Calhoun fullback Williams running roughshod over defenses
Sept. 27, 2012 at 4:27 a.m.
Updated Sept. 28, 2012 at 4:28 a.m.
PORT LAVACA - His stats command attention. Once Cory Williams has it, he's more than willing to deflect the praise for is standout performances to his teammates.
Calhoun's junior fullback is on pace to run for more than 2,000 yards this season after shredding non-district foes LaVernia and Somerset for 342 and 255 yards respectively.
He will almost certainly have to be at his best Friday night when the Sandcrabs host Calallen in their District 30-4A opener.
"It's going to be the biggest test we've had thus far," said Calhoun football coach Richard Whitaker. "They are the best football team we've seen thus far. With all the tradition that they have, they certainly want to come into this district and establish themselves like they did in their old district."
"We understand it's going to be a tremendous test for us."
When the teams met last year, the Wildcats held Calhoun to just 6.7 yards per carry, the Sandcrabs' lowest average of the 2011 season. But, that was last year.
Through three games, Calhoun is scoring more points and running for more yards than at this point last year, despite replacing 10 starters on offense.
Williams is one of the offensive newcomers. He was a two-year starter in the secondary, but made the shift to offense in spring practice. Whitaker said the junior playmaker also contributes defensively, but in situations where his presence is needed.
"I've been excited to play offense," Williams said. "Now, getting the opportunity to play with some of my friends is even better."
The fun is showing up in the box scores.
Through three games Williams has run for 685 yards and an incredulous 10 touchdowns. The 20 points per game Williams has averaged is more than 10 Crossroads teams, a list that includes Victoria East, St. Joseph, and Bay City.
Williams said his 13.9 average per carry is because the players ahead of him have consistently reached the second level of defenses, which has opened holes he can dart through.
"I try to picture myself running behind my linemen and visualizing what move I'll make if I make a certain block," Williams said.
Since the Aug. 31 season opener against Corpus Christi Carroll, Williams said Calhoun has improved firing off the football and hustling to make plays in all three phases. Those attributes will be put to the test with the intense Wildcats making their way to Sandcrab Stadium.
"You have to know what your other teammates are going to do and where they are going to be," Williams said about the quick rapport he's developed with a completely revamped offensive line.
Calhoun hasn't lost a district football game at Sandcrab Stadium since October 2005, won 17 straight regular-season games and owns a 10 game home winning streak. If the team plans to extend both streaks, they must win at the line of scrimmage, and they know it.
"Calallen is always a physical team," said J.R. Perez, the lone returning lineman from last year's 12-1 team. "That's what we've seen from them and that's what we expect from them."
Despite beating the Wildcats 27-7 in a non-district contest at their place last year, Perez said Calallen gave Calhoun a physical "beatdown" in a game that "told us we have to be ready for every other team in our district."
Whitaker said Williams' production is directly attributable to the play of the offensive line ahead of him.
In the Sandcrabs' triple-option offense, the linemen open up holes for the fullback to exploit.
It's been devastatingly effective thus far. Last year's fullback, Brandon Griffith, had 303 yards and three touchdowns through three games. Williams had doubled that production.
He is on pace for more than 2,000 rushing yards this season.
"Everything for him is set up by those guys," Whitaker said. "Our perimeter game is set up by our perimeter blocking, good execution from the quarterback and things like that. The interior play is set up by the linemen. If the fullback is having a big game, it means the offensive line is playing well."