PORT LAVACA – The Calhoun Sandcrabs hosted the Alice Coyotes Friday night at Sandcrab Stadium. Both teams were undefeated in district and were both coming off of victories in which they scored more than 50 points against their District 15-5A, Division II foes.

With both teams offenses running on all cylinders, it was anticipated to be a shootout between Calhoun’s running attack led by junior Steve Johnson and Alice’s passing game led by senior Isaiah Aguilar.

The wild card in this game that nobody saw coming was Calhoun’s defense, which didn’t give up a touchdown to Alice all evening as Calhoun captured a 55-7 win over the Coyotes.

The game began with Calhoun turning the ball over on downs early in the first.

Then, on Alice’s first offensive play of the night, it tried to catch the Sandcrabs off guard by attempting a flea flicker that resulted in a fumble and gave Calhoun great field position.

Calhoun capitalized on that mistake with Steve Johnson running it in from 24 yards out putting the Sandcrabs up 7-0 early in the first quarter.

The second quarter began with Calhoun’s senior quarterback Conner Kestler throwing a 75-yard touchdown pass to Sean Flores making it 14-0.

The defense held tight against Aguilar, coming up with stops whenever the Coyotes would build momentum, and got a fumble recovery by senior middle linebacker Cade Kveton.

With 2:23 left in the second quarter, Johnson ran 3 yards for his second touchdown, giving the Sandcrabs a 21-0 lead heading into the half.

Calhoun junior cornerback Jarius Stewart then intercepted Aguilar and returned it 47 yards for a touchdown to put the Sandcrabs up 28-0.

“Everybody was locked in and focused,” Stewart said. “Our defensive backs did a really great job tonight.”

Calhoun kept feeding the ball to fullback Steve Johnson, who pounded in his third touchdown from 5 yards out with 6:11 left in the third quarter.

Alice scored its only touchdown when senior wide receiver Weston Moore returned a kickoff 79 yards for a touchdown.

Entering the fourth quarter, the focus turned to Johnson, who was closing in on breaking the school’s all-time rushing record.

After a 6-yard run by Flores made it 41-7, Johnson broke his biggest run of the night and claimed the school record with a 70-yard run for his fourth touchdown with 6:26 left.

“It’s an amazing feeling, going down in the record books like this, it’s just amazing,” Johnson said. “Especially as a junior. I have another year to go but I can’t let it get to my head, we have a big game coming up Friday.”

“Steve is an outstanding player, he runs hard, and it all starts up front,” said Calhoun coach Richard Whitaker. “I’m proud of our offensive line, the last couple years they’ve done a great job blocking for Steve, and of course Conner has to put the ball where it needs to be; it’s a team effort but we’re certainly proud of Steve.”

Alice’s turnover woes continued when Calhoun senior linebacker Weston Stavinoha scored the Sandcrabs’ final touchdown on a 90-yard return of a fumble recovery.

“Our defense was amazing,” Whitaker said. “Alice is averaging over 40 points a game. We only gave up that kickoff return, but our defense shut out a really tough team. I’m so proud of these kids, they fought hard and got big stops when they needed them. It was a great effort by our kids and a great job by our coaching staff to prepare them. We’re going to enjoy tonight’s victory and then we will start game planning for Tuloso-Midway next week.”

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