1 Down, 5 to Go for Canadian
Updated: November 15, 2015
photo: Alan Hale
#1 Canadian Takes Bi-District Crown with 70-15 win over Hale Center
AMARILLO, TX – The Canadian Wildcats hauled another gold football home after meeting the Hale Center Owls in a Bi-District contest at AISDs Dick Bivins Stadium Thursday night. This marked their 26th consecutive win and not surprisingly, the 26th win for QB Tanner Schafer as a varsity starter. It’s entirely fair to use the old phrase “lightning in a bottle” for the kind of execution and teamwork Canadian’s crew has exhibited in the last 26 games of said win streak. But it is much more accurate to use the term “lightning strikes” when you’re the opposing team trying to crack through a tenacious defense which has been nicknamed the Blackade (most fitting when they wear black jerseys) or halt an offense that can easily reel off three plays in one 40 second play-clock.
A scenario that the Wildcats practice, turned into reality when Canadian won the coin toss choosing to receive the ball, and 28 seconds after the clock started rolling the scoreboard was already lit up 7-0 Wildcats. This might be considered an unusually great start by most offenses, but it has been made the norm by Canadian this season with at least three other opening drives culminating in scores within 1:16, 1:19, and 2:08 minutes, proving it was not a fluke.
After a 20 yard kickoff return by Ryan Royse, the first 2 play, 52 yard drive of the night for began with a 30 yard pass from Schafer to WR Sawyer Cook, and then finished the drive with a 22 yard TD scored by WR Ryan Royse as he took the reverse pitch from RB Chance Cook. Twenty-eight seconds.
Hale Center’s first possession ended in a 3-and-out with Chance Cook receiving the punt with a fair catch on Canadian’s 25 yard line. Schafer proceeded to commandeer another fast four-play drive to the end zone. The drive was capped on a 21 yard TD strike to Sawyer Cook with 9:08 left in the first quarter.
The torrential downpour of points continued throughout the 1st period and into the 2nd period giving Canadian a 42-0 lead with 11:30 left in the half.
Canadian’s leading receiver on this night would be WR Cameron Copley with 5 catches for 110 yards and 3 TDs. Hale Center QB D.J. Dunn and his receivers then went to work on the powerful Wildcat defense with a 9 play 86 yard drive ending in a Dunn to WR Jose Ramirez 24 yard TD pass in the end zone. Hale Center successfully opted for the 2 point conversion with Dunn once again throwing into the end zone to WR Trey Buxton getting the Owls on the scoreboard with 7:56 left in the 1st half.
Later, when Hale Center was forced to punt from their own end zone, it left Canadian with yet another short field on the Owls 44 yard line. Two Chance Cook rushing plays later saw the Canadian offensive line open up a huge hole for Cook to work past the Owl linebackers and outrun the secondary for a 39 yard TD. That handoff to Cook was all of the damage QB Tanner Schafer (12-of-13 for 272 yards, 0 INTs, 5 TDs) would need to do in order to get two of his backup QBs playoff game experience. Schafer isn’t one to be concerned about missing out on increasing his stat sheet; he has made it clear in the past that helping his team get the “W” each week is more important. And besides, what Texas High School QB could ask for more than completing 45 of his last 49 pass attempts? QB Corbin Douthitt was next up for the Wildcats and promptly threw an unexpected 76 yard TD pass to one of Chance Cook’s backups, RB Edgar Moreno, ending the first half with the score at 63-8, Canadian.
Canadian was finished scoring in the 3rd quarter with a Corbin Douthitt keeper from 3 yards out. Kicker Benigno Heredia was perfect on the night with 9-for-9 PATs. Hale Center continued to work hard despite the deficit, scoring again in the 4th quarter with a Justice Pardo run from 16 yards out and a PAT added by Adrian Sifuentez.
The Wildcats amassed 667 total yards offense compared to the Owls 186 yards, a feat which didn’t surprise a lot of folks, including Hale Center’s Coach Adam Cummings, who had pulled out some video of the Baylor Bears last week to give his team a look at the kind of tempo they would be forced to defend. According to some witnesses, the only difference between Canadian’s offensive tempo and that of the Baylor Bears is that the Canadian Wildcats might be a little faster.
Next week Canadian will face Stamford in the Area Round matchup. One down, five to go.
By Jerry Brunson, Class 2A and Canadian Wildcat Correspondent