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The Student News Site of McCallum High School

The Shield Online

The Student News Site of McCallum High School

The Shield Online

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Injuries, turnovers spoil solid H’coming effort

Photo by Gregory James.
In a game between two evenly matched teams and two staunch defenses, the injury-depleted Knights lost the turnover battle, 7-2, and the game, 14-3. Photo by Gregory James.

In a game marred by several key injuries and seven turnovers, McCallum lost to LBJ, 14-3.  The loss was the Knights’ (4-1, 0-1) first of the season, and it came in their District 25-5A opener.

“We just had too many mistakes,” assistant coach Aaron Stancik told The Shield after the game. “LBJ (4-1, 1-0) is a good team. We have to give them a lot of credit. They have a lot of good athletes. You can’t make mistakes against a good team and expect to win.”

Although the defeat was tough to take, the Knights showed a lot of mettle in fighting through adversity throughout the game.  The defense in particular proved very resilient. Despite the turnovers and being on the field a disproportionate part of the second half, the Knights held the Jaguars to 14 points in the game and scoreless in the second half.

“That was the best defensive line we’ve played all year,” LBJ coach Andrew Jackson told the Austin American-Statesman. “They were athletic, fast and making plays sideline to sideline. We just had to make a few plays to get a lead.”

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The McCallum coaches also spoke highly of their team’s effort and grit during the game.

“I’m proud of the guys,” Stancik said. “They played hard. You win as a team, and you lose as a team.”

The loss to an arch rival and key district foe came coincided with the school’s homecoming celebration.

Before the game, the marching band performed the routine they took the Band of Americas competition in Round Rock the next day. At halftime, the band and Blue Brigade performed, and the homecoming court was recognized. Senior Brittne Miller was named both Football Sweetheart and homecoming queen. It was a night of extremes for senior wide receiver Griffin Garbutt, who was named homecoming king at halftime.

“[Winning homecoming king] was pretty exciting at halftime, but other than that, I was focused on the game.”

Neither team’s offense could solve their opponent’s defense. Both team’s were held to 12 first downs for the game. LBJ gained only 248 yards in the game to McCallum’s 187.  McCallum senior running back Andre Blakemore had a good game statistically, gaining 101 yards on 17 carries and setting up the team’s only score, a Luke Whitefield field goal that gave McCallum an early 3-0 lead.

But despite that silver lining and the character the team showed throughout the game, the players took the loss hard.

“I am pretty upset [about the loss],” Garbutt said, “but the season’s not over.”

The team now must prepare for another tough test next week against Austin High, a historical rival that has been off McCallum’s radar because it has spent that past several years playing at the 6-A level. The Maroons (1-4, 1-0) defeated Crockett (0-5, 0-1), 56-14, to win their district opener and their first game of the season.

“We start [getting ready for  Austin High] tomorrow,” Coach Stancik said.  “We’re 4-1, and we’ve got a special group. These guys are really, really special, and I expect them to come in and respond next week against Austin High.”

The question of injuries might make that challenge a little bit tougher.

“We don’t have a lot of depth to begin with, but the guys that stepped in they did well for those [injured] guys,” Coach Stancik said. “We’ll see what happens tomorrow. Guys will go see the trainer, and we’ll see what happens.”

Garbutt agreed.

“It starts tomorrow morning. We’ve got to get guys healthy, and it’s on to the next one. I’m ready.”

Reporting by J. R. Cardenas. Video by Mia Orrick. Photos by Gregory James, Madison Olsen, Mia Orrick, Adrian Peña and Dave Winter. 

 

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Injuries, turnovers spoil solid H’coming effort