Hawks Correct Mistakes in Loss to State Ranked Lampasas, 40-34
Canyon Lake was one play away from a win against #2 State Ranked Lampasas Badgers and what would have been the ultimate scare for the Badgers for this pre-Halloween contest, 40-34.
“We went toe to toe against one of the top teams in state,” Head Coach Charley Drum stated. “We came out and responded and this proves we can play with anybody. They had not been in this deep of water game since last year’s playoff. Now we have Burnet and if we do our business then we have a chance of seeing this team again in the playoffs.”
To say that this season has been an up and down elevator would be an understatement as Coach Drum has preached that mistakes, made in losses, were all fixable. Well that was certainly the case on this night as mistakes were at a minimum resulting in this close set-back.
The Badgers were averaging 49 points per game and their closest win of 18 points in last week’s game over Austin LBJ.
QB Ace Whitehead was certainly as advertised with a host of players that can and have wreaked havoc on opposing defenses.
Canyon Lake had a decent first half of making the Badgers one dimensional in stopping their run game but that other dimension had enough fire power to win this battle totaling 332 yards via the pass.
The Lake gave up a quick score, to start the game, that took just 3 explosive plays of over 16 yards and a score that took just one minute and 36 seconds off the clock, 0-7.
CL would not be intimidated though and had a 6 play response with a 48 yard run by James Bates which set the Hawks up on the Lamps 16 yard line. This drive would start with an incomplete pass for a wide open Hawk and ended with a Peyton McMullen pass to Jesse Horner on an 11 yard pass play and tied score, 7-7.
The Hawk defense would get a stop on LHS next with a sack on fourth down which had the Home team starting their set of downs on the Badger’s 43 yard line.
Another explosive run by Bates, this time for 52 yards, had the Hawks on the 5 yard line. CL would take their first lead when Bates finished what he started on a one yard up the middle score. A Hawk 2 point conversion run by McMullen added two points and a, 15-7 lead.
Bates has totaled 318 yards since returning to the lineup two games ago and this was CL’s 18 time having a player gain over 200 yards in a game with Bates having his name for the second time after totaling 218 on this night. The only other player with 2 or more is Zach Henshaw when we achieved this feat 10 times.
“This was our best effort all year,” Bates said. “We played like dogs and now we play against any team. I feel we are bonding as a unit and we are raising the bar.”
After an exchange of downs, Lampasas would strike next with a 74 pass play right before the first quarter ended and CL led, 15-14.
Later in the 2nd stanza, Canyon Lake would book-end Whitehead for a safety when Helijah Johnson and Patrick Almond did the book reading on this tackle and a, 17-14 advantage.
“I called that play,” Almond said like a defensive coordinator. “We needed a big play and seeing how our effort can help us win games along with our tackling. We want to swarm and finish and our record does not show everything as we have unfinished business as we finish our regular season.”
A 69 yard drive that had the Badgers converting a 3rd down pass play for a score and lead with just over a minute before intermission, a 17-20 deficit looked like CL would still be losing even with a great first two periods.
But the Hawks were not finished and would respond with a 19 yard jet sweep by Ryan Rivali, and a 40 yard pass and run by Tyler Pauly that set up an eventual 25 yard field goal that would tie the game and have these Badgers’ eyes wide open wondering if Halloween came a night early, 20 all.
It was the, Bates Hotel, to start the 2nd half when James Bates had 3 rushing plays for, 29, 25 and 18 yards and then Shayne Moss spelled Bates for a rest while running for a 2 yard touchdown and CL seizing the lead back, 27-20.
A missed on-side kick helped the Lamps needing just 44 yards and that they did, on 4 plays, in this back and forth battle, 27 all.
This was a boxing match with both teams exchanging blows and Rivali’s 11 yard run down the sideline knotting the score to start the 4th quarter had both teams showing 34 points on the scoreboard.
It was another long pass play that would end up being the final score when Whitehead found Michael Murray on a 61 yard strike and Badger lead, 40-34.
Canyon Lake would have three more chances to take a lead, but would not be able to find any candy in their bag of tricks to get an upset win.
That first try came up empty at midfield when the screen play was snuffed out on a fourth down try.
Two plays later Chase Anderson’s interception and return had CL on the Badgers 27 yard line, but that came up empty when the Hawks could not convert and leaving Lampasas with the ball on CL’s 31 yard line.
A Hawk defense allowed one first down on this Badger next drive before buttoning down and forcing a 24 yard punt and still having one more shot.
McMullen found Bates for a 33 yard pass that had a run resembling a car traveling on the Devil’s Back-Bone and now Canyon Lake had a legit chance with a fresh set of downs on the Lamp’s 21 yard line.
This drive would end up just out of the reach of Jeremy Greene’s finger tips in the back of the end zone and a possible Hawk upset win.
Those mistakes that had plagued Canyon Lake throughout this season did not come to pass and with a roster that had most of the full team that started back in August. With only 5 penalties totaling 35 yards and no turnovers helped had CL with their most complete contest this year.
Yes, giving up 40 points will usually be frowned on but against this offense The Lake had enough stops for a chance to forge a victory.
“They had weapons all over the field,” Head Defensive Coordinator Brian Hooper said with exhaustion. “We took chances and I am really proud of the kids as they executed the game plan and we continued to rotate our players when we got on the ropes.”
On those occasions when CL’s defense was able to rattle Whitehead, Coach Hooper responded, “We used our quickness on our D-Line and our guys executed and made them uncomfortable.”
With Canyon Lake throwing 23 times the offensive line was doing double duty with run and passing plays not seen since the slot-t was installed in 2014.
Offensive Lineman Shawn Pendleton had a busy night and responded to how this game played out, “It was pure will and everyone was in it. With our effort it paid off and even though we did not get the win on the books we did get a win on the field. We had quickness from our guys and we were willing to do what it takes.”
The Hawk offense had right at 500 yards in matching the Badger offense throughout and now consistency will be the key to see if those mistakes are a thing of the past and if so, then the future will look much better at the right time as post-season comes calling.
Now Canyon Lake will finish their season on the road in Burnet. The winner of this match-up will have the 3rd seed in post-season as the Hawks have already clinched a spot for more games.
1 2 3 4 Final Lampasas 13 7 14 6 40 CL Hawks 15 5 7 7 34 Scoring Summary: LB-Lane Haviland 34 yard pass from Ace Whitehead (Whitehead kick), 10:24, 1st CL-Jesse Horner 11 yard pass from Peyton McMullen (Dalton Stanley kick), 8:31, 1st CL-James Bates 1 yard run (Peyton McMullen run), 4:30, 1st LB-Michael Murray 73 yard pass from Whitehead (pat failed), 0:03, 1st CL-Whitehead sacked by Patrick Almond Safety, 8:23, 2nd LB-Cabe White 19 yard run (Whitehead kick), 1:11, 2nd CL-24 yard field goal by Dalton Stanley, 0:13, 2nd CL-Shayne Moss 2 yard run (Dalton Stanley kick), 9:34, 3rd LB-Jack Jerome 8 yard run (Whitehead kick), 8:00, 3rd LB-Land Haviland 49 yard pass from Whitehead (Whitehead kick), 3:18, 3rd CL-Ryan Rivali 11 yard run (Dalton Stanley kick), 10:08, 4th LB-Michael Murray 61 yard pass from Whitehead (pat failed), 9:32, 4th Team Stats Badgers Hawks Total Yards 480 498 First Downs 19 24 Rush/Yards 28/148 51/315 Comp/Att/Int 10/15/1 10/23/0 Punts/Average 2/31.5 1/40.0 Passing Yards 332 183 Fumbles/Lost 0/0 0/0 Penalties-Yards 11/130 5-35 TOP 15:42 32:18 3rd Down Conversions 1/5 20% 3/14 21% 4th Down Conversions 0/1 00% 3/9 33% Passing Comp Att Pct Yds Int TD Peyton McMullen 10 23 .435 183 0 1 Rushing Att Yds Ave Lg TD James Bates 28 218 7.8 52 1 Ryan Rivali 10 67 6.7 19 1 Jesse Horner 6 18 3.0 6 0 Tyler Pauly 1 6 6.0 6 0 Shayne Moss 2 5 2.5 3 1 Helijah Johnson 1 3 3.0 3 0 Jeremy Greene 1 2 2.0 2 0 Peyton McMullen 3 0 0.0 7 0 Receiving No Yds Ave Lg TD Tyler Pauly 1 43 43.0 43 0 Kolten Ramey 1 31 31.0 31 0 James Bates 2 29 14.5 33 0 Ryan Rivali 1 24 24.0 24 0 Jesse Horner 2 21 10.5 11 1 Tanner Schultz 1 18 18.0 18 0 Jeremy Greene 2 17 8.5 13 0