Titans blasted by Calallen, still make playoffs
NOTE: You can see more photos from Friday's game by clicking here.
CORPUS CHRISTI -- Friday night, Victoria East scored more points against Calallen than anyone else this season. The problem for the Titans was Calallen was 50 points better than them.
The Wildcats (8-2) scored on their first six possessions en route to a 77-27 victory over Victoria East.
Despite Calallen setting a school record for most points scored in a game, Victoria East (3-7, 2-4) snuck into the Class 4A playoffs by virtue of losses from Tuloso-Midway (3-7, 1-5) and Victoria West (5-5, 2-4).
"It's good to not have our last game in your senior year come down to this," said East senior linebacker Seth Christian. "I'm glad we have another chance to come out and perform next week."
Players were notified their season wouldn't end on such a sour note afterward. It is likely the Titans will play San Antonio Harlandale in the Class 4A bi-district playoffs at a time and place to be determined.
"We came out kind of flat," said senior linebacker Seth Christian. "People were getting down and kind of giving up. I think next week will be different."
Calallen used a two-play, 43-yard drive to open the scoring three minutes into the game.
The Wildcats lined up in the wishbone for its first offensive snap to honor the late Darrell Royal, who died earlier this week. On that play sophomore running back Chris Price ran 37 yards to give Calallen first and goal.
East responded with the first of Deondric Lofton's three touchdowns on the night. Jonathan Ortega found the junior wide receiver wide open in the Calallen secondary. The fleet-footed flanker did the rest running 84 yards for a score with 7:33 remaining in the first quarter.
From there, the home team ran at will against the Titans defense. Calallen football coach Phil Danaher figured the contest would be a shootout. He didn't expect his team would set a school record on the scoreboard.
"We went with our wing-T stuff to keep their kids off the field," Danaher said. "My gosh, they have some talent. They have some real talent - (Deondric) Lofton, what an athlete, what a great athlete.
"Their running back ran tough and their quarterback was hard to catch. Our defense had to try and contain."
Lofton finished with three catches for 120 yards and two touchdowns. He added a 95-yard kickoff return midway through the fourth quarter.
Lanken Williams, the running back Danaher referenced, ran for 73 yards and a touchdown.
After Lofton's first touchdown, the Victoria East had three punts and an interception.
By the time they found the end zone again - a 26-yard hook up between Ortega and Lofton with 1:29 left in the first half - they were down by 30 points.
East trailed 42-13 at halftime.
Calallen threatened to score a seventh touchdown in the first half, but East sophomore Eric Taylor sacked Calallen quarterback Derek Scheible for a loss of 19 yards to end the first half.
Scheible ran for a touchdown and threw two more. Backup quarterback Connor Lowrance ran for two touchdowns and threw for another.
Austin Revels, Chris Price, Robert Maldonado, Brian Nucio and JD Johnson all scored rushing touchdowns.
Nevertheless, the Titans are in the playoffs for a third straight year.
East coach Roland Gonzalez told his players afterward, they didn't get in the way they wanted, but the Titans put themselves in position earlier in the year - specifically an Oct. 12 victory over West - where a loss Friday wouldn't automatically eliminate them.
"It's a difficult loss for us right now," Gonzalez said. "We're really going to have to work hard on regrouping, gathering ourselves to get ready for the playoffs. I think we most definitely need to put this game behind us and start getting ready for the third part of our season."