It’s something that hasn’t been felt by the Tuloso-Midway football team in a while. Things are different this season, however.
The Warriors (1-0 district, 3-2 overall) are riding a two-game winning streak heading into Friday night’s District 30-4A showdown against Port Lavaca Calhoun (1-0, 4-0). Although the matchup against the Sandcrabs begins a three-game stretch that finishes with Calallen and Gregory-Portland, T-M is ready for the challenge.
“The kids are pretty excited right now,” first-year Warriors coach Brian Boone said. “We said from the beginning that we’re going to have to win early and get some success. We knew that would be really big for building confidence. That’s going to be big for us, because the next three weeks are going to be tough.”
T-M is coming off a 49-20 victory over Victoria East in last week’s district opener. Mac Reyes and Tyler Smith each rushed for two touchdowns and combined for 142 yards. Matthew Dickson added 87 yards on the ground.
Quarterback Caleb Rozypal also completed four passes for 106 yards, including a touchdown to Marc Reyes. Boone anticipates even less of a passing game against Calhoun, which is coming off a 17-0 triumph over Calallen.
“We have to really minimize our mistakes, control the ball and do what we do,” Boone said. “We’re two teams that are run-oriented, so you probably won’t see a whole lot of passing. It should be a quick game, but they’re the real deal and very salty.”
Even more troubling are the defensive numbers the Sandcrabs have been putting up.
Other than a 40-point outburst by La Vernia in a 16-point victory by Calhoun in the second game, no other opponent has scored more than nine points against the Sandcrabs. Shutting out Calallen last week – which hadn’t happened since the 2009 playoffs – made a huge statement.
“Last year defense was kind of their weak spot. We moved the ball on them and had about 350 yards of offense. We just didn’t put any points on the board,” Boone said of last season’s 62-6 loss to Calhoun. “They’re much improved on defense. They’re very good and very strong and physical up front. They pretty much keep everything in front of them. They hit hard. They’re really more of a complete team this year.”
So are the Warriors, who are giving up only 109 total yards per game. Boone credits a commitment to fundamentals as the reason.
“What we’ve done the last month is gone back and broken down a lot of the stuff we do. We try to focus on getting better fundamentally and it’s helped us get better every week,” Boone said. “The defense is starting to catch up, and that’s been really big. Those guys played a great game Friday. Offensively we’re clicking and our defense is starting to figure things out. That’s exactly what we need right now.”