By John Wilbert/NEMS Daily Journal
CALHOUN CITY – Baldwyn head coach Michael Gray said the Calhoun City team has probably had Friday night’s game circled since his Bearcats team beat them soundly a year ago.
He was right.
“We’re trying to get back at everybody that beat us last year,” said Calhoun City senior quarterback J.R. Jennings. “And we want to put a better beating on the ones we did beat.”
Jennings and Co. avenged last year’s 35-7 loss at Baldwyn with their own 34-7 victory at home on Friday night.
“We knew what we were in for,” said Gray, whose club fell to 2-5 after losing his team’s Division 1-2A opener on Friday night, “coming down here to a hostile environment against a really, really good football team.
“I knew there was a chance after what we did to them last year – I think we kind of shocked them a little bit last year when we came out and played with them the way we did. … They were waiting to get us, and, hey, they got a good football team.”
Calhoun City (7-0, 1-0 Division 1-2A) scored all five of its touchdowns on the ground, with Lavarious Varnado and Avery Hill each scoring twice.
“We just reacted to it very well,” Hill said about the loss to Baldwyn last year. “We practiced hard and did all we could do.”
The Wildcats had a balanced rushing attack on the night: Jennings rushed 10 times for 56 yards; Varnado 7 for 48; and Hill 12 for 42. Varnado started the scoring on a 14-yard run with 7:46 remaining in the first quarter. Hill scored on runs of 2 and 5 yards to close out the opening quarter. Hill’s scores came a minute, 12 seconds apart from one another.
Aaron Thompson expanded the Wildcats’ lead to 27-0 on a 26-yard run off a reverse with 7:48 to go in the third period.
Varnado finished Calhoun City’s scoring with a 7-yard TD run with 4:32 left in the game.
“In the past couple of weeks, we hadn’t run the ball well at times,” said Calhoun City head coach Perry Liles. “But we did (tonight).
“We still got some things to work on. We can get better. But I was proud we were able to get first downs.”
Calhoun City punted only twice, while turning the ball over twice to Baldwyn. Jennings was 6 of 10 passing for 67 yards and was picked off once.
The Wildcats’ defense was just as impressive as its offense. They forced two turnovers and didn’t allow the Bearcats to score until there was one minute, 35 seconds to play in the contest.
Tyler Estes scored on a 10-yard run to put Baldwyn on the board.
“They’re the fastest defense we’ve seen,” Gray said. “They’re all big up front and every one of those guys behind those front four can run, and that makes up a lot of difference.”
Contact John Wilbert at 678-1572 or firstname.lastname@example.org