Steve Johnson back in practice for Calhoun as they prepare for a district match against Tuloso-Midway this Friday. (Jared Van Epps/ Wave Photos)

The Calhoun Sandcrabs returned to work on Monday in preparation for their road matchup against the Tuloso-Midway Warriors on Friday.

Calhoun Head Coach Richard Whitaker talked about this week’s matchup against the Warriors.

“TM presents issues with their size, They got big offensive and defensive lines, and last year we had trouble getting those guys off the field,” Whitaker said.

Whitaker added the Warriors racked up a bunch of yards last season and made a lot of first downs against Calhoun’s defense.

Last year Calhoun beat the Warriors, 65-34, but the score was a lot closer in the first part of the game.

The Sandcrabs scored three times defensively last year, Whitaker said, and he added the score was not indicative of how close that game was last season.

“It is a very concerning game going in. They still have those big linemen up front,” Whitaker said, “and we’re gonna have to play better defensively because we did not play as well defensively the other night as we would like.”

Whitaker talked about defensive players stepping up in the district race. He said his players can’t go through district thinking that the defense can’t stop anybody.

“Our defensive guys they were disappointed in their play the other night…I know those guys want to want to bounce back this week, and they want to play well,” Whitaker said.

The Sandcrabs defense will be up for the challenge against a Warriors team that runs multiple offenses.

Last year, the Sandcrabs defense got a taste of what it’s like to face the triple option, and Whitaker said Tuloso-Midway had a lot of success running the option.

“They did a great job last year exploiting us with the option,” Whitaker said. “At the same time they’ll get into a shotgun, and they’ll run a shotgun package. They’ll get into power backfield and run a power package. There are a lot of things to work on, playing TM.”

Whitaker added the defense is going to work what TM likes to play the most, and hopefully, they’ll have success in stopping their offense.

Whitaker talked about the Warriors’ defense and how the offense is going to face them this Friday.

Defensively, the Warriors run a 50-stacked defense, and last year they ran double eagle defense against the Sandcrabs, Whitaker said, but this year they’ve seen a lot of 33-stack.

“The key for us is playing with our heads up, and if you play with your heads up and pick up those stunts, it could be good for us,” Whitaker said. “We’re going to work hard this week by making sure our linemen are lined up, and their heads are up, and they are identifying what’s in front of them.”

Special teams will be a big factor in this game. The Sandcrabs Place Kicker recorded three touchbacks, and kickoff returner Adrian Chamber recorded 94 yards on returns.

Whitaker talked about improving the special teams since the Houston Second Baptist game, and he said they have worked since the bye week, and it showed in the Beeville game.

“It all starts with Jose Ledezma. It was probably his best game kicking. He had three or four touchbacks,” Whitaker said, “and when he kicks the ball in the endzone, that certainly helps us defend the kick a lot better.”

Whitaker added his special teams did a lot better running down the field in their alley and were perfect on extra points.

“We work hard on special teams every week, and hopefully we’ll keep that solidified and continue to make that a big part of our game,” Whitaker said.

The keys for a win this Friday, Whitaker said, is making stops on defense, not turning the ball over on offense, and taking care of the football.

The Sandcrabs travel to Corpus Christi this Friday to take on the Tuloso-Midway Warriors for their second district game of the season.

Kickoff is 7:30 p.m.