published Saturday, September 7th, 2013

Calhoun defense dominates Dalton in 17-2 win

Calhoun's Alex Urbano (1) is taken down by Dalton sophomore Fernando Hernandez (35).
Calhoun's Alex Urbano (1) is taken down by Dalton sophomore Fernando Hernandez (35).
Photo by Dan Henry.

CALHOUN, Ga. — The lights weren't the only thing to lose power Friday night at Calhoun's Phil Reeve Stadium.

A blown transformer at halftime resulted in more than an hour delay of the Yellow Jackets' game against Dalton. The Calhoun defense didn't need any help to unplug the Catamounts' offense, limiting the visitors to 119 total yards in a 17-2 win.

The loss marks the first time since 1975 Dalton has started a season 0-2, while Calhoun, after a 37-0 win at Ridgeland last week, is 2-0 and has allowed under 200 total yards combined. The Jackets, shut down themselves most of the game by an inspired Dalton defense, used two long touchdown passes from Fields Chapman to Tydus Curtis to claim their fourth consecutive win over the Catamounts.

The two first hooked up late in the first quarter when Chapman unleashed a high bomb that the speedster Curtis ran under at the 5 and cruised into the end zone for a 7-0 lead. Dalton, after a punt pinned Calhoun at the 1, Dalton's Noah Ferguson trapped Alex Urbano in the end zone for a safety.

An interception by Dalton's Nathan Bryant set the Cats up at the Calhoun 35 a few minutes later, but the Calhoun defense, led by Tyler Ellis, pushed Dalton back 3 yards and forced another punt. Each team had a drive stall in enemy territory midway through the period, and Calhoun took over at its own 33 with 1:42 left in the half.

On third-and-16 Chapman looked right, then threw back left to Curtis for a perfectly set up screen play that went distance as Curtis broke two tackles and out-raced two Catamount defenders into the end zone and a 14-2 lead.

"It was a struggle," Calhoun coach Hal Lamb said. "When you turn the ball over five times, counting the safety, you're not going to win many football games. We found a way to win, though, behind a great defensive effort. Dalton's defense is the strength of their game and they played well, but we can't turn it over like that."

Neither team did much in the second half after the lengthy delay, though an Urbano fumble set Dalton up at the Calhoun 36 early in the half, but the drive ended at the 6 when quarterback Payton Veraldi was forced into an errant pass by the hard-rushing Austin Byrd. Dalton did not threaten again.

Chapman was shaken up in the second half and did not return.

Contact Lindsey Young at lyoung@timesfreepress.com or at 423-757-6296.

about Lindsey Young...

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 ...

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