Kase Spears caught a 29-yard touchdown pass from McLane Carter with eight minutes to go in the first quarter. Less than a minute later, Chase Crenwelge hauled in a 13-yard pass from Carter for another Salado touchdown. Two and a half minutes after that, Davis Little scored on a 69-yard pass from Carter.
In less than four minutes in the first quarter, Salado took a 21-0 lead over Lorena.
Salado’s offense was dominant Friday. It scored on nearly every drive. It put 67 points on the scoreboard.
But its defense was a disgrace. The Eagles gave up 609 yards rushing and they lost the game 75-67.
That’s not a basketball score or even a six-man football score.
It is what just has become par for the course under the Friday Night Lights at high schools across Texas.
And while it is a lot of fun to watch, like some greasy Tex-Mex, it makes me a little sick to my stomach when I try to digest it.
Carter set school records by passing for 613 yards and eight touchdowns. Spears had 15 receptions for 289 yards. The Eagles had 696 total yards.
It didn’t matter. Salado still lost.
“It’s exciting, I know that. Even not coming out with a win, it’s exciting,” Carter said. “Yeah, there’s pressure because you’re trying to score and you know your defense is having a hard time, so you’ve got to go down and put points on the board.”
He was the second area quarterback in a week to not only break a few records, but shatter them.
Last week, it was Copperas Cove junior quarterback Manny Harris. Harris passed for 516 yards and five touchdowns against A&M Consolidated in a game that was featured on ESPN, Yahoo! and USA Today for its wild finish, drawing national attention. But the Bulldawgs still lost, 44-41.
Offenses are scoring around the state at a prodigious rate.
But since everyone is doing it, just putting a few school records and 50 or even 60 points on the scoreboard does not equal a win. First-year Salado coach Brent Graham found that out the hard way in Salado’s loss to the Leopards.
“I’ve never questioned our offense. We have a dynamic offense that, when we’re clicking and when we’re executing, we make plays. I think that you saw that tonight, but ultimately, we’ve got to continue to make good decisions and take care of the football,” he said after the loss. “And, on defense, you’ve got to just show to see if we can get the football back to our offense, we’re going to be successful.”
However, Salado never got the ball back.
But the Eagles were not alone Friday.
Belton poured 46 points on Round Rock Stony Point. Running back Kavon Johnson ran for 211 yards on 21 carries — more than 10 yards per rush. And Belton still lost.
Stony Point scored 56.
Temple put 41 points on Austin Westlake. Junior quarterback Chad President had 362 total yards (242 passing). The Wildcats still lost, 45-41.
The old cliché is that defense wins championships.
That’s not always the case anymore; not since Todd Dodge ran rampant with Southlake Carroll from 2004 to 2007 (Marble Falls, his current team, scored 69 points on Friday. And last season former Salado quarterback Mike Richardson passed for a state-record 724 yards for the Mustangs against Boerne Champion).
But even if a team has a high-powered offense capable of dropping 40, 50 or even 67 points on its opponent, it doesn’t matter if the defense can’t make a stop.
Someone has to make a tackle. Someone has to make a hit.
Otherwise, all those offensive numbers are just that, numbers.
Graham said after the game that he was feeling better than he had ever had after being 0-2.
And that’s great. But, Salado is still 0-2.
“It felt amazing,” Harris said of his performance against A&M Consolidated. “It felt unreal at a few points in the game. Stats are great, and you want those things, but it is a team thing, and we lost the game. So it really doesn’t mean anything.”