CL Game was Hapless, Season not Hopeless, Lose 37-31
Canyon Lake let their guard down in the fourth quarter and Burnet took advantage with 20 unanswered points winning with 28 seconds on the clock, 37-31 for a Homecoming crowd in Burnet last Friday night.
The Hawks won the middle two quarters 31-3, but could not find any momentum to start or end this game.
Burnet started the game with a 17 play 82 yard drive for a 7-0 lead right out of the doghouse.
CL could not match the intensity and had a three play and punt on their first series. How about 27 yards of first quarter offense, and only 2:54 of time with the ball.
Hopeful Tidbit: Punter Branson Belcher had five punts for 44.6 yards in the game. Eric Nelson still holds the game record with a 51 average against Ingram in 2009. Belcher’s average for the season is in line for a Canyon Lake best with 40 yards on 12 punts. A punter has the potential to change field position which can help win close games.
The Bulldogs were at it again on their second possession traveling 63 yards on eight plays while mixing up runs and passes, which kept Canyon Lake on their heels.
Canyon Lake’s rushing offense was not at their best on this night averaging less than four yards per carry. However, the passing game would unleash some potent ammo by accumulating 300 yards on the night.
The Hawks had just three players catching a pass in the first three games. Belcher would double that number in spreading the wealth around.
“They (the other receivers) did a good job tonight,” Doug Hubnik said when commenting on how the other posse of receivers stepped up in this game. “It will only make us better.”
Daniel Camarillo was leading district in receiving yards and had another good game with nine receptions for 136 yards. Camarillo had one catch for 57 yards as he continues to stretch opposing defenses trying to coral the speedster.
Those nine receptions was only one off the record held by Eric Nelson with 10 in the 2009 Llano game. In fact, Nelson had nine receptions in three other games with the last one coming against a China Spring playoff contest 25 games ago.
“We put some more receivers in our offense,” Camarillo said matter of fact. “We threw the ball some more and we (receivers) responded.”
Canyon Lake has reached 300 yards passing five times now with this game. Ross Wagliardo orchestrated three of those five games his Senior year. Now, Belcher has the other two and this passing offense can only help while other schools now take more time preparing to stop another weapon.
Five of seven plays on CL’s next drive were passes for 75 yards to four different players.
1. Daniel Camarillo with a seven yard catch.
2. Matt Riffe caught and ran for 18 yards.
3. Kyler Huff was in the clear for 10 yards to the 40 yard line.
4. Doug Hubnik finished this drive off while waiting for the ball in the end zone.
Branson Belcher quarterbacked a JV squad that went undefeated and in so doing, he was spreading the ball around to over 15 different players that campaign. Belcher also had just two interceptions that season.
Looking at this game, you could see that same confident quarterback. Spreading the ball around and have we mentioned no interceptions for this season? A steak of 71 passing plays.
Belcher was not a runner that JV season and now you are witnessing another aspect that will make defenses play honest. This was a first for a Quarterback to lead a team in rushing in a game.
Canyon Lake Quarterback Rushing Stats: Name Att Yds TD 1. Branson Belcher 76 232 12 2. Ross Wagliardo 22 -82 1 3. Jeff Nabors 53 -137 5
“Most of the times I do get to run it was on a pass play,” the humble Belcher said.
On how Belcher is feeling now in comparison to his JV season, “It is coming back to me, at first I was jittery and I just needed to calm down and get my rhythm.”
Burnet kept the pressure on with a 25 yard field goal after driving to Canyon Lake’s eight yard line. A 61 yard pass was the major damage on this drive.
Canyon Lake started showing life with another 75 yard drive with a 57 yardpass and catch for Camarillo putting the ball on the seven yard line. Two Belcher runs and the Hawks were within striking distance behind by three.
“I think we came out soft,” Linebacker Conner Drum stated.
The Defense finally shucked their ‘soft’ label and got in on the party when they held the Bulldogs on their next set of downs with a three and out. This time it wasn’t a punt but a fumble that helped put the Hawks back in business.
The Hawks traveled 69 yards on 17 plays with Senior Jake Robinson doing the honors tying the score at 17 with forty four seconds left on the halftime clock. Robinson was good from 27 yards out.
Hopeful Tidbit: Robinson has not missed on a field goal attempt for his career and is also nails for PAT’s. This will come in handy later in district play, by giving coaches confidence that this option is always available.
McGuire Johnson helped keep the score tied when he intercepted a pass keeping Burnet in their doghouse bringing a close to the half.
The second half would continue in a Canyon Lake wave of momentum scoring two more times to stretch their lead to 14 points.
The defense forced another fumble and the offense took four plays to go 35 yards for their first lead of the night. Belcher found Matt Riffe for six yards and six points.Canyon Lake was not finished, when the defense had their first three plays and a punt sequence.
The Hawks offense answered again with a 71 yard drive in four plays. This time every play was over 15 yards.
Belcher pass to Matt Andress for 17 yards.
Belcher run for 20 yards.
Casey Coffee run for 19 yards.
Belcher pass to Hubnik from 15 yards out and another score.
Canyon Lake almost held on for the win, but too many missed opportunities kept Burnet in the game and able to drive that final time for a winning score.
“They were just small mistakes that are killing us,” DB Javier Mendez said. “We played good, but we have to keep it up for the whole game.”
Burnet had only one incompletion on their first 10 passes. Their next 10 passes they had two completions and an interception.
Unfortunately, the game was not ended after the horn sounded indicating the end for the third quarter.
Burnet would turn their light switch on again by ending the game with two longdrives of 69 and 81 yards long. Controlling the clock and averaging almost nine yards per play during this span.
A couple of first downs and CL would be even steven for the year. Now, this team must find out if this year will turn into hopeful as district play looms.
Hopeful Tidbit: “Last year in the Wimberley game we got down by 14 points and did not respond,” Head Coach Charley Drum declared. “These kids decided that they were going to be fighters tonight. We are that close, but we still need to step up with starters out.”
Coach Drum continued, “We only had 13 points last week and in these two teams are very similar, they were putting seven or eight in the box to stop our run, we just need to finish.”
“We know we are good,” Belcher reiterated. “(We) need to take care of the little things like get first downs.”
Linebacker Drum also chimed in, “With or without other players (in response to sickness and injured players and replacements) this is how our team will play as a whole not just one player…We just got to keep hanging on, we have a good team we have to do the best as we can.”
Hapless can be a short time period…as long as you see hope on the horizon, then your results can be turned into ‘Joyful’ moments.
Hapless was last year being 8-2 and not making the playoffs.
Joyful might be a team without a better record, but learning how to finish now and work on other parts of their game that a last year does not rear it’s ugly head this year.
The Hawks can only hope.
Game 1 2 3 4 Final Canyon Lake 0 17 14 0 31 Burnet 14 3 0 20 37 Scoring Summary: BH-Cory Cavender 3 yard run (Austin Huff kick), 5:46, 1st BH-Trenton Hafley 6 yard pass Kiser (Huff kick), 1:44, 1st CL-Doug Hubnik 40 yard pass from Branson Belcher (Robinson kick), 10:52, 2nd BH-Austin Huff 25 yard field goal, 9:45, 2nd CL-Branson Belcher 1 yard run (Jake Robinson kick), 8:22, 2nd CL-Jake Robinson 27 yard field goal, 0:44, 2nd CL-Matt Riffe 6 yard pass from Belcher (Jake Robinson kick), 6:53, 3rd CL-Doug Hubnik 15 yard pass from Belcher (Robinson kick), 4:24, 3rd BH-Trenton Hafley 8 yard run (pat blocked), 11:53, 4th BH-Hafley 23 yard pass from Kiser (run failed), 3:00, 4th BH-Hafley 1 yard run (pass Barnard from Kiser), 0:28, 4th
Game Stats Hawks Bulldogs Total Yards 395 494 First Downs 18 23 Rushes/Yards 25/95 44/221 Comp/Att/Int 19/35/0 18/30/1 Passing Yards 300 273 Punts/Average 5/44.6 2/51.0 Fumbles/Lost 0/0 2/2 Penalties-Yards 3-21 6-50 TOP 20:34 27:26
Passing Comp Att Pct Yds Lg TD Int Branson Belcher 19 35 .543 300 57 3 0
Rushing Att Yds Ave Lg TD Branson Belcher 11 58 5.3 22 1 Casey Coffee 12 37 3.1 19 0 Hayden Dubois 1 2 2.0 2 0
Receiving No Yds Ave Lg TD Daniel Camarillo 9 136 15.1 57 0 Doug Hubnik 3 64 21.3 40 2 Kyler Huff 3 42 14.0 24 0 Matt Riffe 2 24 12.0 18 1 Casey Coffee 1 18 18.0 19 0 Matt Andress 1 17 17.0 17 0