Hawks Squelch Ground Hog Day in Win over Billies, 20-14
Canyon Lake’s dance with Ground Hog Day has finally played out after this team awakened with, that day before, being in the past tense.
Close losses had been an occurrence that had grown tiresome with 3 earlier games having CL on the losing end of a score. A break here or there that could have had a different Hawk record (7-1) instead of now having an even-steven record (4-4).
“Now the team knows what it takes to win a close game,” Head Coach Charley Drum said with a sigh of relief. “It was a gut-wrenching game and this will benefit us after making some great plays.”
On what went into that final successful 4th down play that converted a 4th and 8 that was staring the Hawks with only 18 seconds remaining. “We felt that a field goal try was just out of Dalton Stanley’s range and with a cross wind being a big factor so we decided for a first down,” Coach Drum beat. “We knew the risk in losing other games like this but we had confidence and we made a great play.”
“Coach called a perfect play,” QB Peyton McMullen said. “I just put my trust in our receivers and they got the job done.”
The Lake had dominated the first half and then waited until there was just under 5 minutes to finish this battle like they started in taking the wind out of the Billies hopes in getting a win and having CL, being able to control their outcome. Now? One more win will give the Hawks a 3rd seed when post-season starts up.
That second half was not pretty and CL had 3 straight, 3 plays and punt sequences that was followed by turning the ball over on an interception for that 4th possession. That series of downs started in the 4th quarter and left The Lake still looking for momentum in any form possible.
That Fredericksburg interception served as a punt and left the home team on their own 7 yard line. Time would become an ally for FHS as this game had turned red and Canyon Lake was looking at a 2 point deficit, 12-14.
The Billies would convert two consecutive 3rd down plays and then two consecutive 10 yard runs put this home team on CL’s 48 yard line and time becoming a precious commodity.
A holding penalty on Freddie would help Canyon Lake’s defense with a stop and force a Billies punt at the Hawk’s 41 yard line.
Now the drive would be 80 yards for a score after that punt bounced into the end zone. With an offense that had not been offensive as the Hawks had amassed just 28 yards on their 15 plays during that 2nd half. Needing some positive plays for a chance to go the distance and win a close game would be difficult would be paramount.
CL started with a missed hand-off and and would be facing a 3rd down and needing 13 yards for a fresh set of downs.
That was accomplished when QB McMullen found Jesse Horner down the Hawk side of the field and a 25 yard gain to the Hawk’s 42 yard line.
Canyon Lake would continue to move the ball and after three more first downs, with one conversion having McMullen with a one yard dive play, that would keep hope alive on Freddie’s 36 yard line.
Ryan Rivali had his longest run of the game next going 11 yards and giving CL a doable situation with the ball setting on Freddie’s 25 yard line with less than a minute on the clock.
A Horner 2 yard run followed by two incomplete passes set Canyon Lake up with those thoughts of Ground Hog day happening again. Either kick a field goal or go for it which had been decided by coaches for a play that could put that ground hog back in the ground for good.
McMullen would move the pocket, to the Hawk side of the field, when he found Jeremy Greene open at the Billie’s 5 yard line for a first down.
Two running plays later had Bates scoring from 3 yards out with 8 seconds showing in the game. This was Bates first game being 100% back in the line-up and finishing with 110 yards with the most important coming with 3 yards and a score.
“We got to the huddle and we went over the plays that were working and I told Coach (Troy Moses) that I knew this play would score,” Bates said while sitting in his Hotel. “Now we know we can finish in close games.”
Some good signs in this game with other out of the blue tidbits. McMullen playing as a defensive back and intercepting two passes and knocking one pass down in using his 10 foot arms to his advantage.
On when it was decided to play both ways in a game? “This past week we had been practicing it and we were determined and I was confident and prepared to go and get the job done,” McMullen said forcefully.
This would be the first game since the 2009 Gonzales game that the Hawks had a player with 2 interceptions in one game. Eric Nelson had 9 interception during his 2009 campaign and had 2 in the Brandeis and Apache games.
Defensively, DE Kolten Ramey came into this game leading the team with 15 tackles for losses and did not disappoint adding 3 more to that total.
“We had to adjust to their fast paced offense in that second half,” Ramey remembered when asked about the difference between the two halves.
“It’s fun and not too hard,” Ramey said when asked about his ability to get into an opposing team’s backfield. “This game meant a lot for us as we have had a lot of games like this and this time we won a close game that we needed.”
Canyon Lake’s trenches are a big part of wearing down opposing teams and even though that 2nd half had not been as dominating, that last 80 yard drive, would shine a light on how well this group of players would perform.
“We were sick and tired of blown assignments,” Sr. Guard Eric Teutsch ascertained. “We were thinking, ‘if we don’t get it done on this drive as it was a do or die situation.”
On Teutsch’s thoughts on that last 4th down conversion that led to the winning score, “I have trust and just love the theme and knew that our quarterback could do it.”
Good words as Canyon Lake will welcome Lampasas, a top five team, to the Hawk Nest next week and that should be a short 7 days now that the Hawks do not have to worry about any more Ground Hogs.
1 2 3 4 Final CL Hawks 0 12 0 8 20 Fredericksburg 0 0 14 0 14 Scoring Summary: CL-James Bates 33 yard run (kick failed), 7:15, 2nd CL-Ryan Rivali 7 yard run (pass failed), 3:44, 2nd FH-Gavin French 12 yard run (pat good), 8:13, 3rd FH-Cole Immel 3 yard run (pat good), 3:02, 3rd CL-James Bates 3 yard run (McMullen pass to Ryan Rivali ), 0:08, 4th Team Stats Billies Hawks Total Yards 242 297 First Downs 16 17 Rush/Yards 38/174 48/229 Comp/Att/Int 3/12/2 4/12/1 Passing Yards 68 68 Punts/Average 4/38.8 6/34.8 Fumbles/Lost 0/0 2/0 Penalties-Yards 4-35 6-70 TOP 21:39 26:21 3rd Down Conversions 5/10 50% 4/15 27% 4th Down Conversions 1/2 50% 1/2 50% Passing Comp Att Pct Int TD Peyton McMullen 3 12 25% 1 0 Rushing Att Yds Ave Lg TD James Bates 23 110 4.8 33 2 Jesse Horner 11 52 4.0 11 0 Ryan Rivali 6 40 6.8 11 1 Peyton McMullen 5 39 5.2 22 0 Derek Wiatrek 2 5 2.5 4 0 Team 1 -5 — - - Jeremy Greene 1 -12 — - 0 Receiving No Yds Ave Lg TD Jesse Horner 1 25 25.0 25 0 Jeremy Greene 1 18 18.0 18 0 Tyler Pauly 1 16 16.0 16 0 James Bates 1 9 9.0 9 0