Calhoun has need to control West's speed
Oct. 14, 2013 at 5:14 a.m.
PORT LAVACA - Calhoun coach Richard Whitaker felt like his head was on a swivel as he watched the tape of Victoria West's win over Victoria East.
Whitaker couldn't help but notice West's overall team speed.
"An old friend told me one time it's like showing up at the Indy 500 driving a pickup truck," Whitaker said. "We'll be the one driving the pickup truck Friday night. Not only do they have speed, they have speed all over the field."
Whitaker insists he won't instruct the maintenance people to water the field at Sandcrab Stadium before Friday's District 30-4A game against the Warriors.
But he wouldn't mind a good rainstorm that keeps them from cutting the grass.
"They have so many weapons and so many places they can go to," Whitaker said. "It's going to be so important for our kids to make sure we're in the right place at the right time and hope we can contain them."
Calhoun has some weapons of its own, as it showed in last Friday night's 60-7 thrashing of Gregory-Portland.
The Sandcrabs had 595 yards of offense, including 482 yards rushing.
But Whitaker was extremely proud of his defense, which kept Gregory-Portland running back Devin Bisby out of the end zone for the second consecutive season.
"He's a really good back," said junior middle linebacker Skyler Blinka. "I think we just came out really excited, everyone did their job, and we clicked as a team.
"I think we're improving," he added. "We're definitely not to our full potential yet, but we're getting there."
Blinka expects a challenge of a different nature from West.
The Warriors like to spread the field and have been effective in running and throwing the ball while averaging 37 points per game.
"They're very talented," Blinka said. "We watched them on film, and they're fast. Everyone has to do their assignment. You have to be patient and play your game."
Calhoun's option offense has gotten back on track against Tuloso-Midway and Gregory-Portland since struggling in its district-opening loss to Calallen.
"I think our kids have played a lot more inspired since the Calallen game," Whitaker said. "I felt like at that time, we had kind of talked about as a team, we were going through the motions, and sometimes, you need a wake-up call. I felt like certainly that was a wake-up call for our kids, and the last few games we played with a lot more emotion."
The Sandcrabs are averaging more than 418 yards of rushing per game and are led by Cory Williams, who has rushed for 1,204 yards and 15 touchdowns.
Williams also threw a touchdown pass to split end Cameron Boerm in the win over Gregory-Portland.
"They need to respect the wideouts just as much," Boerm said. "Since we run the ball, they never know when we're going to throw a pass, and usually whenever we do, we get them on it."
But Boerm knows Calhoun's best defense against the West offense will be its running game.
"We've got to control the clock, we can't have any missed assignments, we have to focus all week in practice, and we can't have stupid penalties," he said. "We know they're a good and dangerous team. We've got to come out and control the clock with the offense that we run."
Mike Forman is a sports writer for the Victoria Advocate. Contact him at 361-580-6588 or firstname.lastname@example.org or comment on this column at AdvoSports.com.