But what many don’t realize is the Jackets have been pretty successful running the ball in that time span as well.
And this year is no different. Led by junior running back Alex Urbano, the Calhoun running game has been consistent all season. And since the playoffs started just over a month ago, Urbano has turned it up another notch.
In the four playoff wins, Urbano has rushed for 474 yards on 66 carries and seven TDs. In the Jackets’ most recent win last Friday over Lamar County, Urbano put the team on his back when the passing game was struggling and ran for 160 yards and two TDs.
Urbano truly fits into the Jackets’ offensive plans. Calhoun coach Hal Lamb describes Urbano as the “perfect” back for Calhoun’s system.
“He’s blessed with speed, quickness and strength, and a big part of his game is his ability to catch the ball out of the backfield,” said Lamb. “He is a special football player and a wonderful kid to coach.”
As Lamb referred to, Urbano can also be counted on as a receiver out of the backfield. In Calhoun’s third-round win over Brooks County, he had six catches for 57 yards and a TD.
Urbano said his mindset was to become more of an impact player once the playoffs started.
“I knew I needed to step my game up,” said Urbano, who has rushed for over 1,200 yards to this point in the season. “We didn’t have very many close games in the regular season after the first three so I knew the playoff games were going to be more intense. And I love playoff games and the atmosphere surrounding them.”
Urbano, who is the younger brother of former Calhoun All-State running back Adam Urbano, said what makes the Jackets offense so good is the balance between the running and passing game.
“It’s really important for us to have balance,” said Urbano. “We know teams are going to try to stop our passing game so it’s up to the running backs and offensive line to be able to run the ball. And (our offensive line) has been really good this year. I knew they would step up for us.”
One of the most exciting plays of the postseason so far for Calhoun came on the legs of Urbano. After the defense forced a stop on their own one-yard line against Brooks County, Urbano took a hand-off and raced 99 yards for a touchdown. He then followed that up with a little rest in the end zone.
“I didn’t expect to go 99 yards, but I saw the hole and hit it,” said Urbano. “My blocker kicked the guy out, and I ran on through. Then I knew (the defenders) would be trying to run me down so I had to start zigging back and forth. Once I got to the end zone, I laid there and enjoyed it for a second.”
Now, Urbano and the Jackets will be on the biggest stage in high school football in Georgia on Saturday at the Class AA State Championship Game at the Georgia Dome when they face Jefferson.
“It’s going to be an exciting game and great atmosphere,” said Urbano. “I love playing at the dome, and I’m looking forward to it."