Canadian Downs Eastland, Will Face Coleman Next
Updated: November 21, 2016
Photos: Michael Kerrigan
Canadian Throttles Eastland in Area Round 34-20
Takes on Coleman in Regional Round
The Canadian Wildcats now own the longest playoff game win streak in Texas at 13 wins over the last three seasons and a very determined Eastland team proved how difficult win streaks of any nature are to maintain.
Although the Wildcats jumped out a to 21-0 first quarter lead, what has many times been typical this season, no one on the Canadian sidelines, nor fans in the stands considered breathing easy knowing the caliber of team Eastland had on the field. It soon became apparent that assessment was correct as the Mavericks rallied back within one score making the Area Championship game worth everyone’s price of admission.
Eastland began with a strategy not unfamiliar to Canadian by deferring to receive the ball after winning the coin toss. Wildcat QB Corbin Douthitt (15-of- 22, 279 yds passing) went right to work on the Maverick secondary hitting WR Cameron Copley (8-for- 115) on a slant for 24 yards to pick up a third down conversion, then two plays later tossing a screen pass to WR Manny Ramsey for a 50 yard TD with 10:26 left in the 1 st quarter.
Eastland’s first drive consisted of 14 plays ending on the Canadian 13 yard line with a failed 4th down conversion. Twice during this drive, All-State Wildcat SS Cameron Copley knocked down passes from Maverick QB Mason Wright headed to WR David Vasquez at the 8 yard line and another to WR Parker Roberts in the end zone.
Canadian’s next possession was a 4-play 72 yard drive that ended with a 35 yard TD pass from Douthitt to RB Holton Hufstedler with 3:56 left in the 1 st quarter. The Mavericks are then held to a three-and- out, with the Wildcats taking their next drive 77 yards in 7 plays, scoring on a 53 yard Douthitt pass to WR Cameron Copley as time ran out in the 1 st quarter. Eastland’s next drive was cut short with a three-and-out when Wright was sacked on 3rd & long by DL Levi Long and LB Cade Throgmorton.
The Mavericks held the Wildcats on their fourth possession, but QB Douthitt pinned Eastland deep by rolling a punt to the Eastland 1 yard line. This would set up the most shocking and exciting offensive play of the game. Wright’s handoff to RB Chris Martinez almost resulted in a safety on the first play of the series. The next play however, Wright rolled out in a play action in his own end zone to find WR J.R. Fullen had managed to get behind Wildcat DB Matthew Lynch (2 INTs) and connected with Fullen for a 99 yard TD pass with 7:55 left in the half. The next shocking play was Fullen, an excellent kicker, missing the PAT, perhaps due to the fatigue of a 99 yard sprint to the end zone on the play prior to the PAT kick.
The Wildcats next 7-play 82 yard drive ended with Douthitt hitting RB Cade Throgmorton from 5 yards out for the TD, setup by a 30 yard pass to RB Holton Hufstedler, with 28 yards-after- catch hard running. Douthitt missed the PAT making it 27-6 Canadian with 5:52 left in the half.
Mavericks QB Wright engineered yet another 14-play drive culminating in a 5 yard TD pass to RB Morgan Barker. The Fullen PAT narrowed Canadian’s lead to 27-13 with 2:05 left in the half, also to begin the second half.
Eastland’s deferment worked in their favor as they took the second half kickoff and scored with a 5-play drive sparked by a 47 yard pass completion from Wright to Fullen setting up the 24 yard TD pass to WR David Vasquez to make it a one score game at 27-20. The momentum, elusive and mythical to some, had now seemed to favor the Mavericks with 10:55 to go in the 3 d quarter. Starting on their own 25 yard line, Canadian’s Douthitt gathered up his offensive players to go the 75 yards to pay-dirt in a clock burning 15-play drive that resulted in a 1 yard run TD by RB Chris Jones. The PAT by Douthitt was good, giving the Wildcats a two score advantage with 6:47 left in the 3 rd period.
With the score at 34-20, both defenses held their ground as that would be the final score even though Eastland was good for one more 4 th down conversion as they fought to regain momentum to get back in the game.
The Class 3A Division II Area Championship by Canadian matches them with Area Champions Coleman in the Regional round, slated for Friday, November 25th , at Iowa Park with a 2:00 p.m. Coleman is continually improving as they hit a serious stride in the playoff season as they face the matchup with Canadian. Bluecats QB Bryson Hammonds is obviously an expected threat for Canadian’s defense as he scored all four TDs in the Bi-District Championship against Reagan County. Bluecat WR/RB Terran Holloway also presents major challenges with the run game and yards-after- catch with pass receptions. However, Canadian’s defensive secondary will be looking to take advantage of any ball thrown by Hammonds, as the Wildcat’s DB Matthew Lynch (10 INTs on the season), ball hawking DB Kelton King, DB Trae Dwyer-Krehbiel, and WR/SS Cameron Copley have made significant improvements defending the pass.
The competition and match with the Wildcats for Coleman goes all the way back to the 2007 season when Canadian squeaked out a Regional round win against the Bluecats 21-18 on their way to the first State Championship in Canadian High School history. Coleman players and fans showed a lot of class by attending the Canadian vs. Elysian Fields Championship game in Brownfield flying the Coleman Bluecats flag that day in support of Region 1 and The Canadian Wildcats. Their support and sportsmanship were evident and appreciated by all.
by Jerry Brunson
Lone Star Gridiron
C – Manny Ramsey 50 yd pass from Corbin Douthitt (Douthitt PAT)
C – Holton Hufstedler 35 yd pass from Douthitt (Douthitt PAT)
C – Cameron Copley 52 yd pass from Douthitt (Douthitt PAT)
E – J.R. Fullen 99 yd pass from Mason Wright (Fullen PAT failed)
C – Cade Throgmorton 5 yd pass from Douthitt (Douthitt PAT failed)
E – Morgan Barker 5 yd pass from Wright (Fullen PAT)
E – David Vasquez 24 yd pass from Wright (Fullen PAT)
C – Chris Jones 1 yd run (Douthitt PAT)
|C - A - I||15-22-0||17-28-2|