Zach Calzada, a native of Sugar Hill, did the unthinkable. In the role of starting quarterback for Texas A&M, Calzada led his team to a 41-38 victory over No. 1 Alabama on Saturday.
The sophomore quarterback took over as the starting quarterback for the Aggies after their original starting quarterback, Haynes King, was injured.
Texas A&M would be the first to score in College Station, Texas, with a 38-yard field goal by Seth Small just 3:25 into the game.
Alabama would score a touchdown at the 6:42 mark putting the Crimson Tide up 7-3. The Aggies answered back just over a minute later when Calzada connected with Jalen Wydermyer on a 27-yard touchdown pass giving Texas A&M the lead 10-7 over Alabama. Ainias Smith would increase the Aggies’ lead over the Crimson Tide 33 seconds later when Calzada threw a 6-yard touchdown pass to him.
In the second quarter, Alabama scored a field goal but Texas A&M got another touchdown with 2:09 left in the first half when Isaiah Spiller darted 15 yards up the middle into the end zone for the score. The Aggies went into halftime up 24-10 over the Tide.
In the third quarter, Alabama blocked a punt that was covered in the end zone to pull them within a touchdown of Texas A&M. Moments later, Devon Achane returned the kickoff for 96 yards for a touchdown putting the Aggies up 31-17 over the Crimson Tide.
Alabama would then go on a 21-point scoring spree putting the team up 38-31 with just five minutes remaining in the game.
Calzada did not give up and led a 65-yard drive that ended with him connecting with Smith once more for a 25-yard touchdown pass to tie up the game at 38-38. Calzada injured his leg on this drive.
Alabama was not able to convert the next series of plays into any points and even though Calzada was injured, he powered through to put the Aggies within field goal distance with seconds left on the clock. Small lined up his kick and made the 28-yard field goal just as time expired to give Texas A&M the upset of the year over Alabama.
Calzada would finish the game with 256 yards and two touchdown passes.
Calzada is a 2019 alumnus of Lanier High School and was the starting quarterback for the Longhorns football team. During his senior year at Lanier, Calzada was a key member of the team that saw the best season in the school’s history. Lanier was 10-2 during his senior year and made it into the second round of the state playoffs before losing to Richmond Hill.
Next year, Calzada will be joined at Texas A&M by his younger sister, Carolyn Calzada, who has committed to play for the Aggies’ soccer team. She currently plays soccer for Buford High School.