Calhoun rolls to big win over Victoria West
It was a totally meaningless touchdown. No. 10 Calhoun was going to beat Victoria West, but at that point in the game, the question was by how many points.
First it was Garrett Rother who was stopped a yard short of the goal line. Then, running back Qualian Bryant was stuffed for a loss of a yard as time expired to give the undefeated Sandcrabs a 42-21 victory over Victoria West.
That play, might have been indicative of how well the Calhoun defense played in the final three quarters Friday night, as the Sandcrabs took a stranglehold atop the District 30-4A standings.
"These kids have played with pride all year long," said Calhoun football coach Richard Whitaker. " .They were disappointed. They felt early on we weren't getting any stops whatsoever."
"You could hear them over there. They weren't bickering, they were all encouraging each other. 'Hey, come on guys. We've got this. Let's go.' There at the end, that was big for them. That score didn't mean anything to the game, but to have enough pride to say we're going to suck it up for one more play, I'm very proud of them."
Calhoun (7-0, 4-0) had only allowed four first-quarter points all season. That changed on the opening possession of the game when Victoria West (4-3, 1-2) capped a nine-play 65 yard drive with a 29 yard run from sophomore Malcolm Peoples.
On fourth and a yard, Peoples ran toward the left side of the West formation behind offensive tackle Jake Wallace and offensive guard Jonathan Vahalik.
The touchdown, with 9:24 left in the first quarter, was Peoples' sixth of the season. It was also the first time Calhoun trailed all season.
"On big plays we executed and got the yardage that we needed," said Peoples, who finished with 108 all-purpose yards and two scores. "We scored touchdowns. We kept staying with them."
That they did.
At the end of the first quarter, the score was 14-14. Calhoun on a pair of runs from quarterback Hunter Boerm, while West quarterback Garrett Rother dove in from a yard away with 2:09 remaining in the period.
From there it was all Boerm. The junior ran for 255 yards on 38 carries. He scored five of the Sandcrabs six rushing touchdowns.
Calhoun defender Taylor Lee said his quarterback overcame adversity with his performance Friday.
Fullback Cory Williams left the game with six minutes left in the first quarter after breaking free for a 41 yard run. Williams did not return to the game. In his place, Boerm took a majority of the carries, while Brandon Smithwick, Gabriel Casarez, Devian Cantu and Trey Robinson shared the load.
Williams' lone carry of the night was set up by Lee's first interception of the season with 6:46 remaining in the first quarter.
"It's a team effort," Lee said when asked about the Sandcrabs defense, which intercepted two passes and forced a turnover on downs two other times. "It's not all about one. We practice hard, we do things right, we listen."
Rother finished 11-24 for 132 yards and a passing touchdown to Peoples. West's quarterback also led the Warriors in rushing with 89 yards on 18 carries.
"I couldn't be more proud of my kids. I thought they played their hearts out against a very good football team, one of the better football teams in South Texas," said Victoria West football coach Leonard McAngus.
"I'm proud of how they played and how they fought until the end. We just made some mistakes. We had a little bit of trouble stopping them. I thought our defense did a little better job in the second half."
One such Warrior mistake came with 9:13 left in the first half with the Warriors trailing 21-14. A 25-yard Gamarquis Girdy touchdown was wiped off the board because of an alleged illegal shift penalty.
The Calhoun defense stiffened, forcing the Warriors to turn the ball over on downs. On the Sandcrabs ensuing possession Boerm's third rushing touchdown of the night gave the visitors a 28-14 lead.
The game was never within two touchdowns again.