Carver-Atlanta vs. Calhoun highlights fifth annual Great Atlanta Bash

A top-tier matchup between Class 3A No. 2 Carver-Atlanta and Class 5A No. 7 Calhoun will open the fifth-annual Great Atlanta Bash, a star-studded two-day event featuring four games at Eddie Henderson Stadium at Midtown Friday and Saturday.

“I am looking forward to seeing if our guys are going to answer the bell and match their physicality,” said Carver’s Darren Myles of facing a team two classes up. “Because we know they are going to be physical. We want to play with tremendous effort and make sure that we match theirs. We know they’re going to be tough, and we want to be tough as well. We are going to try to play 48 minutes and let the chips fall where they may.”

Carver defeated Class 4A No. 10 LaGrange 28-12 on the road in its opener while Calhoun, which began the season ranked No. 5, fell to Blessed Trinity 17-7 and dropped to No. 7 in the standings.

However, in recent history the teams have been playoff stalwarts.

Myles – who is entering his 19th season at Carver – has coached the Panthers to the playoffs every season since 2012, advanced the team to the semifinals in 2017 and the state championship game in 2021. Carver lost out in the semifinals last season. Calhoun is no stranger to late-season games either.

“We were adjacent to each other in 2021,” Myles said. “We were playing for the 3A title and Calhoun was playing for the Class 5A championship against Warner Robins. We relish the opportunity in taking advantage of playing them.”

Clay Stephenson took over at Calhoun in 2019 following the retirement of legendary coach Hal Lamb, who coached Calhoun to state championships in 2011, 2014 and 2017 and didn’t miss the playoffs from 2000 to his retirement in 2018.

Stephenson has done well and led the Yellow Jackets to the second round in his first season and then the quarterfinals in 2022. In 2021, Calhoun lost to Warner Robins in the state championship game. Playing against an Atlanta Public School is something that hasn’t happened many times in Calhoun’s history, which dates to 1925, and this will be the first meeting of the two programs.

“They are walking into a different environment,” Myles said. “But then again, the environment is what you make it. Based on what they have been used to and gone into, I don’t think that’s going to be a big factor in the game. Like I always tell my players, work ethic eliminates fear. So if you have been working, the environment doesn’t matter. It’s a road trip, of course, but at the end of the day, I think it will come down to playmakers making plays.”

And for Carver in its opening victory against LaGrange, playmakers made plays.

The Panthers were nursing a 14-12 halftime lead when Calik Hill returned a fumble 99 yards for a touchdown to expand Carver’s lead and Joshua Stone, an Arkansas State-commit, returned an interception 40 yards for a touchdown to put the game away.

You can watch the Great Atlanta Bash on PeachtreeTV, the Atlanta News First App or on the NFHS Network. See the full schedule below.

Great Atlanta Bash

August 25 at Midtown High School

8 p.m. Calhoun vs. Carver-Atlanta

August 26 at Midtown High School

10 a.m. Maynard Jackson vs. Miller Grove

12:45 p.m. Mays vs. Douglas County

3:30 p.m. Douglass vs. Booker T. Washington

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