Hayden Haas (2) has been Seguin’s go-to receiver through the first two games of the season, totaling 10 catches for 306 yards and five touchdowns. Photo by Andie Rangel.
(Austin) – Seguin wraps up the non-district portion of its 2017 football schedule tonight in a matchup of high powered offenses when the Matadors visit the McCallum Knights at Nelson Field in Austin.
Seguin hits the road for the first time in Travis Bush’s second season as head coach after defeating Austin-Travis 74-6 two weeks ago and falling to rival New Braunels 69-42 at Matador Stadium last Friday.
Austin-McCallum (2-0), coached by Charles Taylor, opened the season with a 48-28 win over Austin-Anderson on Aug. 31 and followed with a 55-17 blowout of Kyle-Lehman last week.
In his first varsity start at quarterback, Seguin junior Anthony Gonzalez went 28-42 for 403 yards with two touchdowns and two interceptions against New Braunfels. His favorite target, junior Hayden Haas, is off to a blistering start in 2017. The 6’0”, 180 lb receiver totaled 204 yards and two touchdowns on six catches against the Unicorns, and has 10 receptions for 306 yards (30.6 per catch) and five scores on the season.
"He's our go-to guy - he can do a lot of things," Bush said of Haas. "It's going to be a struggle each week now to find ways to give him the football, because so many people will key on him. We ended up putting him down as a tight end, and we're able to get him out last week. It took us about two quarters, but we found ways to get him the football, so that's going to be the struggle every week. We've got to get him the ball, and we've got to figure out ways to do it when people know it's coming."
The Matadors will also try to establish the run tonight with the backfield tandem of Brandon Palomares (136 yds. 2 TD) and Clarence Tibbs (146 yds. 3 TD), but Bush says the offense will have to be balanced against a McCallum defense that returns All-District players at every position level – Kevon Walker and Jack Switzer on the line, Jack Masters and J.B. Faught in the linebacking corps, and Tyrell Washington in the secondary.
"They're going to put seven in the box, and that's part of what they do - they're going to force you to throw the ball to win," Bush said. "Looking back at last year, that was one of our lowest offensive outputs of the season. They did a great job of containing us and really keeping us out of the end zone early in the game. It's going to be a tough battle. There's going to be some plays made by them on defense, and we've got to execute on our end, and when we do have the opportunity to make the plays, we can't let those slip away."
Seguin fell to McCallum 31-24 at Matador Stadium in 2016. The 2017 Mats seek an improved defensive effort against the Knight's potent rushing attack in coordinator Nate Langford's revamped 4-2-5 scheme.
McCallum is averaging 361 rushing yards per game and 8.3 per carry as a team, with senior tailback Alexander Julian churning out 413 yards (9.6 per carry) and four touchdowns to lead the surge. Quarterback Max Perez has thrown for 254 yards and five scores while running 164 and two touchdowns, and his most explosive receiver has been Mason Bryant with 123 yards and three touchdowns on four receptions (30.8 yards per catch).
Junior safety Deryn Taylor leads the Seguin defense in total tackles (19), tackles-for-loss (six), and is one of three Matadors with an interception, along with Valentino Trevino and Tyson Coleman.
Tonight's kickoff at Nelson Field, adjacent to the Regan High School campus in Austin, is slated for 7:30 p.m. The game will air live on KWED 1580 AM and Seguintoday.com, with pre-game coverage at 7:00.