Patriots knock off Calera in barnburner


Henry Sklar

Fans settle in prior to Homewood hosting Helena at Waldrop Stadium. Officials moved the game up from Friday due to forecasted inclement weather.

Henry Sklar, Sports Editor

The Patriots could not have expected an 86-point thriller from their program-first meeting with Calera.

The Eagles put up 38 points. The Eagles had a single player go for five touchdowns. The Eagles opened the game by recovering their own onside kick. And at the final whistle, the Eagles lost.

Homewood head coach Ben Berguson said he saw a lot of grit from his team in its 48-38 win Thursday night.

“Tonight I learned how scrappy they are,” he said. “We are learning how to fight back as a team.”

The game started off with fireworks. Calera elected to onside kick on the opening kickoff and recovered the ball near the 50-yard line. Eagles’ wide receiver Braylyn Farrington then scored his first of many touchdowns on a moonshot from quarterback Preston Stokes.

Despite its special teams, including a muffed kickoff, Homewood was able to capitalize on a 14-play drive ending with an 11-yard touchdown to senior wide receiver Charlie Reeves. 

While both teams exploded offensively in the second quarter, Farrington’s performance shone brightest. The Eagle receiver scored three more touchdowns, capping off a prolific first-half performance of 190 yards and four touchdowns on six receptions. 

Calera lead 28-24 at halftime as the Patriots kept it close with senior tight end Tripp Gann scoring a 78-yard house call early in the quarter. Woods Ray punched through on a 7-yard rushing touchdown, and a Whit Armistead field goal capped off the half.

Out of halftime, the special teams script flipped, and two botched punts by the Eagles led to two quick passing touchdowns by the Patriots, one to Reaves and another to Jackson Paris. 

After giving up two touchdowns, Calera flipped the field and drove all the way down to the Homewood six. The drive ended with The Eagles settling for a field goal cutting the Homewood lead to 7. 

Homewood replenished their 14-point lead off a touchdown by running back Calyb Colbert. On the ensuing kickoff Farrington struck once again, returning a 90-yard kickoff to the endzone breaking tackles from hash to hash. 

The Patriots still held onto a 45-38 lead and extended it by finishing an 8-play drive with an Armistead field goal.

The Eagles had one final chance to claw back at the Patriots, however for one of the first times of the night, the Patriot defense held strong and forced a three-and-out at midfield, dashing Calera’s hopes.

The rest of the game was finished like clockwork, as Homewood held out for a 48-38 win.

Homewood hosts Benjamin-Russell next Friday, Sept. 16 at 7 pm for Homecoming.