Calhoun Head Coach Richard Whitaker looks on, as his team prepares for Boerne Champion in the Area round of the playoffs. The Sandcrabs will face Boerne Champion, Friday, Nov. 22 in Bastrop. (Jared Van Epps/Wave photo)

The Calhoun Sandcrabs prepare this week for the biggest matchup in the Area Playoffs against the Boerne-Champion Chargers.

According to Sandcrabs Head Coach Richard Whitaker, they are taking on one of the best teams in their region and the state of Texas.

Boerne has an outstanding quarterback, Whitaker said, and he added they have speed in the backfield with their quarterback and running back, and great size receivers.

“He [Boerne’s QB] does a great job running the zone reads and the RPOs (Run-pass option), so he is certainly a dual-threat,” Whitaker said.

After the win against Sharyland, Whitaker said he had his players start watching film on their own and study the game “to try to learn formations and things that they do out of formations.”

“I think the biggest thing is to become students of the game this week; coaches and kids,” Whitaker said.

The defense faces a tough challenge heading into this Friday’s matchup, and Whitaker compares Boerne’s quarterback to Johnny Manziel. He says that you can try to put pressure on a quarterback like this, but at the same time, “you cannot give up your leverage.”

“You just can’t just go up the middle and give up on the corners. You have to stay in your windows,” Whitaker said.

Whitaker added his defense has to take care of their responsibilities because if the game gets out of control, Boerne’s quarterback will “exploit it and take advantage.”

“We certainly want to bring pressure on him, but at the same time, we want to be under control and keep him contained as well as we can,” Whitaker said.

Whitaker talked about Boerne’s defense, which is similar to Calallen’s base 50 defense and added they also run a “strong eagle defense” like Calallen.

“They are not as big as the Calallen’s front, but they’re very athletic kids,” Whitaker said. “They play in a district where most of the teams in our district are throwing the football, so they build their defense to pass rush and to be able to drop in coverage and cover the field.”

This will be a great challenge for the Calhoun offense, and Whitaker said they’ll be running at the Boerne defense to try to make them play.

Boerne’s defense is used getting off the field after three or four plays, but Whitaker said his offense must have some 10- to 12-play drives early in the game to wear them down. Whitaker added, hopefully, Boerne’s defense will be worn out by the second half, and they can “exploit that” themselves.

The keys to victory for Friday’s game are sound clock management and not turning over the football. Whitaker said the offense has to hang on to the ball for a long time to prevent Boerne’s offense from getting easy scores.

The Sandcrabs will travel to Bastrop on Friday for the Area Playoffs to take on the Chargers.

Kickoff is set for 7:30 p.m.