Calera falls to Homewood in region battle
Published 12:58 am Saturday, September 16, 2023
By NIC YOUNG | Special to the Reporter
CALERA – In a battle between two teams searching for their first victory, the Calera Eagles struggled to find their footing early in their regional showdown with Homewood. The Patriots’ relentless offensive attack proved to be more than the Eagles could handle.
Homewood opened the game with a statement. Beginning at their own 36-yard line, the Patriots were at midfield by their second offensive play. Homewood quarterback Will Myers connected with Alijah Lavender shortly after for a big gain. This led to Myers punching in the game’s first score on a 5-yard touchdown run.
Calera opened its first possession moving the ball, but two straight incompletions left the Eagles on the verge of a three-and-out. A pass interference call on third down extended their drive.
This opened the door for AJ Johnson to connect with Braxton Brooks on a fade route for a 36-yard touchdown to tie the game at 7-7.
The Patriots took no time responding to this score. Myers connected with Kylen Newell on a 49-yard touchdown pass to retake the lead, 14-7.
Calera began the ensuing drive benefiting from Homewood penalties. The Eagles found themselves in the red zone following face mask and pass interference calls.
The drive would stall out, and a failed fourth down attempt resulted in a turnover on downs for the Eagles.
Homewood took this opportunity and marched down the field to quickly make it to the red zone. The drive appeared to be stalling out on 4th-and-10 before Myers called his own number, scrambling for 11 yards and extending the possession.
A few plays later, running back Evan Ausmer would score from the 2-yard line extending the Patriots’ lead 22-7. A botched PAT attempt resulted in Homewood converting a two-point attempt.
On their next possession, Calera got off to a promising start before AJ Johnson’s pass was intercepted by Talton Thomas and returned for a Homewood touchdown giving the Patriots a 29-7 lead.
The following possession yielded similar results as the Patriots defense intercepted Johnson once again, placing Homewood on the Calera 28-yard line to begin their possession.
The Patriots found the end zone shortly after as Myers connected with Lavender for the touchdown, giving the Patriots a commanding 36-7 lead to close out the half.
The Eagles started the second half by moving the chains before an interception made by CJ Tidmore cut their drive short.
The Calera defense began the second half on a high note, forcing Homewood to concede the game’s first punt of the night.
The next drive for Calera produced the same result, as the Eagles’ drive stalled out early, forcing them to punt.
Late in the third quarter, Homewood extended its lead further as AJ Crear rushed for a 24-yard touchdown to make the score 43-7.
The Eagles showed signs of life in the fourth quarter as Nick Holland’s interception provided the Eagles with some much-needed momentum. This paved the way for a touchdown drive that cut the Patriots’ lead to 43-14.
Following special team miscues by Homewood which resulted in a deflected punt, the Eagles once again managed to will themselves into the end zone thanks to a 22-yard pass from AJ Johnson to Elijah Bates, making the score 43-21.
For the remainder of the game, Homewood managed to chew most of the fourth quarter clock up and halt any ensuing Eagles drives.
Calera will look for its first win of the season next week on the road against Chilton County on Sept. 22.