The Calhoun Sandcrabs rebounded from their week one loss against La Vega with a 40-14 win on the road against the Stafford Spartans last Friday night.
This is the first win by the Sandcrabs since their playoff win against Sharyland, and Calhoun Head Coach Richard Whitaker talked about it.
“It’s been a long time. It seems it was forever ago,” Whitaker said, “and so, these kids have been working hard since June 8, and going out playing good doesn’t constitute a win. You have to learn how to win, and you’ve got to finish off games.”
Despite the win, Whitaker said it got ugly during the game with penalties and the “sloppy play down the stretch”, but he added he is happy they got things done in the heart of the game and put this game away.
“They deserved this win, and I congratulate them for playing hard tonight,” Whitaker said.
Whitaker talked about one of his football managers, Ethan Redding. He said his father passed away the day before the game, and he was with the team in Stafford.
Redding was named team captain by the players, and he led the team out of the tunnel at the beginning of the game.
Whitaker said he is proud of his players for making Redding the captain and have him lead the team out of the tunnel.
“That’s why I love this football team, and this is why I love this family. It’s more than just about football,” Whitaker said, “so that was a special thing tonight for us.”
The Sandcrabs offense improved from the previous game as the offensive line opened big holes for Senior Quarterback Jarius Stewart and Senior Fullback Steve Johnson.
Stewart scored five of six Calhoun touchdowns against Stafford, and later Johnson iced the game with a 41-yard touchdown run.
Senior Offensive Lineman Damian Chavez talked about his O-line improving from the La Vega game.
“Losing is a terrible feeling. Nobody ever wants to lose,” Chavez said, “but we rebounded from that because we do not want to feel that feeling. It’s not something great.”
Chavez added that his O-Line pulled it together and stuck to their assignments for this game.
Stewart rushed for 149 yards on 16 carries, and he talked about his O-line creating big holes for him.
“I feel like the line did a great job, and I made the right reads, and things just opened up for me,” Stewart said.
Senior Running Back Sean Flores talked about bouncing back from the La Vega loss, and he said they had to work hard during practice.
“We had to work so much harder during practice. We had to focus on making sure everyone completed their assignments,” Flores said, “and we had fewer turnovers than we did last game. As you can see, we had a better outcome because of that.”
The Sandcrabs defense played an important role in the win against Stafford. They allowed only 14 points, forced five punts, a recovered fumble, and a turnover on downs.
Whitaker said he had to change some defensive personnel during the second half of last week’s game and changed some personnel during practice.
“It’s going to be an ongoing continuation of us getting better each week,” Whitaker said, “and our road is fixing to get a lot tougher. We got some really tough games coming up, and hopefully, we’ll continue to improve.”
The Sandcrabs take on El Campo this Friday, and Whitaker talked about getting ready for the challenge before competing in district play in October.
“Our district is so tough, and we’ve got to learn how to get ready for those big games…we’ve got to have a good week of preparation the week of practice,” Whitaker said, “and it’s gonna be a tough game for us. El Campo is a good ball club.”
Calhoun hosts El Campo in its home opener and homecoming game this Friday night.
Kickoff is at 7:30 p.m.
RUSHING: Stewart: 16 carries, 149 yards, 5 TD, Johnson: 20 carries, 213 yards, 1 TD
PASSING: Jacob Laughlin: one completion, 20 yards
RECEIVING: Sebastian Madera: one reception, 20 yards
OFFENSIVE MVPS: Stewart, Johnson, Trent Woody
TACKLES: Kirk Stringham (6); Esteban Cruz, Colin Carabajal (5); Sean Flores, Sammy Torres (4)
ASSISTS: Stringham (5), Carabajal (4), Roman Lopez (3)
FUMBLE CAUSED: Jesus Herrera (1)
FUMBLE RECOVERIES: Xavier Smith (1)
SACKS: Zach Ramirez, Torres (1)
TACKLE FOR LOSS: Cruz (4), Herrera (2), 3 Sandcrabs (1)
DEFENSIVE MVPS: Cruz, Herrera