Two weeks ago, they defeated Model to clinch their 12th straight region title.
But this week, the records start over at 0-0 now so all that stuff has to be pushed to the side.
The Class AA defending state champions begin their run toward a fifth straight appearance in the Georgia Dome when they host Wesleyan in the first round of the state playoffs on Friday at Phil Reeve Stadium.
“It’s the start of the third part of our season now,” said Calhoun coach Hal Lamb. “Everything starts over now that it’s the playoffs, but most of our kids are accustomed to that. They understand that things change a little now. Our practices change a little, and the way we prepare will change.
“But I think they’re ready to go, and hopefully we can have success like we have the last few years.”
The task isn’t easy in the first round. Wesleyan (4-6), who moved up to Class AA from Class A this season, is a traditionally good program who’s had a lot of playoff success over the last decade. And despite their record this year, Lamb said the Wolves are not going to be the typical No. 4 seed.
“Wesleyan is a good team,” said Lamb. “Their record is no indication of the type of team they area. With them only having five in their region, they had to go out and find six non-region games so they played a lot of bigger schools.
“They have a strong tradition and some good players on this team.”
Lamb added that Wesleyan has a good quarterback in a throw-first system that allows him to spread the ball around to several different receivers.
Lamb has a pretty good quarterback himself in his nephew Taylor. In the most recent win over Chattooga, Taylor threw for 172 yards on 9-of-10 passes and two TDs in just over a quarter of work.
Hal Lamb said the 49-14 win over the Indians was just what his team needed a week before the playoffs started.
“It went just the way I wanted,” said Hal Lamb. “We got a lot of points early and were able to get the starters out quickly. We took care of business and got to play a lot of kids so it was a good night.”
The Jackets return to friendly territory now on the turf at Phil Reeve Stadium where they’ve gone 14-0 in the playoffs there since 2008.
“It’s a bonus to play at home in the playoffs,” said Lamb. “I think our crowd definitely gives us an advantage, and that’s the way it should be. I hope they come out again this Friday and are really loud because we can feed off that.”
This will be the fourth time Calhoun and Wesleyan have played, with all three of the previous meetings coming in the playoffs at Phil Reeve Stadium also. They met in 2003, 2004 and 2006 with the Jackets winning the last two of those.
Lamb said a key to the game would be how physical his team is with the Wolves.
“We’ve got to wear them down,” said Lamb. “Coming from Class A, they don’t have as much depth as a lot of Class AA teams. They’ve got a lot of good players at the top but just not as much depth.
“We’re going to get ready for this one and work hard this week because it’s do or die now. We’ve got to focus on Wesleyan and not worry about anything else as far as the next round or down the road.”
The regular season is over, and now teams are playing each game hoping to extend their season.
It seems like clockwork these last few years that when November rolls around, the Jackets simply win. They are one of the best teams in the state in this aspect, regardless of classification, in playing their best football in the playoffs.
Calhoun is once again set up for a deep run in the playoffs with a potentially huge hurdle in the third round in the form of Brooks County, but they’ll worry about that when it comes.
For now, Wesleyan is the target. And the Jackets are the better team. That’s just the way it is.
Calhoun 35, Wesleyan 14