High School Football: No. 4 Calallen captures district title with win over No. 3 Calhoun

Rey Castillo
Corpus Christi Caller Times

HIGH SCHOOL FOOTBALL

DISTRICT 15-4A DIVISION I

NO. 4 CALALLEN 28, NO. 3 CALHOUN 7

What this game means: Calallen is the district champion with Friday's win over No. 3 Calhoun, and will play La Grulla in the Class 4A Division I bi-district round. The game is set for 7:30 p.m. Nov. 12 at Wildcat Stadium. The Wildcats claimed their first district title since 2018, and 23rd in the Danaher era, behind a strong defensive effort. Calhoun, which began the night averaging just over 44 points a game, was held to 28 yards in the first half and 178 for the game. 

Friday's highlights: Calallen's defense opened the game with five consecutive third down stops and held Calhoun's leading rusher Steve Johnson to 31 yards in the first half. Both defenses held each other scoreless in the first quarter before Calallen backup quarterback Luke Smith scored on a 2-yard run for the game's first points. Jeremiah Earls followed with a 2-yard touchdown run of his own four minutes later to give Calallen a 14-0 halftime lead. Earls ran for a 10-yard touchdown in the third quarter and Calhoun scored their first and only touchdown on a 4-yard run by Mtn HtwayEpi Hinojosa scored the game's final points on a 16-yard score to seal the win. 

Friday's Stars: Earls ran for 262 yards on 22 carries to lead the Wildcats' offense, while the defense held Calhoun to a season-low seven points. Hinojosa, Smith and Ethan Salinas combined for 122 yards to pace Calallen's running game. Johnson, who began the night with 1,516 yards and 19 touchdowns, was held to a season-low 96 yards and without a touchdown for the first time this season. Calhoun quarterback Jarius Stewart was limited to 48 yards after beginning the night with 1,114 yards and 22 touchdowns.

Calhoun faces Calallen in the District 15-4A Division I championship, Friday, Nov. 6, 2020. Calallen won 28-7.

Calallen defensive coordinator Steve Campbell on the Wildcats' defensive effort: "It was almost flawless. In fact, some of the big gains that they had — we we right there, and just missed a tackle. Our coaches did a great job of getting them ready for this game. All of the young men responded and executed the game plan. I couldn't be more pleased with what I saw tonight."

Calallen running back Jeremiah Earls on winning the district championship: "We couldn't have done it without our blockers and the line. We came into this week preparing for what we needed to do and what plays would work. When we executed them on the field, everything worked out and it showed. It's what we all put in the game."

Calallen coach Phil Danaher on defeating No. 3 Calhoun: "You have to give credit to our defense. Calhoun has a great offense and great kids. Our defense won the game and we wore them down with our offense. Jeremiah made some great plays and some great runs."

Calhoun coach Richard Whitaker on the Sandcrabs' performance: "We didn't show up in the first half offensively. We've been playing really well offensively all year long, but this is the fastest defense Calallen has had in a long time. They've had some really good defenses over the years, but this one is really fast and really good. They were ready to play."

Class 4A bi-district: Calallen vs. La Grulla, 7:30 p.m. Thursday, Nov. 12 at Calallen; Calhoun vs. Zapata, time TBA, Friday, Nov. 13 at Alice.