CORPUS CHRISTI–Calallen (12-1) is the only Coastal Bend 4A High School Football team left in the high school playoffs. They play against Boerne Champion (12-1) Friday night at the Alamodome at 7:3o pm.
Here is what the media is saying about the Region Finals Matchups of both games and how they got there.
Texas Football.com wrote:
CC Calallen 27, SA Alamo Heights 20
DCTF’s pick: Alamo Heights 31, Calallen 27
Notes: Once again, Alamo Heights’ Steven Elder was great under center — 16-of-28 passing for 292 yards, two scores and no picks. But outside of him, Heights struggled to move the ball, and the ground game of Calallen made up the difference. Height’ 14-point third quarter closed the gap, but the rare but accurate passing of Calallen’s Tanner Sparks was just enough for the win.
Boerne Champion 66, Port Lavaca Calhoun 42
DCTF’s pick: Champion 37, Calhoun 34
Notes: This one was all about Champion QB John Free, who tied a state record with eight touchdown passes against the Sandcrabs. He also ran for a ninth, making him the most productive performance I’ve seen all year for any one player. Calhoun got its licks in with 42 points, obviously, but at every juncture, Free was there to respond. Now Champion is in the regional finals … and Free is in the record books.
The Caller Times wrote an article talking about the defense of the Wildcats and how it can be a difference in this week’s game.
Longtime Calallen coach Phil Danaher likened the Chargers to Alamo Heights, which the Wildcats defeated 27-20 last week. Having given up 403 yards — 300 of that through the air — to the Mules, Danaher hopes to see a much more solid performance on Friday.
“We have to do a better job,” said Danaher, in his 27th year at the school. “I always say the team that controls the line of scrimmage is the one that’s going to win the game.”
For the second week in a row, Capt. Fearless of the Caller Times is picking against Calallen.
CALALLEN VS. BOERNE CHAMPION
Does Calallen have an answer for Boerne Champion QB John Free, who accounted for 8 TDs in last week’s win over Port Lavaca Calhoun? The answer may be in Calallen running back Buddy Wright and quarterback Tanner Sparks. If those two can control the ball with the Wildcats’ always potent running attack, then Free and his Chargers will not have much time to do damage to the scoreboard. Of course, that’s the plan Port Lavaca had before losing 66-42. But Calallen is a better team than Port Lavaca. While I’m hoping for a Calallen win so the Wildcats can stroll down memory lane with a potential state semifinal matchup against La Marque … I’m saving most of my wishes for Christmas.
WINNER: Boerne Champion
MY TAKE: Calallen will face a great offensive juggernaut for the second week in a row. QB John Free has passed for nearly 3,000 yards and 35 TD’s and rushed for 22 TD’s. Last week alone he had 8 TD’s tying a state record. For Calallen to win, they must control the ballgame with a strong rushing attack. QB Tanner Sparks and RB Buddy Wright and the offensive line must dominate. On defense, the defensive line will need to pressure Free and the secondary must play a good game, not allowing the big plays. The availability of Tyler Denman will be key as he hurt his tendon in the lower leg at the end of the game. He is second in tackles and leads team in interceptions. Without Denman, the secondary will suffer in pass coverage. It’s the Region Finals so expect a close and tight game.
Calallen will hold a pep rally for the Wildcats Thursday night at 7 pm at Phil Danaher Field for the team.
–Manuel De La Rosa, South Texas Tribune, email@example.com