It was almost as if the Calallen Wildcats were following a script when they traveled to play the Tuloso-Midway Warriors.
Much like the previous week when they played Moody, Avery Cortez returned a punt for the opening touchdown. Much like the Moody game, Marcus Price had a handful of jaw-dropping plays, the defense only allowed a field-goal and the 'Cats were essentially unchallenged Friday night, keeping their undefeated district record intact.
"I see that we're getting a little bit better each week," Calallen Coach Phil Danaher said. "When you have the capabilities of doing so many things, it's nice."
The Warriors were hoping to give the 'Cats a stronger showing, coming off a competitive game with Alice the week before.
“To tell you the truth, we didn't think they were as good as they have been in the past,” Tuloso-Midway Coach Joe Sendejar said. “We thought we could play with them, but it's just that mystique about playing Calallen.”
With the wind playing a factor, Danaher decided to stick with a ball control strategy on offense. The result was 315 yards on the ground, with five different players finding the end zone. Following Cortez's opening touchdown, quarterback Preston Dorsey punched it in for a one-yard score for a 14-0 lead after the first quarter.
The Calallen backfield then pushed forward in the second quarter with Sheldon Metoyer, Robert Maldonado and Andrew McCurley all scoring on the ground for a 32-0 halftime lead. The 'Cats backfield also saw the return of Cooper Storm, who had been out several weeks with an injury. He ended the night with 68 yards on 11 carries.
Price got things rolling in the third quarter with an amazing 57-yard touchdown run, breaking five tackles in the process. T-M was able to get on the scoreboard on the following drive with a 31-yard field goal from Joseph Segurra. But Price answered again, with a 96-yard kickoff return to go up, 45-3.
“In my mind, I just wanted to make a big play,” Price said. “Every time I touch the ball, I want to make sure that I score.”
Maldonado and McCuley would each score another touchdown, making the final, 59-3.
The 'Cats defense had another great performance, holding the Warriors to just 158 yards of total offense. While the defense had a streak of 19 shut-out quarters snapped against Moody, no offense has been able to find the end zone against the 'Cats for the last six games.
“It feels great knowing how well we're playing on defense,” Danaher said. “I hope we can keep it up for another eight weeks. If we can stay healthy, we'll be in real good shape.”
Returning to action for the Warriors was quarterback Jonathan Iglesias, who had missed the previous two games with an injured shoulder.
“We knew that it was going to be a double edge sword getting him on the field,” Sendejar said. “He hadn't played or practiced in a few weeks, but the good side was he had the experience to handle this offense.”
“It was good to get back out there,” Igelsias said “I just have to get back in the groove of things and make sure we're all in sync out there.”
Iglesias was 3-for-11 passing for 20 yards. Aaron Vidal led the Warriors in rushing with 92 yards.
With the Warriors still 0-6 this year, they will look to a final four game stretch with the playoffs still a possibility. This Friday they will travel to play Kingsville at Javelina Stadium.
“We just have to keep knowing that we have a chance,” Iglesias said. “We have something to fight for.”
Meanwhile, Calallen will look to claim the school's 16th district championship. They host Flour Bluff Friday, with the winner taking sole possession of first place in District 31-4A. Should the 'Cats win, they will have clinched a playoff spot heading into their bye week.
“It's getting going now,” Price said. “We got a tough one with Flour Bluff, but we're ready for anything.”