CL Hawks Chop the Billies Wood, 17-6
Canyon Lake won their second game in a row in district play keeping the Hawks in second place after win over Fredericksburg, 17-6.
“We talked and knew this game would be a struggle,” Head Coach Charley Drum stated. “We got the lead and they (the Billies) just could not get any consistency offensively.”
“We just kept chopping wood,” Coach Drum said. “We made the plays and we just stepped up on that drive.”
This game was a defensive affair as each team had 5 possessions in that first half and that last drive for CL would be huge.
The Hawks took advantage with their final time on offense in the half, when second string QB Jackson Neel, found Austin Brennan on a 37 yard pass pitting the ball on the Billies 3 yard line.
“Basically the pass was behind me, then it was 99% luck that I caught that ball,” Austin Brennan remembered. “It just set us up in the game and it was a moral boost for the second half.”
That play left Mike Thorpe time for a field goal and lead going into the dressing room.
“I finally got that next field goal,” Thorpe said. “Last year against Fredericksburg our special teams was big for us and we knew our special teams would have to step it up….Coach called field goal and I was thinking I got this and then took it to them.”
Thorpe also had a good game with his punting, “The line did well blocking which allowed me to be able to get the punt off and I just coffin cornered the punt.”
On that last drive, the Hawks started on their 49 yard line and after a 4 yard gain for Tanner Faris, Canyon Lake would have a movement penalty leaving them needing 11 yards to get a chance for a first down.
This drive had just 1:10 on the clock, so the Hawks would have to work fast for a score.
Faris would come through as his next play covered 12 yards and a first down on the Billies 40 yard marker.
With time fleeting away, Neel would heave the ball towards the end zone but the throw would be short and Brennan came back for the ball and a chance for the Thorpe kick on the 3 yard line.
A lock down defense for CL in the first half made that three points seem like much more, as the Hawks finally scored and would not trail for the rest of this contest.
With just 42 yards of offense and one first down for the Billies in that first half, the Hawks would take that lead with no complaints.
Starting the second half, Canyon Lake, would have their second longest drive ever, in plays and time, which would allow the Hawks to score leaving just 1:18 left in the quarter.
Canyon Lake’s longest drive in plays was against La Vernia 3 years ago when the Hawks held the ball for 22 plays and more than a quarter of time off the timer.
The Top Two TDrives: Start End Game # of Plays Yards Time Time Scored Result Billies 18 75 12:00 3rd 1:18 3rd TD 10-00 Lead La Vernia 25 83 12:00 3rd 9:20 4th TD 14-19 Deficit
The Hawks needed to convert two 4th down plays to keep the chains moving and would also overcome two 5 yard penalties during those snaps.
One of those 4th down conversions was on an impromptu run by QB Ben Fulton (60 yards) who finished this game with his most rushing yardage in his career.
“It was a called pass play,” Fulton recalled. “During that play I could not see the receivers and then one of our offensive lineman bumped my knee and with all of our receivers on the right side of the field, I saw the goal to the left and just started running.”
Run Fulton did, as he covered 22 yards on the play and helped set up the touchdown on that long drive by converting that 4th and 5 down.
Fredericksburg would stall on their first drive in the second half and would see just 9:55 left in the game after their next punt.
Canyon Lake would take over on their 24 yard line and take advantage with another score and this drive happened much quicker as Brennan would break a 52 yard run and have the Hawks setting up shop on the Billies 12 yard line.
“We wanted the sweep play,” Guard Keith Hutson said. “I just pull and seal and he (Brennan) just cuts off my block.”
On what it felt like when Hutson saw Brennan taking off on the 52 yard run? “It was pretty exciting and that play just took a lot of stress off our offense.”
“I was hiding right behind them (offensive line) and he (Hutson) was a big part for me to be able to get that run,” Junior Brennan said.
Four plays later, Robert Woods would take the rock and score for a 17 point lead as Fredericksburg was still an anemic 69 yards of total offense up to that moment in the game.
“This game was great,” Senior Woods said. “Coach told me I would be open and I knew I had to get the yardage for sure.”
Woods would have his most active game offensively for this year and his punishing runs were certainly a good way for the Hawks to chip away at the Billie defense. Woods finished with 63 yards as he left wood chips all over the field as a reminder of those tough runs.
The Billies would then increase their 69 yards of offense while traveling 75 yards for a score on a run by Cole Bourgeois, cutting the Hawk lead to 11 points after the point after was missed.
That Hawk defense was nails during this game and there were many plays you could recall when CL had a good set of downs, but defensive end Elijah Sheffield had a motor all night and Fredericksburg would have water thrown on their last drive as Sheffield pressured the quarterback which would lead to that final interception by Matt Adams.
“We play with what the coaches tell us to do all week and every day,” Sheffield said. “We played with intensity and we played with technique and on that play (when Sheffield was held), the coaches called a viper play and that is our pass rush during that situation.”
Canyon Lake has been down this road before, as this time last year, the Hawks had a 2-1 district record and just needing to win out for a second seed in the playoffs.
Taylor will be in CL this time around as the Hawks will need to finish this year as a loss to the Ducks and Boerne to end the district schedule would end up giving the Hawks a 4th seed and some antsy moments on saying who they would be playing after the regular season closes the curtains.
“This puts us ahead of the game and we are not where we need to be yet but this will give us a better chance for making the playoffs,” Woods chopped.
1 2 3 4 Final Fredericksburg 0 0 0 6 06 CL Hawks 0 3 7 7 17 Scoring Summary: CLH-Mike Thorpe 20 yard field goal, 0:00, 2nd CLH-Austin Brennan 2 yard run, (Mike Thorpe kick), 1:18, 3rd CLH-Robert Woods 1 yard run (Mike Thorpe kick), 6:04, 4th FHS-Cole Bourgeois 15 yard run (pat failed), 3:51, 4th Game Stats Billies Hawks Total Yards 144 272 First Downs 6 15 Rushing/Yards 19/68 56/235 Comp/Att/Int 9/14/1 1/3/0 Passing Yards 76 37 Punts/Average 5/33.6 3/35.3 Fumbles/Lost 2/0 2/1 Penalties-Yards 6-55 5-30 TOP 16:37 31:23 Passing Comp Att Pct Yds Int TD Jackson Neel 1 1 1.000 37 0 0 Ben Fulton 0 2 .000 0 0 0 Rushing Att Yds Ave Lg TD Austin Brennan 8 75 9.4 52 1 Robert Woods 15 63 4.2 12 1 Ben Fulton 9 60 6.7 22 0 Tanner Faris 11 50 4.5 12 0 Jacob Ruff 8 22 2.8 6 0 Team 1 -5 — — — Receiving No Yds Ave Lg TD Austin Brennan 1 37 37.0 37 0