Calhoun-Cartersville headlines Class AAA weekend

Article and photos courtesy of the Atlanta Journal-Constitution –> Original Article Here

Third-ranked Calhoun will play host to top-ranked Cartersville of Class AAAA in a matchup that could have a playoff feel. The Yellow Jackets’ 28-game regular-season winning streak came to an end last week when they lost to Class AAAAAA Dalton 28-13.

Calhoun quarterback Baylon Spector rushed for 106 yards on 23 carries and was 14-of-19 passing for 146 yards, but two interceptions were costly. Cartersville did not play last week.

“It’s definitely going to be a difficult task, but we’re going to give it a shot,” said Calhoun coach Hal Lamb. “They are a very good football team. They’re a total package, but we’ve got them at home so hopefully that can make a difference.”

The Yellow Jackets haven’t fared well against Cartersville, which leads the overall series 27-6-1. But Calhoun won the last game, 38-10, in 2009. The storied rivalry dates back to 1926.

Here are some other big games to watch in Class AAA:

Pace Academy at Hapeville Charter: Top-ranked Pace Academy looks to ride the momentum from last week’s 20-10 victory against West Forsyth (AAAAAAA) when it plays Hapeville. Pace won last year’s game, 17-16.

Pace coach Chris Slade knows his team needs to be prepared.

“They gave us all we wanted last year, and we had to block an extra point to beat them,” Slade said. “They are going to come out ready to play. They have some really good players. So it’s going to be a big-time challenge for us.”

Pace, which won the 2015 Class AA championship, moved to No. 1 last week after five of the top seven teams in the AJC top-10 lost.

Cedar Grove at Columbia: Cedar Grove split its first two games this season with a 34-23 victory against Stephenson (AAAAAA) in the opener and a 21-20 loss to Southwest DeKalb (AAAAA) last week.

The Saints had 17 penalties, threw an interception in the end zone and missed a 30-yard field goal with 30 seconds left against Southwest DeKalb.

Cedar Grove leads the series 9-6 against Columbia, but lost the last meeting, 22-0, in 2014.

Peach County at Warner Robins: No. 5 Peach County will meet Warner Robins for the ninth time in a Middle Georgia rivalry that dates back to 1970. The Demons won 44-34 last season.

Peach hopes to move past its loss to top-ranked Houston County (AAAAAA) last week in a game that saw Bears’ quarterback Jake Fromm take over in the second half, leading his team to scores on every possession. The Trojans lost 49-31 and gave up 625 yards in total offense.

Peach County’s James Jackson and Tyler Gibson both rushed for more than 100 yards against Houston County.

Liberty County at Statesboro: No. 6 Liberty County hopes to improve its record against Statesboro (AAAAA), which leads the overall series 7-1. The Panthers’ only victory against Statesboro was a 29-0 romp in 2010.

Richard LeCounte, who has committed to UGA, put on show in last week’s blowout against Bradwell Institute, scoring on a punt return and a kickoff return (both 75 yards) and catching three passes for 71 yards and two touchdowns.

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