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Calvert Hall football leaning heavily on running game

BJ Watson is coming.

BJ Watson is coming.

Calvert Hall football coach Donald Davis says it could be a fearful thought for rivals who face the Cardinals and the Harvard University-bound Watson this season.

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After gaining an eye-catching 6.75 yards per carry on 122 attempts for 824 yards last year, the 5-foot-9, 180-pound running back could put up even gaudier numbers this fall with his big-play ability.

"I expect him to double that," Davis said of Watson's rushing yardage. "Maybe that's asking a lot. But he is the fastest guy in the area. He ran in the 4.3s (in the 40-yard dash) in four different camps across the U.S. this summer."

Senior running back Tim Smith (5-10, 220) gives Calvert Hall a nice complement to Watson.

"Smith is really, a big, physical back," Davis said. "We have power and speed."

Calvert Hall's Ben Brooks is expected to be the Cardinals' starting quarterback this fall.
Calvert Hall's Ben Brooks is expected to be the Cardinals' starting quarterback this fall. (photo by Steve Ruark)

Senior guard Craig Wood (6-4, 290) and senior tackle Reginald Sutton (6-4, 255) return to anchor a strong and physical line.

Junior tackle Alphonso Cornish (6-6, 375) and two players promoted from last year's JV, sophomore guard Luke Whitty (5-11, 260) and junior center Francisco Guerra (6-0, 270), are the new starters.

They'll be protecting senior quarterback Ben Brooks (6-2, 195), a returning starter who is fighting to keep his job.

"He went through some growing pains last year," Davis said. "But he's worked very hard in the offseason. He is getting some competition from one of our young guys."

Davis is referring to junior Emmett Avery (5-10, 170), who was promoted from the JV.

"At this stage, he (Brooks) leads the competition," Davis said.

The quarterbacks will have some enticing weapons running the multiple spread offense, namely seniors wide receivers Kam Brooks (5-11, 178), Xavier Gravette (6-4, 190) and Chris Cooper (5-7, 140).

Davis said his Cardinals are strongest at linebacker and along the line in the 4-4 defensive alignment.

Senior tackles Derrick Harris (6-2, 250) and Malik Montague (6-1, 308) and junior end Billy Wooden (6-2, 265) and Hickey give the Cardinals a solid line.

Tyshon Fogg (6-2, 230) is the big-play performer at linebacker. He's a four-star recruit who committed to Rutgers University.

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"He is physical inside, can cover the pass and put his hand in the dirt and rush the passer," Davis said. "He can at the third level because of the type of speed and athleticism he has."

He had 74 tackles and four sacks last year while forcing three fumbles.

Junior Chance Campbell (6-2, 210) is another starter. He's an aggressive player with good speed.

Senior James Crowley (6-2, 175), Pete Ferrara (5-11, 190) and Brendan Webster (5-9, 175) highlight the secondary.

A defense that yielded 239 points last year will likely have to be better if the Cardinals want to improve on a 5-6 record.

"We have competitive kids and great leadership in the senior class," Davis said. "Those guys are accustomed to being successful. We had a solid season (7-4) two years ago, and some of those guys were sophomores on that team.  Last year was a down year for us. That's where we have the program right now."

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