CHESTERFIELD - Chesterfield quarterback Seth Truesdale got off to a slow start Friday night. By the end of the Rams' 35-21 victory against Calhoun County, however, he was firing on all cylinders.
Truesdale's three late touchdown passes sealed Chesterfield's fourth consecutive Class A Division 1 upper state championship. Chesterfield (13-0) plays Lamar, which beat Hemingway 6-4, Friday at 3 p.m. The home team will be determined by coin toss
"What a great game," Taneyhill said. "It seemed like when we needed a play, we got it. He didn't play that well in the first half, but he came out in the second half and made a couple of big throws."
Truesdale finished the night completing seven of 17 passes for 138 yards, but his three second-half TD strikes, one to Sergio Johnson and two to Jonathan Murvin, boosted the Rams when they needed it.
And thanks to a first-half Calhoun County (11-2) rebound, Chesterfield needed a boost.
With a scoring drive sparked by Murvin's 48-yard kickoff return and Johnson's 65-yard punt return for a touchown, Chesterfield seemed poised to cruise to a victory. Calhoun County made clear over the next three quarters that it wasn't going to go down so easily.
The Calhoun County defense stiffened, allowing one Rams first down for the rest of the half.
Calhoun County put together a 12-play, 80-yard scoring drive that straddled the first and second quarters. Quarterback Shamier Jeffery put the Saints on the board with an 8-yard TD run at the 9:04 mark of the second quarter.
That score was the second the Rams allowed on their home field this season.
The third score allowed came on Dante Stewart's 20-yard TD run a little more than two minutes into the third quarter. Kicker Javonte Brown missed the extra point, however, and Chesterfield clung to a 14-13 lead.
Then came Truesdale's connections, first to Johnson from 21 yards and next to Murvin from 39 yards, to make it 28-13 after three quarters.
Calhoun County's Jeffery scored from one yard out, then completed a 2-point conversion pass to cut the lead to 28-21 with 9:29 left in the game. Truesdale, however, found Murvin again from 25 yards out to seal the win with 4:10 left to play.
"We didn't throw the ball very well," Taneyhill said. "We called a couple of plays we haven't practiced, sort of drew them up in the dirt, and when you have veteran wideouts ... who saw what coverage they were in, we made some adjustments and he threw some great balls."
The Rams' veteran play sealed the win, Calhoun County head coach Walter Wilson said.
"Their experience was the difference," Wilson said. "Before we calmed down, but their experience made the difference. They're not going to the state championship for the fourth straight time for nothing."