McCallum runs toward UIL 3rd round

AUSTIN (KXAN) — High school football playoffs move into the third round this weekend, the McCallum Knights are carrying the torch for AISD and what a season its been, perfect through 12 games as they get ready to play in the Alamodome Saturday vs. Alice.

McCallum is making the most of its senior-laden team and the success is built on the simplest of football principles.

“I’m kind of old school like that and the easiest way to get your players the ball is just to hand it to them and let them go run with it,” Coach Charles Taylor said.

The Knights run away from every opponent. Undefeated in 12 games thanks to gaudy numbers on the ground.

“Individually, it’s spectacular if you would’ve told me sophomore year that AJ (Julian) would have 2,000 yards and I’d have a thousand and Deron (Gage) be close to a thousand almost 4,000 yards rushing I probably wouldn’t believe it myself,” senior quarterback Max Perez said.

4,000 yards from three guys. AJ Julian leads in numbers, Perez leads the offense and Deron Gage sparks the rest. As a team to its core, credit starts with the linemen up front.

“I’m going to name all five of them. Judah Copeland, Max Perkins, who is it Kegan Aleman, Estevan Hernandez and then Cesar Cedillo…they just play more physical than anybody,” Julian said.

It’s a cast of 22 seniors creating one of McCallum’s best seasons. From a losing record two years ago, the Knights finished their first undefeated regular season since 1966.

“They bought in and we hang our hat on them now. It’s more we don’t have to yell at them they know what to do,” Taylor said.

“In some ways, I guess I’m thankful for it because it helped us grow and now we’re ready for anything,” Gage said.

Their opponent has to be ready. If not, McCallum will simply keep running.

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