EDISON -- Heart and hustle inspire a team, but they come with the unfortunate side-effect of fatigue.
Whether because of penalties, lack of numbers or injuries, the Calhoun County football team simply ran out of gas Friday against Terrell County, falling, 48-22, in a Region 1-A match-up and first home game for the Cougars (2-3, 1-2).
"We got the feeling of the game and the flow (in the fourth quarter)," said Terrell quarterback Jerkerious Scott, who finished with 136 yards on the ground and accounted for four TDs. "We have to work on starting out better, (though)."
Calhoun just wishes it could finish stronger.
"We had a few guys get a few bumps and we just don't have the numbers (to keep up with that)," Calhoun head coach John Williams said. "For two and a half quarters, we were able to hang pretty tough, but after that we just got banged up and it was just one (thing) after another."
Calhoun definitely started the game strong, scoring on its first possession after quarterback Aaron Thornton hit a couple receivers on 27- and 25-yard passes, and then sneaking it in himself to make it 8-0 Cougars with 8:34 left in the first after a two-point conversion.
Terrell County would score the next three TDs of the game, however, with the first coming on a 33-yard run by Alvin Brown, set up by Jacoby Calloway's 36-yard run.
The next drive, Rokeem Spencer blocked Calhoun's punt and returned it 20 yards for a score.
The following kickoff, the Greenwave recovered a high-arching, end-over-end onside kick -- one of many on the night -- to retain possession at Calhoun's 40-yard line. They eventually scored again on Scott's QB sneak with 16 seconds left in the first to make it 18-8 Terrell after the Greenwave failed all three of their first two-point conversions.
"It was a pretty good game, but (we hurt ourselves)," said Rodney Coleman, one of the three seniors on the team. "We're going to work on holding onto the ball."
Calhoun made it 18-14 in the beginning of the second on Willie Brown's 16-yard rush, but Scott struck again for Terrell on a 30-yard pass to Charles Brown with 3:18 left in the half to make it 26-14 Greenwave, and it stayed that way until halftime.
After intermission, it was shaping up to be a close game when Brown rushed from 12 yards out for another score to make it 26-22 Terrell with 3:11 left in the third, but that's when the Cougars' luck seemed to run out.
"The third quarter, I thought we (would have shot at winning), but we had some miscues in our connection with the quarterback and a few (other) mistakes," Williams said. "I won't say it was totally (because of) penalties, but we weren't able to capitalize on the mistakes they made, and they didn't give us a lot."
Beginning at 9:15 left in the fourth, the Greenwave scored three times in less than four minutes, the first coming on Calloway's 3-yard rush and the last two on rushes by Scott -- one for a monster 82 yards and the other for 12. That made the score 48-22 Terrell with five minutes left, and the Greenwave coasted the rest of the way.
Brown, who finished with 17 rushes for 90 yards, left the game after getting injured with four minutes left in the game, joining Coleman -- who was injured earlier in the period -- on the sidelines.
"Every game, (Brown) just really runs the ball (well)," Cougars receiver Marquez Williams said. "Just seeing him out there creates a bunch of hype (for the players), especially myself."
Added Williams: "The thing is, we have three seniors ... and about four ninth-graders that start. They're playing their hearts out and that's all I can ask them."
Terrell (2-4, 1-2 Region 1-A) can now focus on its huge region game at Randolph-Clay next week.
"I think our numbers helped us a little bit, but we played well for the most part," said Terrell County head coach William Huff, whose team finished with 371 yards on the ground. "(The win) feels good, but we have the rest of our season to work on (our mistakes)."
Calhoun County, on the other hand, will try to regroup before facing Jeff Davis in a non-region game.
"We're just going to try to keep working at it ... We're just going to keep plugging," Williams said.
The teams combined for 20 penalties, 16 of them coming in the second half.