CL Varsity Football is Here as Was the Heat
By Cory Martelli
The 2016 CLHS Varsity football season got underway Friday night in the usual August format; HOT! Temperatures to start the game as the field had to be in triple digits and the Texas heat spread across the fruited plains ushered in a long sought after football season to begin anew.
The Smithville Tigers came calling on Friday afternoon into Canyon Lake in the sweltering heat to find about 250 fired up Hawk fans waiting to greet them.
The Hawks met the Tigers last year in the regular season in Smithville and earned a win. The key words there in that sentence was “last year.”
This season the two teams will not meet in regular play, unless its way down the line in a playoff scenario- TBD. As the heat pounded down on the players on Fridays scrimmage it must have translated for the players on both sides, as temper’s got hot quick for this year’s first showdown against another opponent.
This year’s varsity team started off hot as well, driving down the field on their first possession with a score against the Tigers. That first possession for the CL offense consisted of around twenty offensive plays, went as well as can be expected.
The Hawks scored several times against a sizeable Tiger defensive line and quick secondary. It was noticeable that the team had an attitude from the opening bell and rode that attitude through the scrimmage.
The Offensive-line had success in opening up sizeable holes in the defense and getting downfield to take on the line backers.
Zack Covington, a part of that mean green front line grinding machine, had a good first day getting some key initial blocks and getting down field to spring the backs in for a score.
“I think I had a pretty decent game tonight but I have a lot to work on, like getting lower and working through a lot of mental mistakes” said Covington. “I also need be working on my form and where I need to be… I need to improve on getting where I need to be on the offensive blocking assignments”.
The offensive line had some consistent players swapping in and out during the game as the tricky Slot- T offensive blocking patterns made its mark in the trenches and outside into the line backers.
When Covington was asked what was one thing he wished he had done better for this scrimmage, he just smiled and chuckled, “I wanted to cut more line backers”!
The Hawks O-line this season has a stronger and seasoned group which played together last season.
These experienced front line starters stayed with enough blocks long enough to allow the running backs to gallop through, walk through or just squeeze through into the secondary and they made it to the end zone a few times.
The Offensive line would be a rating of “B” for this scrimmage as it did well against the Tiger defensive line which had size, quickness and experience.
In the back field for the Hawk offense came the four horseman of the apocalypse, of Tanner Faris, Austin Brennan, Micah St. John and Jacob Ruff maintaining positive yards behind the O-line, as it seemed like the added year of experienced improved over this same time last year.
Again here to there seemed to be an air of “attitude” among the RB’s this Friday night. There were no yards tallied up for this scrimmage but none the less, the back field “was” in motion and did well downfield giving as well as it got.
The overall grade for the RB’s “B-”. There were some first game misses on blocks down field but that is to be expected- it’s the first scrimmage, a lot of things are not going to be done right, but having that attitude kept them from the preverbal C+.
If there was an attitude award at this scrimmage, it goes to the defense.
There was nothing idle about the “Mean Green D”. The defense brought it all evening long, in both actions, words, attitude and the very physical game which they thrust upon the Smithville Tigers offense.
A wood chipper would have been embarrassed by how “chippy” it got out on the field as no less than three scuffs took place between the Tigers and Hawks.
You can call it many things, attitude, swag, confidence, walking the line or just good old fashion blue collar work ethic, but it hovered all evening long over the Hawk defense and never left the field.
The Tiger offense came to life toward the end of scrimmage but a lost fumble caused by the Hawk “D” resulted in a TD shut out for the Tiger offense.
As far as first scrimmages go, it showed that at least from this point last year you could senses a difference between now and a year ago.
The defense maintained good speed at the linebacker spots as well as what seemed to be a vast improvement in the secondary positions.
The defense did well, but again Smithville did not have the depth at this point of the season to keep up mantra of its model long enough to throw the Hawk defense backwards in a consistent effort.
Over all the “Mean Green D” performed well as starting positions were being worked for and swapping out players was as steady as the defense it’s self.
A- for attitude.
Next week a much better La Vernia team will come to town at 5pm on Thursday, as the Bears are ranked 2nd in their district.
The LV have adopted the Slot -T offense and will definitely be giving out their own brand of football.