After one quarter, the Callalen Wildcats were in an unfamiliar place, losing 3-0 to the Alice Coyotes. After two quarters, they were back in familiar ground, leading 30-3 at the half. The second quarter explosion of points paved the way for the 'Cats to take a 61-3 win.
Alice took advantage of an early fumble by Calallen quarterback Preston Dorsey, to set up a 36 yard field goal by Alex Castillo for the 3-0 lead.
Unfortunately for the Coyotes, Marcus Price hadn't touched the ball very much.
"I'm going going to knock on wood, but I sure hope (Marcus) keeps playing like that," Coach Phil Danaher said.
On the first play of the second quarter, Price scored on a 19-yard run to go up, 7-3. Alice's A.J. Perez would fumble on the first play of the following drive to set up a 15-yard touchdown pass from Dorsey to Price.
The Coyote's J.C. Rivera attempted to return the following kickoff from the end zone, but had little room to work with, being tackled inside the Alice five-yard line.
Punting deep in their territory, the snap sailed over the punter's head, giving Calallen a safety and a 15-7 lead.
Electing to kick following the safety, Price returned the ball 60 yards for a touchdown to give the 'Cats a 22-7 lead.
"We had great field position," Danaher said. "Jake (Brearton) put them deep on a lot of those kickoffs. We had some great returns. Special teams was really a big factor in this one."
Trying to regroup, the Coyotes went to the air. But Paul Castillo intercepted Oscar Resendez deep in the Coyotes territory. The second of three Alice turnovers on the night, set up Dorsey to Price touchdown pass. A successful two-point conversation by Cooper Storm gave the 'Cats a 30-3 lead at the half.
Price was held out much of the second half. Following touchdowns from Sheldon Metoyer an Storm, Calallen relied on reserve players for most of the final period.
"We have a lot of different kids stepping up," Danaher said. "We had a lot of different players score tonight."
The Calallen defense had another strong performance, holding their opponent to single digit points for the seventh time this season. They are allowing an average of six points per game.
The win clinches the district title for the 'Cats. It is the sixteenth one in school history, all coming under Danaher's coaching tenure since 1984.
The 'Cats will have one more regular season game before the playoffs when they face Ray next week. While playoff seeding is determined, Danaher will hope to use the game to polish a few things before the postseason.
"We're going to work on our passing game," Danaher said. "Will probably look to pass a little more from our double tight formation."
Kickoff against Ray will be next 7:30 p.m. next Friday at Buc Stadium.