For the first two games of the season, the Needville football team has shown signs of being a dominant offensive team. But last week’s nailbiter win over St. Thomas hinted that the Blue Jays have a lot of work to do to prepare for their first big test of the season.
Needville hosts Corpus Christi Calallen on Friday at Blue Jay Stadium at 7 p.m. The Wildcats come into the game ranked third in the state in 5A Division II, according to Dave Campbell’s Texas Football. Last year, Calallen went 13-2 and reached the 5A Division II state semifinals, losing 19-17 to Fort Bend Marshall.
“We’re not changing anything, our preparation is going to be the same,” Needville head coach Mike Giles said. “We’re just excited to play a dang good football team that was two points away from playing for a state championship last year.”
Calallen hasn’t dominated its opponents this year, beating San Benito 28-20 and Corpus Christi Flour Bluff 24-10. But the Wildcats’ running game has been successful in churning up yards and possession time.
The Wildcats have gained 494 total rushing yards in two games, while only passing for 44 yards on six attempts. But the Wildcats were able to have possession times of over 29 minutes in both games.
Junior running back Justice McClure leads Calallen with 141 yards on only four carries, while senior quarterback Jarrett Garza has 118 yards on 38 carries and two touchdowns.
“They’re not a three-yards-and-a-cloud-of-dust kind of team,” Giles said. “They use the wing-T with some good skill players. We just have to be physical and play assignment football.”
Needville will need strong production from its offense, and while running back Ashton Stredick remains the reliable weapon for the Blue Jays, junior quarterback Trevor Baker will need to be very consistent in his passing against a tough Wildcat defense.
Last week against St. Thomas, Baker was strong in the first quarter, throwing two touchdown passes to put the Blue Jays up big. But afterwards, he began to struggle with his timing and the Needville offense slowed down, allowing St. Thomas to catch up and take the lead in the fourth quarter.
But Baker shook it off and led a game-winning drive, including a 36-yard touchdown pass with 1:12 left for the 35-34 win.
Baker has thrown for 390 yards with seven touchdowns this season. His top target is Vincent Villarreal, who has 13 catches for 158 yards and three touchdowns.
“Trevor will be a dang good quarterback, he just needs more experience,” Giles said. “He continues to improve each week.”