CL Freshman Rush to Tie the Tigers, 28-28
Canyon Lake Freshman team did not have your typical Slot-T Football game on Thursday night in Smithville. The Hawks scored first and kept the lead after a Smithville score and a failed point after attempt, 8-6.
The Tigers would score 22 points in a row after that first CL salvo, that would put CL in a hole going into their last quarter.
A slot-t offense is good at milking a game clock and giving your opponent less time to respond, as the game continues.
On this night, after a lightning delay, the Hawks not only were able to come back once and tie the score at 22 all, but then at the end of an action packed quarter, Canyon Lake was able to respond again before regulation would end.
Smithville was having their way with their quarterback read option on offense and would carve up CL’s defense throughout this contest. The Hawks were able to force a punt to start the contest but were not as lucky for the rest of this battle.
Trailing 22-8 with less than 6 minutes to go, Canyon Lake would put on their work hats and carve out some nifty plays for both comebacks.
CL was able to push RB James Bates across the goal line as this was a 1 yard play that had the offensive for the Hawks and defensive line for the Tigers using Bates as their flag on the middle of a tug-of-war. This score brought the game to within one score and a little hope, 22-14.
Next up was a successful on-side kick off the foot of QB Dalton Stanley that had Hawk players waiting for the ball to cross the 50 yard traveled line.
With less than 3 minutes Canyon Lake would have three running plays to Smithville’s 35 yard line. Then a Stanley to a wide open Blayne Carnes would tie the score at 22 a piece with with :50 seconds left on the clock.
An errant on-side kick had a Tiger player catching the bouncing ball and returning the kick deep into CL’s territory.
It took Smithville 2 plays to score and get their lead back with 35 seconds left.
Now it would be Smithville’s errant kick-off after the ball went out of bounds at the Hawk 25 yard line.
With the penalty, the Tigers had their kicker having a hard time finding the ball as it traveled 6 yards giving CL just 41 yards needed for a score.
The Hawks had several running backs churning out yards with Dominick Vaillant and Bates doing a lot of that damage with a one-two punch.
“I was thinking that we just needed to get the ball back,” Vaillant remembered. “We had to just keep pushing and pushing.”
With some time-outs still in their vault, Canyon Lake was able to push down the field with a Bates 20 yard run to seal the deal and tie this game for the final time.
“I saw Carter (Eilers) and (Christian) Ramirez taking them out and that just left me one I had to beat,” Bates recalled when going over that last play. “Then they just led me to the TD.”
This score had just 3 seconds to go on a night that would have a ton of action in a 6 minute span to end the contest.
Two passing scores to the same receiver would be a first for Canyon Lake since the slot-t was introduced in 2013.
“I just went where the Coaches told me to go,” Carnes said with a smile a mile long. On what Carnes said to the Tiger’s defensive backs after his second touchdown catch, “Did you see me?”
That was in response to being able to pass those defenders as they look into the Hawk backfield to see who might get a hand-off.
Yes, at tie, but a comeback in a game that was lost twice will do wonders for those upcoming battles.
On what this team will need to do in preparation for their next contest, “We need to focus more not just mentally but physically.”
Bates stated, “We are continuing to learn to do the little things before the big things…..and just focus more.
Start the next game like this one ended and The ReSporter will feel sorry for the Hawks next opponent.
**The ReSporter lost the play sequence form used in crafting a game story. Hence no stats below.