SAN ANTONIO – The McCallum Knights are in the midst of their best season in school history. If it wishes to continue this stretch of impressive play, it must take on one of the best in coach Phil Danaher and his Calallen Wildcats.
“It’s big for us all around,” McCallum coach Charles Taylor said. “This is the furthest our school has ever gone ( fourth round) and (it’s the) most wins in school history. Now, when you get to step up against a team like Calallen and Coach Danaher, it’s kind of surreal to know you’re in that type of company.”
That presence Danaher brings will almost surely come with a hefty headache. The Wildcat offense, led by quarterback Colton Duff. Duff won’t throw much, but when he does, it can account for a lot of yards.
“The good thing is it’s [the run game] misleading people, think they can put a lot of people on the line of scrimmage,” Danaher said. “Then you get a few solid games when you do throw it, we have people wide open because they’re committing to stop the run. We can throw the ball, just like not to when you can run it.”
The run game, though, is too dangerous to ignore. The workhorse back, Alec Brown, is always due for a big gain. Brown ran 30 times for 185 yards in last weeks win against Tivy. Overall, the Wildcats picked up 323 yards on the ground in the win.
The Knights defense isn’t one to mess around. In eight of its 13 games, McCallum has kept teams under 20 points. Taylor said he knows it’ll be unlikely to blank the Wildcats. But he also knows if the job is done right, they can win this game.
“We’re just trying to win football games,” Taylor said. “So we’re going to be out there and do the best we can. Any time you go out there on defense, you’re thinking stopping them. It’s hard to blank anybody, we’re going to go out there with a game plan and try to do the best we can.”
The Knights won’t be the only team with a game plan that will be tough to execute. Calallen has a strong defense, which blanked Tivy in the second half last week.
The coaching staff certainly has the experience to make halftime adjustments and will do so, should the game call for it. It all depends on how Max Perez, McCallum’s quarterback, plays throughout the game.
“He [Perez] is a tough, strong runner, I’ll tell you that,” Danaher said. “He appears to be a good leader on the team, it’s hard to know that for sure unless you’re inside the huddle. He commands the offense and makes his reads well. He has a good arm and is probably the biggest quarterback we’ve seen this year as far as his running ability.”
Kickoff is scheduled for noon on Saturday at the Alamodome.
Gerald Tracy is an assistant editor of Texas football for TexasHSFootball, covering prep football in the San Antonio region. Follow Gerald on Twitter, @GTracySports, and read more of his content here.
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