CALHOUN, Ga. — The final numbers show Taylor Lamb passed for 358 yards and four touchdowns, and while the Calhoun High School senior quarterback's arm was the main weapon in Friday night's 49-14 GHSA Class AA quarterfinal win over Brooks County, he made the key plays early with his legs.
Calhoun will face Lamar County in next Friday's semifinal game. A coin flip today will determine the home team.
The Yellow Jackets (13-0) scored on seven of their first eight possessions as Lamb and his corps of dangerous receivers moved the ball at will against a Trojans team that came in ranked No. 2. However, a Brooks County touchdown late in the first quarter temporarily halted Calhoun's momentum and made it a 14-7 game.
Brooks, its defense suddenly fired up, had Calhoun in a third-and-5 early in the second quarter when Lamb kept the ball around right end for a 6-yard gain and a crucial first down. Four plays later, the Jackets faced a fourth-and-1 at the Trojans' 3 and Lamb came through with a 2-yard run. He scored on the next play on a sneak for a 21-7 lead.
Soon after that, Donnell Anthony intercepted a deep pass, and four plays later Lamb connected with Tydus Curtis on a 35-yard scoring screen pass.
"We had a great game plan and everyone did their job," said the quarterback, who was an efficient 23-of-30 passing. "We were ready for this one."
As good as the offense was with 532 total yards, the Calhoun defense was equally strong. A Brooks County team averaging nearly 500 yards and 35 points per game trailed 28-7 at halftime after managing just 145 yards. Star quarterback Malcolm Parrish, frustrated by an array of different looks from the Calhoun defense, missed several open receivers and ended the first half with just 8 rushing yards.
"We had to contain him because he's a special talent," Calhoun coach Hal Lamb said. "Coach [Ricky] Ross had a great game plan and the guys never quit. This was a complete team victory, and I couldn't be prouder."
The Jackets picked right up after halftime with a 74-yard drive that featured 4-for-4 passing from Taylor Lamb, who ended the possession with a 21-yard quarterback draw for a touchdown. Brooks tried to answer, moving the ball to the Calhoun 6, but on fourth-and-goal Dejuan Miley was stopped inside the 1 after catching a quick out pass.
Alex Urbano, on the next play, broke free off right guard and outraced the Trojans' defenders 99 yards for the game's punctuating highlight.
Urbano finished with 120 yards rushing and 59 yards receiving, including the game's first touchdown, on seven catches, while Lamb added 44 yards on the ground. Curtis led Calhoun receivers with 85 yards, with Logan Walraven adding 65 and Josh Barnes 64.
Lindsey Young is a sports writer at the Chattanooga Times Free Press who started work at the Chattanooga News-Free Press 24 years ago. He covers the Northwest Georgia prep beat and NASCAR. Lindsey’s hometown is Ringgold, Ga., and he graduated from Lakeview-Fort Oglethorpe High School. He received an associate’s degree from Dalton Junior College (now Dalton State) and a bachelor’s degree in communications from UTC. He has won several writing awards, including two Tennessee Sports ...