Canes lose triple overtime shootout with Calhoun, 50-48

Cartersville RB Malachi Jeffries looks for daylight Thursday night vs. Calhoun.

Top-ranked Cartersville committed five turnovers Thursday night at Weinman Stadium and dropped a 50-48 triple overtime decision to Region 7-5A rival Calhoun.

Four of the Canes’ turnovers took place in the first half as Calhoun built a 28-7 lead.

After Cartersville fumbled the opening kickoff and later gave the Yellow Jackets a short field with an interception, Calhoun quarterback Trey Townsend scored on a 1-yard keeper. The PAT kick by Carlos Lopez gave the visitors a 7-0 lead with 7:40 remaining in the first quarter.

Malachi Jefferies broke loose with a 48-yard jaunt to tie the game moments later. Ryan Johnson’s PAT kick tied the score 7-7 with 3:52 left in the first period.

Calhoun responded with an 85-yard drive to go up 14-7. Townsend capped the drive with a 1-yard sneak with 11:37 remaining in the second quarter.

Cartersville fumbled on its next possession and the Yellow Jackets turned the third Canes’ miscue into more points. Calhoun running back Caden Williams finished off a 30-yard drive with a 1-yard plunge to put the Jackets up 21-7 with 9:52 left in the first half.

The fourth Canes’ turnover of the half led to more Calhoun points. Makadan Griffin picked off a Cartersville pass to set up the score.

Townsend connected with Hunter White for a 42-yard strike and Calhoun led 28-7 with 8:48 remaining in the second quarter.

The Hurricanes drove 42 yards to cut the Calhoun lead to 28-14. Jeffries capped the drive with a 21-yard scamper with 5:07 remaining in the half.

Cartersville’s had a third quarter scoring opportunity thwarted early in the period. After recovering a sack fumble at the Calhoun 13-yard line, another Cartersville pass was picked off in the end zone by the Yellow Jackets’ Cam Curtis. It was the fifth Canes’ turnover of the night.

The Canes rally to send the game into overtime began in the opening seconds of the fourth quarter.

Malachi Jeffries breaks into the Calhoun secondary during his 51-yard touchdown run Thursday night.

A 51-yard drive included a long run by Jeffries to the red zone. He then finished off the drive with a 4-yard run with 11:15 left in regulation time making the score 28-21.

Following possession exchanges and a Calhoun punt, the Canes started at the Calhoun 48-yard line. Cartersville quarterback Paul Gamble tossed a 28-yard touchdown pass to Collin Fletcher to knot the score at 28-28 with 5:06 remaining in the fourth quarter.

With their next possession, the Canes moved the ball close enough to attempt a Johnson 47-yard field goal. It missed wide right, however, sending the game into overtime.

Cartersville won the toss in overtime and chose to go on defense first.

Calhoun scored on its first play. Williams’ 15-yard touchdown run put Calhoun up 35-28. Cartersville answered with a touchdown pass from Gamble to Ahmari Thomas on a 2nd-and-20 play. Johnson’s PAT sent the game to a second overtime tied 35-35.

This time the Hurricanes went up 42-35 with a touchdown pass, but Calhoun responded with an 8-yard touchdown pass from Townsend to Emaree Winston to force a third overtime tied 42-42. The Cartersville touchdown toss was from Gamble to Ja’mauri Brice.

Once the game reaches a third overtime, both teams must attempt a two-point conversion following any touchdown.

Williams scored on a 3-yard run and ran in the two-point conversion to give Calhoun a 50-42 advantage.

Cartersville scored on a Jeffries run to make the score 50-48, but a two-point conversion keeper by Gamble came up short.

Calhoun improved to 4-2 on the season and 1-0 in Region 7-5A. The win also means the Yellow Jackets would take any tie-breaker head to head with Cartersville.

The Hurricanes will need to win their remaining four region games and have Calhoun lose twice to overcome the Yellow Jackets in the Region 7-AAAAA race.

Cartersville (5-1, 0-1) will look to bounce back next Friday at Cass in a 7:30 p.m. kickoff.

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