The Calhoun Sandcrabs earned their biggest road win of the season with a victory over the Southside Cardinals, 57-27, last Friday night.
The Sandcrabs faced adversity with turnovers and penalties in the first quarter, but with all the negative plays Sandcrabs Head Coach Richard Whitaker has “so much respect” for Southside.
“I have so much respect for Coach [Ricky] Lock and his ball club, and I said those kids played so hard, and he gets so much out of his kids.”
Whitaker added the Southside defense was “getting after” his team, and he told his team to clean up the mistakes and the penalties during halftime.
The Calhoun defense did a great job holding the Cardinals offense under 30 points. On the game’s first play, Sandcrab Defensive Back Jarius Stewart intercepted the Southside quarterback’s pass and scored Calhoun’s first defensive touchdown of the game.
Stewart talked about the interception, and he said it felt good and gave him confidence for the rest of the game.
The Calhoun DBs prevented the Southside receivers from making a lot of big plays.
“We knew they’re going to throw the ball a lot,” Stewart said. “So our DBs just focused in, and we locked down, and we played good tonight.”
Sandcrabs Quarterback Conner Kestler had an outstanding offensive performance, rushing for 271 yards and passing for 93 yards with six touchdowns; five on the ground and one through the air.
Last year, Kestler went out against Southside, and he said last year’s loss at home “didn’t sit well.”
“We’ve been thinking about that game all year and just waiting to come here [to Southside] and hopefully do the same,” Kestler said.
The offensive line’s work against the Southside’s defense was praised by Kestler, especially for creating the holes for him to run through and score.
“They’re so great. I mean, we put up 50-60 points every game,” Kestler said. “They are probably the best line in the country right now. I mean, I don’t know anybody that is putting up as many points as we are,” Kestler added.
The win over Southside sets up the anticipated district title game against Calallen in Sandcrab Stadium this Friday night.
Whitaker talked about the Calallen matchup this Friday after the win against the Cardinals.
“You’re playing for a district championship,” Whitaker said. “We win, we tie, but we beat them head on a head-to-head. If they win, they are the district champions.”
In last year’s matchup, it was the same scenario, Whitaker said, but his team came up three points short of winning the district title.
“It’s gonna be a big game, they have a tremendous football team, and hopefully our kids show up and play well,” Whitaker said.
The District Championship game against Calallen is Friday, November 8, kicking off at 7:30 p.m.