CHS falls to 1A Isabella, ready for Gordo

Published 12:00 am Tuesday, November 5, 2002

The Calera Eagles fell 33-21 to an undefeated Isabella team last Friday night in Calera.

Isabella was ranked No. 5 in Class 1A coming into the contest.

The Eagles will now try to regroup heading into the opening round of the Class 2A playoffs. Calera will travel to play defending Class 2A state champion Gordo (8-2). Gordo is coming off a 28-21 loss to 4A Fayette County.

Calera head coach Ken Adams said his team is excited about the opportunity to participate in the playoffs.

&uot;Gordo is a tough team,&uot; Adams said. &uot;They are going to run the ball most of the night, and in order for us to win, we just have to stop them. But the kids are ready and excited about having the opportunity to play in the playoffs.&uot;

Calera last participated in the playoffs in 1996 and in the mid 80s before that.

&uot;They (the players) have worked really hard all season and I am very proud of the way they have played and given it all they’ve had this season,&uot; Adams said. &uot;But our season isn’t over yet. We are going to Gordo to win. The kids have accomplished a lot this year, and nobody has given them anything. They have earned a spot in the playoffs and that’s what I’m most proud of.&uot;

That task will not be a simple one for the Eagles (7-3), who have lost three heartbreakers this season.

Calera has lost to Highland Home (who’s only loss is to region champ Luverne); Luverne (who’s only losses have come to teams higher than Class 2A); and Isabella, who is a favorite to win the Class 1A playoffs.

&uot;We have lost some tough game, but we have competed in every game and had chances to win all of them,&uot;Adams said. &uot;What people have to remember is that we have lined up as many as two freshmen and a sophomore in the secondary and only one senior in the backfield. But that’s no excuse. We had chances to be undefeated this season.&uot;

Calera was down 26-21 late in the game and driving when the Eagles picked up an apparent first down inside the Isabella 15 yard line. The play was called back due to a penalty, and the Eagles were faced with a second down and 25 from around midfield.

&uot;There’s not many plays you can call for a second down and 25 situation,&uot; Adams said. &uot;Penalties really hurt us Friday night.

The Eagles were penalized 12 times for 78 yards in the loss.

Isabella also capitalized on several third and fourth down situations, scoring three touchdowns on either third of fourth down. Isabella’s first score of the night came on fourth down.

&uot;We have to stop letting that happen and learn how to finish the deal, or it will be a short postseason for us,&uot; Adams said.

Adams said he is very thankful for the support the fans and community have shown him and his team throughout the season, especially one fan in particular.

&uot;I want to thank all of the fans of Calera High School, the community, cheerleaders, band and coaches for all of the support they have given this team this season,&uot; Adams said, &uot;especially that one guy last Friday night who kept calling my name. That kind of support for the team is just great.&uot;

Gordo and Calera will kickoff the first round of the Class 2A playoffs at Gordo at 7 p.m