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Football, Game Article | October 15, 2021

What a Difference a Year Makes in Win over Taylor, 20-16

           James Garza goes through humongous hole left by the Offensive Line in Win over Taylor.


Mountain Valley 8th Grade won 2 games last year and that group of players are crafting a much better season with a 5-2 record as Freshman and two wins to start district play after disposing the Taylor Ducks, 20-16.

                  Way to Go Hawks!!

That score is very deceiving based on amassing 359 yards of total offense while the Hawk’s defense held the Ducks to only 5 first downs and 172 total yards.

CL Freshman led the whole game but still had some Lake fans sitting on their hands to keep from biting their fingernails as the game progressed through those final quarter.

The Lake’s first drive had a heavy dose of James Garza with 5 rushing plays for 50 yards on this 10 play 60 yard drive and lead, 6-0.

Garza would finish with more yardage (188 yards) than the whole Taylor team, “The offensive line did great today and I got some break away runs….I just hit the hole inside and they were trying to hit me low but I would just push them into the dirt.”

A tough thing to do on a turf surface but Garza has a way of punishing a defense more than any defense can administer a hit on this running back.

CL’s Defense was just as stout starting this game holding Taylor to 3 downs and giving up one yard of offense before a punt and another scoring drive for the Home Team to follow.

This drive had 6 plays with an explosive 58 yard run for Kaiden Lewis that set up Garza touchdown run and Hawk, 12-0 lead.

                         Let’s Go Hawks!!

Another CL defensive stop had another chance for a score but then Taylor’s Linebacker Braylen Hernandez would disrupt this Hawk momentum with 4 straight plays of negative yards after Canyon Lake had penetrated with a first down at the Ducks 7 yard line.

That missed opportunity allowed a one play 80 yard run by a speedster Duck (Andrias Fisher) paddling down the sideline that suddenly had CL still enjoying a lead but just by 4 points, 12-8 going into halftime.

That was still the same score after the Hawks held the Ducks to open their 2nd half with a 3 play and punt.

This Hawk defensive road block would give CL the ball on their 23 yard line and still anyone’s game as The Lake would respond with a 9 play 77 yard drive and 20-8 lead that left the Visitors needing two scores.

Not a problem for the Ducks as they would put together another one play drive on a 54 pass play and that same 4 point lead, 20-16 with still time on the clock.

Two Duck plays that covered 134 yards which would end up being 78% of their offense and this almost nail biter time for home fans.

James Garza, Rylan Oppelt, and Kaiden Lewis dispose of the Ducks.

Garza would put his stamp on this ending with two more rushing plays and finishing the game with 188 yards on the ground and having Kaiden Lewis joining in on the fireworks totaling 143 yards of total offense (105 rushing/38 receiving).

Lewis had two catches that were at the apex of the throw which would kept drives alive to go along with some explosive running plays.

“I saw the balls and knew I would have to speed up and then I just jumped and got’em,” Lewis said in response to his two catches.

On what this team has done compared to last season, “These are some special moments for our team and we have come a long way and we want to sweep the rest of this year”, Lewis closed.

What a difference a year makes after suffering with two wins during their 8th Grade season and now as Freshman stand with a 5-2 record and 2-0 in district play.

With 58 yards through the air compared with that being a year’s total in past seasons. This is a stark change and will now boast a much needed line of good grades coming through the pipeline.

CL controlled the clock during this game allowing only 23 snaps for the Ducks which was helped with an on-side kick by Rylan Oppelt who was able to not only squib the kick but finish the play by recovering the kick.

“I have been practicing that kick all week and also at home,” Oppelt said slyly. “Coach noticed that they were leaving the middle of the field open on the kick-offs and said let’s do it and I thought, ‘no way’. I had not been successful as I would always kick it 9 1/2 yards but this time practice paid off when it went 11 yards.”

Practice made perfect which mirrors the advancements of this class as a whole in all the facets of their game.

This year’s MVMS 8th Grade stands with 4-1 records with their A & B squads.

Now this next week will have another tough opponent with the Billies playing in Fredericksburg for a chance to continue their stride of finishing first.

Way to Go Freshman Hawks!!


                   1  2  3  4   Final
Taylor Freshman    0  8  0  8   16
CL Hawks Freshman  6  6  0  8   20
Scoring Summary:
CL-Grant Snowden 1 yard run (pat failed), 4:10, 1st
CL-James Garza 4 yard run (run failed), 7:34, 2nd
TD-Fisher 80 yard run (Roberson run), 3:53, 2nd
CL-Carter Williams 8 yard run (Kaiden Lewis run), 1:56, 4th
TD-Morales 54 yard pass from Lawerence (run good), 1:40, 4th

Team Stats        Ducks      Hawks
Total Yards       172        359
First Downs       5          20
Rush/Yards        16/118     41/301
Comp/Att/Int      1/4/0      3/3/0
Passing Yards     54         58
Punts/Average     3/43.0     2/22.5
Fumbles/Lost      0/0        1/0
Penalties-Yards   2-10       3-25

Passing           Comp Att   Pct   Yds  Int  TD
Ryder Hopper      3    3   1.000   58   0    0

Rushing           Att  Yds   Ave   Lg   TD
James Garza       20   188   9.4   44   1
Kaiden Lewis      10   105  10.5   58   0
Carter Williams    8    28   3.5   13   1
Grant Snowden      1     1   1.0    1   1
Ryder Hopper       1    -8    —     0   0
Team               1   -13    —     0   0
Totals            41   301   7.3   58   3

Receiving         No   Yds   Ave   Lg   TD
Kaiden Lewis       2    38  19.0   20   0
Carter Williams    1    20  20.0   20   0
Total              3    58  19.3   20   0