game that I didn’t have to get them up for. But I had to keep them going.”

He said he was afraid his team was going to let up when they felt they were going to win.

However, Hambrite said, “It was an excellent, excellent, excellent game. I can’t be more proud of them. This rivalry is personal for me. I know it is personal for them because I went to Central. And I’m very proud of the team for coming out with a win today.”

He said winning back to back games is something Central hasn’t done since 2004 when he was a quarterback for the Lions. He said that hopefully his quarterback, Blackman, “can have a better record than me, and he can make the playoffs.”

However, rather singling out top performers, Hambrite called the win over Calhoun a team effort.

On the other side of the coin, Calhoun head coach Ervin Starr could admire his players for their fight. He said, “I know our guys are going to keep fighting. That’s one of the things I am proud of. They are going to keep fighting.” But he said, “It gets frustrating, and they’re getting frustrated.”

However, Starr said, “We’re keeping it together.” He said Calhoun had 20 players dressed out Friday night of which only 16 had ever played football. He said that included six freshmen and four who never played. But, he said, “They’re learning more and more each week.”

Starr said he and his staff know they are fighting “an uphill battle” but said his players are up to task and show up each week. He said, “They are not going to quit playing, and it’s just our job as coaches to keep them motivated.”

The Lions led 18-0 after the first quarter and 46-0 at the half. They upped the lead to 62-0 in the third quarter which stood as the final.

Central will host New Brockton in a regional encounter this Friday night at home at Walter James Sellers Stadium while Calhoun will travel to W.S. Neal High School for a non-regional contest this coming Friday.