Calera registers shut out on Corner

By TREY HICKMAN/For the Reporter

CALERA ­— For the second consecutive week, AHSAA Class 4A No. 1 Calera took a while to gain traction offensively, though that stagnant start did little to impede its path to victory as the host Eagles shut out Region 4 foe Corner 37-0.

The curtain fell on the opening quarter with neither team having scored.

Calera (4-0, 3-0 in Region 4) finally put points on the board when kicker Stephen Ellison booted a 38-yard field goal with 8:29 left in the half. A bad punt snap by the Yellow Jackets set Calera up with a first-and-goal before quarterback Ronnie Clark contributed a 9-yard touchdown run.

Backup quarterback Brian Stone later added a 3-yard scoring run and, thanks to the passing game, the Eagles found pay dirt again with under a minute before intermission. Clark connected with wide receiver Kolby Thompson for a 33-yard gain before hitting wide receiver Jordan Bishop in the back-right corner of the end zone for a 17-yard score as Calera took a 23-0 lead into the break.

Despite losing Clark for good early in the third quarter courtesy of cramps, the Eagles kept Corner scoreless and posted a pair of insurance scores en route to extending their undefeated season. Capping off a drive that featured hard-nosed rushing by running back Shakeith Tyes, backup quarterback Ty Evans found wide receiver Frank Thomas for a 13-yard touchdown pass. Tyes later found the end zone on an 8-yard run as part of his 19-carry, 118-yard performance.

Calera head coach Wiley McKeller was quick to give the visiting team credit.

“Well Corner has a lot to do with that (slow start),” he said. “I’m going to tell you what, they’re not bad defensively. They have three linebackers (who are) as good as you’re going to see and they created a lot of problems for us early before we could adjust.

“But the big thing just on our end is you fumble twice inside the red zone. You can’t do that and play championship football and that’s something we’ve done the last two weeks. We have to find a way to fix that.”

Offensively for Calera, Tyes led the way with his output, followed by Clark’s 10 carries for 96 yards and a score. Thomas and Bishop each had a receiving touchdown and Stone tallied his rushing score while linebacker Lane Johnson led the Eagles’ defense with 10 tackles and one sack.

Linebacker Coby Mize added eight tackles and a sack as fellow linebacker Garrett Reddin registered six tackles and an interception. Defensive end Dylan Reddin posted six tackles and a sack while Henry Davis had an interception.

Calera is on the road against Shelby County next Friday night.