CALUMET TWP. — There’s speed and there’s football speed, as Calumet demonstrated in Friday night’s 38-22 win over Wheeler.
Phillip Collins, a senior running back for the Warriors and state-qualifying track star, showed off his quickness by taking one off tackle for an 82-yards touchdown run.
Calumet coach Rick Good weighed in on the debate of speed vs. football speed regarding Collins.
“We always knew he could run away from people, but now he can find the seams and then run away,” Good said. “Phillip has football speed now because he’s gained about 15-20 pounds and has turned himself into more of an athlete.”
On the flip side, the Warriors (2-1) also have a power runner in junior CJ Cooper, who sealed the win with TD runs of 5 and 6 yards, respectively, on back-to-back possessions in the fourth quarter.
While Good likes Cooper’s quickness, he also noted a few more attributes that makes Cooper a force in the backfield.
“He has vision that no one else has and reads the defensive line and flow of a play as well as anyone I’ve ever coached,” he said. “CJ squares his shoulders up and his feet never stop moving.”
Collins totaled 122 yards on just six carries with the one score.
After going down 22-0 in the first quarter, Wheeler (1-2) scored 22 unanswered between the second and third quarters.
After a big stop on Wheeler’s first fourth-quarter possession, Collins ran for two first downs on Calumet’s go-ahead scoring drive, capped by Cooper’s first TD run.
“We can both depend on each other, our five O-linemen, our quarterback Mark Flores and our receivers because when I’m in the huddle with then 10 other guys and look into their eyes, I know they’re ready to make a play,” said Cooper, who ran for 137 yards on 22 carries.
Cooper then added his second TD after Calumet’s Scott Flores recorded an interception.
“CJ is fast too,” Collins said. “We lost a lot from last year and knew we’d have to compliment each other.”
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Paul Honeycutt, The Times