The Calhoun Sandcrabs are preparing for their biggest game of the season, Friday, Nov. 1, against the Southside Cardinals.
Calhoun will be taking on its toughest opponent of the season, according to Head Coach Richard Whitaker.
“Southside is probably the fastest team in our district,” Whitaker said. “They have tremendous speed, tremendous quickness, so they do present a lot of problems, especially in our secondary.”
Last year the Sandcrabs lost to the Cardinals, 50-14, and it is a game that has been on Whitaker’s and his team’s minds since after the 2018 season.
Whitaker said he’s not calling it a revenge game and added his players have a lot of respect for Southside. It is a game that his players are taking seriously.
“We know that we didn’t play our best last year, but not to take anything away from them, they are an outstanding football team,” Whitaker said.
“But certainly that was a game we were embarrassed at home, and we sure would like to go play well this year and give ourselves a good chance this year.”
The key heading into the game is to concentrate on Southside and not think ahead to the Calallen game.
“We were undefeated at this point last year, and everyone outside of here was talking about the big Calallen-Calhoun matchup, and maybe we were too,” Whitaker said.
But after the loss to Southside last year, he said, his players and coaches will be focusing on Southside and not think about Calallen at all at this point.
In the last couple of games, the Calhoun defense was on the field longer than the offense, and Whitaker talked about how his offense has been striking quickly in the last few ball games.
“In years past, we would have 10,12,15 play drives on offense, and it gave our defense a chance to sit on the sideline and rest,” Whitaker said.
Whitaker added that, in the past few games, his team has been scoring on long runs on one-, three-, and five-play drives and doing that puts the defense back on the field. Whitaker has praised his defense on how they play in the red zone and get stops.
Whitaker went over the keys to secure victory over Southside. He said key number one is to take care of the football, and Whitaker added last year Calhoun lost the ball five or six times in the game, and Southside will take advantage of those opportunities if they happen in this year’s contest.
The final key is limiting the big plays, Whitaker said. He added that Southside is a team that wants to “strike big” because they have so much quickness.
“We’ve just got to just keep them in front of us and limit the big plays,” Whitaker said. “And I think if we do those two things, that gives us a chance.”
The Sandcrabs travel Friday to San Antonio for the final road game of the season against the Cardinals.
Kickoff is 7:30 p.m.