SWWEEEEEETT 16, Hawks Win, 4-3 over Gonzales
Canyon Lake scored in the first 14 seconds of their game with Gonzales and made that lead stand-up in another win and a berth into the Sweet 16, after this win over a strong Apache squad, 4-3.
“This was a team effort,” Head Coach Warren Graham said. “We had our formation start in our middle school program….almost all of these players came up through Coach (Duane) McBride at Mountain Valley.”
Coach Graham heaped praise on how this group of players have had a genesis these past few seasons for a program that was the last team to make the playoffs for Canyon Lake last year.
“You always know that any one of our games now could be your last,” Coach Graham continued. “We left it all out there and it really helped us to study the video of the Fredericksburg (versus Gonzales) game and that helped us out…and it helped us to know who we would need to close out on.”
That defense was huge as that allowed Canyon Lake to have a 3 goal lead before the first Gonzales score.
On this night, CL jumped out to a quick attack when they scored within seconds.
Grayson Rohrbacher received a pass from Trenton Lorett within seconds (literally) and made the Apaches pay with a numbing goal for a slap in the face for this Hawk opponent.
“It was great,” Rohrbacher started on scoring that first goal. “We wanted to start strong early….we had good space and we took advantage.”
Both teams had a test in their previous round in these playoffs and knew another game would
be needed in this Regional Quarterfinals contest in order to advance to McAllen for a date with the Progresso Red Ants.
Gonzales was certainly well represented with a large contingent for their 26 mile jaunt to Yoakum for this 3rd round of playoff action.
The Apache’s scalped the Fredericksburg Billies in a two overtime game which got the attention of Canyon Lake as their last District 27-4A game was a 6-1 loss to that same team.
District 27-4A had another 3rd round contest between Boerne and Bandera showing you how well this district has done. In fact, Bandera took care of the Greyhounds and will join CL in McAllen for the Regional Semi-Final games.
Canyon Lake had several saves from Goalie Brayden Damico as well as the last line of defense of Hawks in keeping that first goal as a lead after the first half horn sounded.
Damico had 10 saves on 13 shots on goal which would help get CL to their next game on Friday.
On what effect those two quick goals had on Gonzales, Mason Blackburn said, “That ruined their confidence but they are a good team and they came back.”
“We work on that in practice,” Blackburn commented on if CL had worked on that type of offense to start a game. “We just happened to be in the moment.”
Gonzales had the wind in that second half which would make their offense more lethal with some good passing for their many chances to score.
The Hawks would not waste much time when action started in the next half as this time, Canyon Lake would score in the first 92 seconds for a two goal lead.
This Hawk goal was on an attack that had the ball bounce off the Apaches goalie and into the net.
Matthew Bell would get credit for this goal since he was the last Hawk to have a foot on the ball and 2 goal lead.
Nash Young scored the next goal 14 minutes later which put CL up with a 3 goal lead.
With still right at 25 minutes left in the game, Gonzales would not stay quiet much longer as the Apaches responded quickly with just 3 minutes off the clock.
This resilient Hawk squad would get their last goal on an attack by Trenton Lorett, within 48 seconds after the Gonzales’ last score.
With a 4-1 lead, Canyon Lake would be in a prevent mode for the remainder of the contest.
Gonzales was certainly the aggressor but Canyon Lake would have several stops as the clock would break the 10 minute mark and still having a comfortable, 4-1 advantage.
The Apaches would stage some heroics with two goals scored within 90 seconds between 8-6 minute mark.
Now that comfortable lead was no longer a luxury and with less than 5 minutes still remaining in the game, the Hawk score was in jeopardy as they held onto their 4-3 lead.
The Hawks looked like they were defending the Alamo as Gonzales and their large crowd became intense.
“I was trying to instruct my players on what I wanted them to do but their crowd was so loud my players could not hear me,” Coach Graham said.
Playing defense would be the key and taking advantage of slowing the game down as this game continued.
“They put a lot of pressure on us,” Floris Georgi stated. “I felt we were not as secure and that made us make mistakes after they scored their two goals.”
Georgi is one of those Hawk players that has a large enough frame to help when defending the net in space.
“We were waking up again and we were in a fight,” Georgi said like he was the first line of defense for the Alamo. Brayden (Damico) had a good game and it feels better when it is not easy.”
Gonzales would make Floris feel very good on this night.
Richard Rosas is a load and during this stint in the game, he dribbled the ball down the left sideline as the Gonzales players tried to steal and get an offensive set going.
To put it mildly, Rosas, was a Bull and these Apaches were bouncing off and could not take advantage of this one man wrecking crew.
“Someone came after me and I had 3 seconds to make a decision,” Rosas said with a smile. “I just went down the field and I had some, one on ones, and I probably will need an escort out of here.”
Rosas was commenting on how the Gonzales crowd was reacting to anything and everything he did when he was on the field.
Rosas made it to the end line before his drive ended but a good amount of time was no longer available for Gonzales as they would try to stage more scoring opportunities.
Those two quick scores by Gonzales came by long passes toward the Hawk’s goal which set up an advantage having more players in a position to score.
That same technique was in hyper speed as the clock would finally break the one minute left sequence.
Canyon Lake would get some good stalls which finally ended the game with the good guys having a win.
Another rung on the Hawk Sports Ladder and this Hawk team will be going into territory never experienced by any Canyon Lake team.
“That all sounds nice and we can look back on that when the year is over,” Coach Graham
noted. “But this season is not done and we still have work to do.”
“This is a special moment for us,” Blackburn closed. “This hasn’t set in yet.”
Grayson Rohrbacher had 3 assists which is more than he had for the season in this game while Lorett had 1 assist for the Hawks.
The Hawks will be back on the field this Friday at 4pm when they face Progresso in McAllen and if they win, will face the winner of the Bandera/La Feria contest on Saturday at Noon.
Canyon Lake now has 16 wins for this year and not counting last season’s first playoff team, the Hawks, had 17 total wins for their first 6 years of competition.
Go Hawks at the SWEEEEEEEEEETTTTTT 16!!