CL Hawks Swatted the Stinger off the Hornets, 31-21
Canyon Lake won the coin toss and never played from behind for the rest of the game beating the Gatesville Hornets, 31-21 in a Bi-District game.
“We are making history,” Head Coach Charley Drum commented. “This is a group we challenged at halftime and we came out and played all three phases of the game well in that second half.”
The Hawk’s defense gave up just 21 points and the offense would never lose the lead during the contest.
“We needed a stop and our defense got it on their first possession of the 2nd half,” Coach Drum continued. “Then our offense took their next time with the ball and scored and that has just been our team this year.”
CL’s special teams would come through with an important field goal in the 4th quarter that gave the Hawks a two score lead.
The Hawks won the toss and proceeded to drive down the field using 16 plays that covered 75 yards and taking over 8 minutes off the clock. There was only one play that went over 10 yards as Jacob Ruff took that rock for 11 yards. All those other running plays averaged 4 yards per carry, as the Slot-T, was as advertised and CL threw down the first gauntlet in this contest, 7-0.
Gatesville was quicker on their first time with the ball covering 68 yards in four plays and those last 3 plays finished off with a tying score, covering 1 yard and tied game, 7-7.
CL used 15 plays for their next scoring drive covering 70 yards with a pass play to Tanner Faris and a Hawk lead, 14-7. Canyon Lake had three passes that covered 10 and 13 yards and the final pass being an interference call for a first and goal. This drive, once again, had CL using 13 plays on the ground, averaging, 3 yards per rush and that pass interference call helping the drive and second score.
The Hornet’s QB Jett Truss scored for Gatesville tying the game on this 6th play drive, with a 43 yard pass play that was a highlight this time, for their second long drive scoring at a fast rate with speed, 14-14.
Hawk explosive snaps started to spring up on the next CL possession when Joseph Ruiz covered 39 yards on the first play from scrimmage helping shorten the field and give the Slot-T plenty of time for a score before the halftime horn.
QB Ben Fulton called his own number for a 10 yard scamper around the left end of the line for a much needed touchdown before the end of half-time, 21-14.
With the Hornets having that first possession to start the second half, this Hawk score was pivotable, in this back and forth offensive contest.
Gatesville would threaten with less than a minute to go before the bands would take the field. The Hornets moved the ball quickly down the field but trotted their field goal team in with 4 seconds left in the 2nd quarter. The ball would be wide right and the Hawks dodged a bullet going into the 2nd half with a, 21-14 lead.
CL’s defense answered the second half with a stop and after a Hornet 57 yard punt, the Hawks set up shop at their 11 yard line needing 89 yards to go up two scores.
Tristan Chacon had been stymied in that first half totaling 11 yards on 7 carries and then this relentless Hawks team first had Chacon with a 7 yard run that would be 5 yards longer than his best run in the first half of play. Three plays later had Chacon racing through the middle of the line going unscathed 62 yards and putting CL up two scores.
“That is just our brand of football,” Chacon stated after commenting on how the 2nd half garnered more explosive plays. “We will just pound and pound them and then the big plays will come.”
Nine plays later the Hornets answered the call with a 25 yard pass and run putting the contest back to a one score affair, 28-21.
Hawk mistakes in the form of penalties and interceptions would stymy any CL momentum in the next few possessions. Fulton would throw his first interception on the next possession. It would be the first INT for the year.
CL’s defense would hold the Hornets, on a 4th down pass play at the 50 yard line stopping a Gatesville chance to tie the game. Another Fulton interception would have the ball returned 65 yards for a touchdown, but a penalty for hitting a Hawk in the back on the return would nullify that TD and have the Hornets still needing to take more plays and time for a chance to score.
That penalty on the return was significant as Fulton was the Hawk that was hit from behind causing the TD to be called off. Fulton would not have a chance in getting the the Hornet’s defensive back, so a little slowing down in front of a Hornet, had that defensive player having to push Fulton in the back causing a flag to be thrown. (A Fulton YouTube below the box score will give more details)
Was that Important? Yes, it was a big time play as that score would have tied the game but now Gatesville would not convert and would punt the ball. A tying score being nullified, would now be a punt, as that was all Canyon Lake needed to finish the game.
Linebacker Lee Stafford has had a terrific season and has made many plays for the defense. One of those snaps in this contest, had Stafford jumping a passing route for a near interception.
“That is a hard play to defend but we have been working on it in practice, but it is hard to replicate,” Stafford said astutely. “I recognized the play and just came up just like everyone else did.”
A 13 play drive would be next for CL, that drained the clock, and had Lorett with a 19 yard field goal and 10 point lead and a final score, 31-21.
This was another Hawk game that had a resilient group of Hawk players in the trenches working with their hard hats on. This Gatesvillle team had some behemoths on both lines and having a successful evening speaks volumes for this group of young men.
“We just keep going and work on having consistency on the offensive line,” Tackle Joshua Almond said with resolve. “We have been working on our mental toughness and in that 2nd half we had to do what we do and stepped it up one more time because we knew they were tired.”
Gatesville was threatening then, their first and only turnover, would seal the deal for Canyon Lake when Greyson Lee picked up a fumble and with a 17 yard return. The result had a victory formation that would allow this game to finish with a Hawk Bi-District Trophy.
“(Michael) Harwell popped the ball out,” Greyson Lee remembered. “Then one of their players got the ball and it popped out again and no one else was near it.”
“This win means everything and we won’t let it get to our heads,” Chacon said with a calm eloquence. “Everyday we will not take any team for granted.“
Now, the Hawks, will be facing Pleasanton next week and a chance to clear another hurdle and going to the 3rd round of playoff games.
The Hawks will work on clearing another milestone with a win this next week that will have CL in the 3rd round, where anything can happen.
A 9 win season is a first while enjoying a 7 game winning streak being the longest ever for a Hawk team.
The Hornet’s sting was not lethal for a Hawk and a fly swatter worked just fine for another round of games.
Canyon Lake will play Pleasanton (10-1) at SA Hardin Athletics Complex in Gustafson Stadium on Friday November 24th.
1 2 3 4 Final Gatesville 7 7 7 0 21 CL Hawks 7 14 7 3 31 Scoring Summary: CL-Joseph Ruiz 6 yard run (Trenton Lorett kick), 3:48, 1st GH-Jett Truss 1 yard run (David Saldivar kick), 1:01, 1st CL-Tanner Faris 13 yard pass from Ben Fulton (Trenton Lorett kick), 2nd GH-Truss 5 yard run (David Saldivar kick), 2:37, 2nd CL-Ben Fulton 10 yard run (Trenton Lorett kick), 0:50, 2nd CL-Tristan Chacon 62 yard run (Trenton Lorett kick), 8:32, 3rd GH-Derrick Bayer 25 yard pass from Jett Truss (David Saldivar kick), 4:47, 3rd CL-Trenton Lorett 19 yard field goal, 3:04, 4th Game Stats Hornets Hawks Total Yardage 316 376 First Downs 20 24 Rushing/Yards 16/84 54/343 Comp/Att/Int 20/28/0 3/5/2 Passing Yards 232 33 Punts/Average 2/43.0 0/0 Fumbles/Lost 1/1 0/0 Penalties-Yards 9-75 6-70 TOP 18:09 29:51 Red Zone/Scored 2/4 50% 4/4 100% 3rd Down Conversions 5/9 55.6% 6/14 42.9% 4th Down Conversions 1/2 50% 4/4 100% Passing Comp Att Pct Yards Int TD Ben Fulton 3 5 .600 33 2 1 Rushing Att Yds Ave Lg TD Tristan Chacon 15 129 8.1 62 1 Joseph Ruiz 10 81 8.1 39 1 Jacob Ruff 10 42 4.2 11 0 Micah St. John 9 41 4.5 8 0 Tanner Faris 5 30 6.0 10 0 Ben Fulton 3 16 5.3 10 1 Trenton Lorett 3 7 2.3 4 0 Receiving No Yds Ave Lg TD Tanner Faris 1 13 13.0 13 1 J. T. Greene 1 10 10.0 10 0 Tristan Chacon 1 10 10.0 10 0
Quarterback Ben Fulton talks Hawks!