The distance between Calallen and Tuloso-Midway High Schools is about five miles. This past Friday night, the difference between their football teams proved to be five touchdowns. The Calallen Wildcats beat their neighboring rivals, the Tuloso-Midway Warriors, 49-14. The game kept the 'Cats undefeated in district play, while the Warriors remain winless in district.
Quarterback Tanner Sparks continued his impressive play on the year by accounting for all seven Calallen touchdowns, six through the air and one on the ground. He ended the night with 258 passing yards, hitting eight different receivers.
Things started out rough for the 'Cats in the first quarter. The defense was called for an early facemask penalty, while the offense fumbled the ball on their opening drive. The Warriors moved the ball to the Calallen 29-yard line before being stopped on fourth-down .
The 'Cats got out of their early struggles with a 71-yard scoring drive, capped off by a two yard touchdown pass from Sparks to Given McClure.
The Warriors answered with a scoring drive of their own. T-M quarterback Jonathan Iglesias scrambled on fourth-down to find his leading receiver, Ruben Galaviz, in the back of the endzone to knot the score, 7-7.
It was the best the Warriors could do, as the 'Cats pulled away with an explosive second quarter. Sparks threw touchdown passes on back-to-back drives to Nick Ginn and Buddy Wright to extend the lead to 21-7. In the second quarter, Dylan Strick would recover a fumble for the 'Cats deep in Warrior territory. McClure then took an end around to the Warrior one-yard line to set up a Sparks touchdown on a zone-read. The score gave the 'Cats a 28-7 lead at the half.
In the second half, the Calallen defense put a cork in any possible comeback. The Warriors were forced to punt on the second half's opening drive and the 'Cats would grab two interceptions by Paul Castillo and Nick Espinosa in the fourth quarter.
Backup quarterback Scott Causey gave the Warriors another score on a 45-yard touchdown pass to Kenny Smith, cutting the score to 42-14 late in game.
Calallen is now in the midst of a three-way tie for first place in district 31-4A with Alice and Corpus Christi Ray. Friday night they look to hang on to their district lead when the travel to take on the Flour Bluff Hornets.
While the Warriors remain 0-2 in district play, they are still alive to clinch their third straight playoff appearance. They will play host to the Kingsville Brahmas, who are winless on the season.