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Football, Game Article | September 21, 2019

Hawks Catch a Tiger by the Tail in Win Over Smithville, 55-28

CLHS defenders Stephen Sharp (#3) and Brandon Robinson (#4) tackle the Smithville running back. rr[Photo Credit: Mark Robinson / MJR Photography / www.mjrphotog.com]

Canyon Lake caught the Tigers by their tail in a run-a-way offensive win over Smithville, 55-28.

This battle started like a track meet after seeing the Tiger’s first play go 61 yards through the air and would have CL with flashbacks from last week’s loss to Wimberley, when that game had the Hawks suffer a humbling loss after a lethal dose of passing plays.

              Way to Go Hawks!!

On this night, The Lake, would find their run game which helped with a comeback and scoring the last 20 points for a must needed win to close out this game.

“We have had games tied and played close going into halftime this year,” Head Coach Charley Drum started. “It was good to win this game in a shoot-out. They are so athletic…but we had to change things coming out in the 2nd half by going to a nickel back and putting more pressure on their quarterback.”

Smithville’s QB was having a career day going into halftime with 233 yards through the air and completing 80% of those passes.

In that 2nd half, CL held the Tiger’s QB to a pedestrian 37% and only 109 yards passing. A night and day difference defensively which would help in giving The Lake some separation from Smithville as the Hawk’s offense continued their best game of the year.

This was the 3rd best offensive output in CL’s history as the slot-t became a formidable weapon with their rushing, finishing in the top 5 in the Hawk’s annals.


            Offensive Output          Top 5     Rushing Output
         1) Fredericksburg   583  ’16        1) Fredericksburg   539  ’16
         2) Ingram           579  ’09        2) Austin Akins     469  ’16
         3) Smithville       550  ’19        3) Austin Eastside  461  ’16
         4) Giddings         536  ’16        4) Bandera          456  ’15
         5) Bandera          528  ’11        4) Smithville       456  ’19

James Bates finishes with 223 yards rushing in win over Tigers.

James Bates finished the game rushing with 223 yards, which was bout what CL totaled in their past two games and now Bates’ game placed him 7th on Canyon Lake’s all-time rushing list for a game.

“I did not hear anything and I did not see anything,” Bates said when asked what happened during his 80 yard TD run. “The offensive line just opened up the hole and I told myself that I was going to score.”

Bates had a break out Freshman campaign last year and is now one of 5 Hawks to break the 200 yard rushing hurdle.

“It feels great and I love playing with these guys….this is like family,” Bates said from his hotel.


                Top 10 Rushing Games

                          1) Zach Henshaw     300   Fredericksburg   2011
                          2) Zach Henshaw     297   Sealy            2011
                          3) Zach Henshaw     287   Navarro          2011
                          4) Zach Henshaw     266   Somerset         2010
                          5) Zach Henshaw     252   Austin Travis    2011
                          6) Zach Henshaw     243   Burnet           2010
                          7) James Bates      223   Smithville       2019
                          8) Jacob Ruff       222   Smithville       2018
                          9) Austin Brennan   211   Fredericksburg   2016
                         10) Zach Henshaw     209   Gonzales         2009

This contest was not in the bag however as Smithville had some lethal weapons in their passing arsenal but things started to tilt in Canyon Lake’s favor during a Tiger drive that looked like would give the Home Team a 7 point lead after driving to the Hawks 4 yard line.

Alex Hardin and Peyton McMullen after grueling Smithville game.

A short Tiger Pass on their next play that was covered by Alex Hardin as he was trying to get the tackle. Hardin stripped the ball and then scooped it up for an 85 yard run to the Smithville’s 1 yard line.

One play later another Wiatrek touchdown had that turnover changing this game, to advantage Hawks, with a 13 point swing and lead, 13-7.

“We had a ‘thunder called’ and I am suppose to slant on the play and their receiver was right there and I just stripped the ball and those 100 yards were a lot longer than I remember,” Hardin said with calmness.

That run had those fast Tiger’s in pursuit and with a tackle but just needing 1 yard for a lead that would not be caught in a more important stat finishing with more points. An exhausted Hardin would be bent over to grab some air before walking to the Hawks sideline.

CL’s defense was able to stop Smithville on their next drive with a 3 play and punt. Setting up shop on their 20 yard line, The Lake, would not take long after an 80 yard jaunt by Bates on that first play of the 2nd quarter and a Hawk, 21-7 lead.

That run would be the 5th longest running play for another Hawk top of the heap record.


                 1) Austin Brennan       90   2016   Blanco
                 2) Austin Brennan       87   2016   Fredericksburg
                 2) Trenton Lorett       87   2017   Austin Reagan
                 4) Josh DeVries         82   2014   Smithville
                 5) James Bates          80   2019   Smithville
                 6) Jacob Ruff           79   2018   Burnet
                 7) Austin Brennan       78   2016   Austin Eastside
                 8) Tanner Faris         76   2015   Bandera
                 9) Eduardo Covarrubias  75   2010   Bandera
                10) Austin Brennan       74   2016.  Fredericksburg

Smithville was not finished however while taking just 3 plays through the air and covering 75 yards with still over 10 minutes to go in the 2nd quarter, 21-14 Hawks.

Canyon City Grill says Go Hawks!!

Canyon Lake was getting their legs going in responding with a 42 yard pass play from Peyton McMullen to Jeremy Greene that converted a third down needing 17 yards to keep the drive going. That would certainly be the case when Ryan Rivali scampered 26 yards followed by a seeing eye dog run from Ethan Slater for 13 yards and a two score lead for CL, 27-14 with still more than 8 minutes before the Bands would take the field.

It was the Tigers turn and they would not disappoint their home crowd by going 75 yards in 11 plays and converting a 4th and goal from the 17 yard line and a slim 6 point lead, 27-21.

Now a 7 play 65 yard retort would have Bates capping this drive from 32 yards and a back and forth contest and giving the Hawk’s a see-saw, 34-21 lead.

      Way to Get Hits Defense!!

With still a minute left and having a passing attack that had not been stopped put Canyon Lake needing a huge stop as these Tigers would have the ball to start the 2nd half and a score before half would have been a huge shot of momentum for the Home Team and a chance to even the playing field once again.

That would not be in the cards however, as the Hawk pressure defense, with Smithville losing 8 yards on a sack and with no harm done.

The 2nd Half did start fast once again for the Tigers but that would be their last score on a 3 play drive covering 75 yards. Smithville would only be able to muster 43 yards of offense for the remainder of the game as Canyon Lake would continue to milk the clock with a well oiled slot-t apparatus that finished the game scoring 55 points which is 20 more points than the Hawks had scored in their previous 3 games.

Another first came from the feet of McMullen when he ran with some degree of authority for 52 yards and the Hawks final score. That would be the longest run for a Hawk Quarterback and a fitting ending to this marathon game.

“When I made the fake, I could see that it was wide open,” McMullen said. “I just tried my best to out-run their defense.” On the response from this Hawk team after a disheartening loss, “We had a great week of practices and we did pretty good.”

Stephen Sharp with two catches, an Interception for defense and 26 yarder on offense.

You think? The icing would be put on the cake as this game would be put on auto-pilot with a fitting interception from Stephen Sharp to finish this game. A contest that had a Fireman’s water hose offense to a garden water hose trickle saw a vastly improved defense in those final 20 minutes of game action.

“Before that drive while coming out to play defense, I had told some of the guys that I was going to get my pick,” Sharp said like a two-edge sword. “When I saw the pass, I said that is mine.”

On how well the defense finished the game, “They had been destroying us and we made adjustments at half and brought in another defensive back and that helped us defend the flats better.”

Canyon Lake will now go back for a home game against Blanco this coming Friday. It will be the final non-district scheduled team and a win would help in getting back on track as District 28-4A comes calling.

Way to Go Hawks!!


             1  2  3  4   Final
CL Hawks    13 21 14  7   55
Smithville   7 14  7  0   28
Scoring Summary:
ST-#9 pass complete to #34 for 61 yard pass (kick good), 9:27, 1st
CL-Derek Wiatrek 2 yard run (Nash Young kick), 6:03, 1st
CL-Derek Wiatrek 1 yard run (kick failed), 2:19, 1st
CL-James Bates 80 yard run (Daniel Neel run), 11:34, 2nd
ST- #9 pass complete 64 yards to #6 (kick good), 10:30, 2nd
CL-Ethan Slater 13 yard run (pass failed), 8:14, 2nd
ST-# 9 pass complete 17 yard pass to #23 (kick good), 4:15, 2nd
CL-James Bates 32 yard run (Nash Young kick), 1:09, 2nd
ST-#9 pass complete 46 yard pass to #23 (kick good), 10:31, 3rd
CL-Nic Rivera 17 yard pass from Peyton McMullen (run failed), 5:30, 3rd
CL-Derek Wiatrek 4 yard run (Peyton McMullen run), 1:46, 3rd
CL-Peyton McMullen 52 yard run (Nash Young kick), 3:07, 4th

Team Stats       Tigers     Hawks    
Total Yards      387        550
First Downs      16         24
Rush/Yards       22/58      48/456
Comp/Att/Int     18/31/1    4/7/1
Passing Yards    330        94
Punts/Average    2/37.5     0/0
Fumbles/Lost     2/2        3/0
Penalties-Yards  6-76       9-70
TOP              22:51      25:09

Passing          Comp  Att   Pct   Int  TD
Peyton McMullen  4     7    .571   1    1

Rushing          Att   Yds   Ave   Lg   TD
James Bates      16    223  13.9   80   2
Nic Rivera        5     57  11.4   26   0
Peyton McMullen   4     55  13.8   52   1
Ryan Rivali       5     44   8.8   26   0
Ethan Slater      6     44   7.3   18   1
Derek Wiatrek    10     39   3.9    7   3
Jesse Horner      1     -5    —     —   0
Daniel Neel       1     -5    —     —   0

Receiving        No    Yds   Ave   Lg   TD
Jeremy Greene     1     42  42.0   42   0
Stephen Sharp     1     26  26.0   26   0
Nic Rivera        2     26  13.0   17   1