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Calhoun looks to build momentum heading into district

By BY ALBERT ALVARADO - AALVARADO@VICAD.COM
Sept. 22, 2011 at 4:22 a.m.
Updated Sept. 23, 2011 at 4:23 a.m.

Calhoun players take the field before their game against Tuloso-Midway. The Sandcrabs are 4-0 heading into Friday's game against Rockport-Fulton at home.

PORT LAVACA - Calhoun is 4-0, has won its non-district games by an average of 34 points, and has climbed to No. 6 in the state Class 4A poll.

But the Sandcrabs know a letdown against Rockport-Fulton (3-1) in their homecoming game at Sandcrab Stadium could slow any momentum they have built thus far.

"You just want to be strong every week," said Calhoun defensive end Nick McCrory. "If you slack off one game it's hard to come back."

Calhoun is aiming to stay perfect before its bye week and District 30-4A opener against Victoria East.

A year ago, the Sandcrabs cruised to a 35-7 win over the Pirates, but Calhoun head coach Richard Whitaker warns against assumptions of another blowout.

"This is a totally different year, totally different situation," Whitaker said.

Rockport-Fulton has performed better under head coach Huey Chancellor, who formerly coached at Bellville and came to the Pirates from Longview Pine Tree.

Calhoun is looking for another big game from its option attack featruing four strong backs.

The Sandcrabs average more than 420 rushing yards per game and more than nine yards per carry.

Quarterback Joseph Bargas, fullback Brandon Griffith and running backs Jeremy Loya and Daniel Brooks are each averaging more than 90 yards per game.

The quartet has combined for 17 rushing touchdowns despite Brooks - an Oklahoma commit - suffering an ankle injury that kept him out of the backfield in last week's 35-0 win at Cuero.

"Teams think they can take one person out of the game, (but) we still have three more," Bargas said.

Each back has run for at least 100 yards once, and Bargas is coming off a 209-yard, three-touchdown performance against the Gobblers.

The Sandcrabs face a Rockport-Fulton defense that likes to create confusion and make plays with stunts, but that has not stopped its opponent's rushing attack very well lately.

The Pirates are allowing an average of 225 yards per game over the last three weeks.

Rockport-Fulton attempts to be balanced on offense, but runs more effectively than it passes.

Isiah Mendioala is Rockport-Fulton's leading rusher with 61 carries for 398 yards and three touchdowns.

Whitaker said Rockport-Fulton will not try many short passes. When the Pirates throw, it is intended to be an explosive play.

"In every game we've seen, they've gotten big plays out of the deep ball," Whitaker said.

Rockport-Fulton quarterback Stratton Williams averages 17 yards per completion this season, totaling 497 yards and five touchdowns. But he also has five interceptions.

Ball security could be an issue against a Calhoun defense that has been good at forcing takeaways this season, especially lately.

The Sandcrabs have come up with seven takeaways by five different players during the last two weeks, including two interceptions by McCrory.

Although Bargas said he has not watched the defense a lot, he appreciates what it has accomplished.

"It gets me excited to get the ball in the end zone, crowd up and just score points," Bargas said.

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