Calvert ready for a rematch

The last time Calvert was on a football field in a game that counted, it was last November against McComb.

Tonight, the Senecas will be going on the road to start this season against that same team.

Calvert’s memories of that last meeting with the Panthers aren’t good ones. In the second round of the Division VI playoffs, Jerry Brown rushed for 227 yards – in the first half – and McComb advanced with a 42-0 win.

Fox said the Senecas are ready for a rematch.

“It’s an odd situation where you get to end your season and begin your season playing that same team back to back,” Calvert coach Todd Fox said. “So our guys are excited to go up and do what they can against a good McComb football team.”

Last season, the Panthers were a great football team, advancing to state semifinals before being bounced in triple overtime by eventual state champion Marion Local.

But the Panthers aren’t the same team as a year ago. Brown graduated and will play for Gary Goff at Tiffin University this year. McComb also will have a new quarterback, Clay Grubb.

“The only thing we know that’s different is personnel,” Fox said. “Beyond that, they’ve got a great coaching staff and a great program, so we expect them to be a very good football team again. We just have to be ready to go.”

For his part, Fox still expects the Panthers to be tough on offense. After all, Kris Alge still is the Panthers’ coach.

“He’s a titan, the way he does things,” Fox said. “He just does all kinds of things that makes your defense be off balanced. You can’t prepare for one style or one thing. It’s tough for coach [Pat] Herron, but I have 100 percent faith in Coach Herron, our defensive coordinator, that he’ll get it done.”

Fox said Calvert’s offense will be led by quarterback Tyler Long, who the coach said is “fine… he’s ready to go.”

Fox said Calvert has to take care of the ball.

“We’re just gonna have to sustain drives, and of course the old clich, ‘hold on to the football,'” he said. “You can’t have turnovers and things like that, but we’re gonna have to move the ball, be patient and play our game.”

Kickoff is at 7 p.m.