Canadian Downs 4A Vernon
Updated: October 5, 2016
photos: Alan Hale Photography
3A Canadian Overcomes Mistakes to Defeat 4A Vernon 37-17
The road to Vernon has become familiar and friendly to the #3 3A DII Canadian Wildcats over the years during the playoff season. However, the last two seasons have invited the Wildcats to meet there for a couple of regular season games. Last year’s match-up with State ranked Albany and again this season versus the Vernon Lions.
Canadian’s fast tempo NASCAR offense drew first blood as they drove the ball to the Lions 49 yard line, then on a 2nd and 15, QB Corbin Douthitt (27-of-34 for 347 yards) hit RB Chris Jones (129 yards rushing, 2 TDs) running a wide-open wheel route from the backfield for a TD.
Vernon would prove to make the first half an exciting affair. Lion DB Melvin Scott tied the game at 7-7 with a 12 yard pick-six on the Wildcats second possession. After the Lions and the Wildcats traded FGs tying the game at 10-10, Vernon’s RB Brent McCallen broke through on a perfectly executed trap play quickly getting past a Wildcat LB and DB for an impressive 96 yard sprint to the end zone. One of the longest scoring plays from scrimmage on Leo Brittain Field as it is one of the longest ever given up by a Canadian defense.
The Wildcats immediately drove 68 yards and scored on a 1 yard run by RB/LB Holton Hufstedler (2 TDs). With a plan to go in at the half with a 1-point lead, Canadian shifted from the PAT set into the wildcat formation for the 2-point conversion with Hufstedler again with the carry. The Lions denied the conversion and went in at halftime leading 17-16.
Canadian’s defense shutout the Lions in the second half, robbing Vernon of their home field advantage and continued to run the Lions ragged with the up-tempo offense. That was not the final analysis when considering the unusual number of turnovers suffered by the Wildcat offence. RB Chris Jones had not been marked with a fumble this season until he was stripped once and mishandled another, both going to Vernon. QB Douthitt added another fumble to his stats along with the INT he tossed for a Vernon pick-six. It was almost as if the Wildcats contracted a fumble-roo-ski virus left there by the Lions, who entered the contest with 13 turnovers for the season. The total yards even tell the tale of at least two of turnovers given up in the Red Zone, Canadian having moved the ball 532 yards with 26 first downs compared to Vernon’s 272 yards and 11 first downs. Despite the turnovers, 20 unanswered points by the one of the fastest high school offenses to snap the ball after the officials spot it took command of each possession after the defense had done their job which resulted in blanking the Lions in the second half.
Canadian’s RB Chris Jones continued racking up 100+ yard games with 129 yards on Leo Brittain field. The NASCAR offensive blocking schemes and Jones’ ability to stretch yardage with second effort has accomplished the 100+ yards every game this season. All-State WR Cameron Copley picks up where he left off returning from a wrist surgery this summer by receiving for 120 yards on 11 catches in this contest.
Both teams will be playing for keeps next Friday, October 7th, when District conference play begins. Vernon (1-4) will face Iowa Park, while Canadian (3-2) will host Childress. On paper, the Childress at Canadian matchup appears to possibly be where the District 1-3ADII Championship will be decided. Obviously, whatever the proverbial ‘paper’ says doesn’t matter as soon as the ball is kicked off.
by Jerry Brunson
Lone Star Gridiron
C—Chris Jones 49 pass from Corbin Douthitt (Douthitt kick)
V—Melvin Scott 12 interception return (Salazar kick)
V—Juan Salazar 33 FG
C—Douthitt 32 FG
V—Brent McCallen 96 run (Salazar kick)
C—Holton Hufstedler 1 run (conversion failed)
C—Jones 1 run (Cameron Copley from Douthitt)
C—Jones 2 run (Douthitt kick)
C—Hufstedler 1 run (conversion failed)
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