The Cass Colonels (5-5, 2-3) defeated the Calhoun Yellow Jackets (6-4, 2-3) 52- on Friday night. The win made Cass the No. 4 seed in 5A-Region 7, while Calhoun would sit the 2023 playoffs out.
The Colonels came out of the gate hot. On the opening kickoff, Sacovie White returned a lateral to midfield. A few players later, Brodie McWhorter connected with White for a 9-yard touchdown pass to give the Colonels an early lead. Calhoun answered with a long kickoff return of its own and scored on a 4-yard touchdown run by Caden Williams. The Colonels once again got the ball and didn’t bend after the answer by Calhoun. Instead, the Colonels punched again.
Cass scored on its second possession as McWhorter ran the ball 18 yards to once again give the Colonels a 7-point advantage.
The Cass defense proved up to the task all game long. The Yellow Jackets were stymied and had trouble sustaining drives. After punting the ball away, Cass drove deep into Calhoun territory. Staring at a 4th-and-9, Cass elected to kick a field goal. But once Calhoun lined up offsides, Coach Steve Gates decided to give his offense a chance to add another touchdown.
They didn’t disappoint.
McWhorter scrambled and found White in the back of the end zone for a 9-yard touchdown pass to extend the lead to 21-7. Already riding momentum, Cass was about to get some more. After a high-arching kick from Austin McArthur, Calhoun muffed the return, which was recovered by Braylon Hill and the Colonels. Cass once again faced a fourth down, but this time relied on the leg of McArthur to extend the lead to 24-7. Calhoun attempted a 42-yard kick just before the first half could end, but it sailed wide left.
Calhoun couldn’t do anything with the second half kickoff and was force to give the ball back to the Colonels. The Cass attack fumbled the ball, which was recovered by Calhoun. This was a chance for the Yellow Jackets to gain some momentum, but the Cass defense wouldn’t have it. Calhoun couldn’t convert a fourth down and the Colonels regained possession once again.
Cass went on a long drive in an attempt to bleed some clock to help ensure a victory. Cass went 80 yards and scored with just under a minute left in the third quarter as McWhorter went a yard on the quarterback keeper.
Calhoun scored at the beginning of the fourth quarter on a 10-yard pass from Trey Townsend, however his 2-point conversion attempt was intercepted. The Yellow Jackets attempted an onside kick, which was recovered by Cass, meaning a drive that ended with a touchdown or bled enough clock would effectively put the game out of reach. It would be the former, as Hill scored on an 18-yard rushing touchdown.
Williams and the Yellow Jackets scored again with just over seven minutes left in the game. The Yellow Jackets again went for the 2-point conversion as Townsend completed the pass to make the score 38-21. Hill scored with 3:18 left in the game, but it was Ja’Kai Baldwin’s 45-yard pick six that effectively put the game away and get Cass ready for the postseason. Calhoun scored and added another 2-point conversion, but by then the damage had been done.
The Colonels will be back in action next week as the hit the road to play the No. 1 seed from 5A-Region 6.