The Canyon Lake Hawks found the end zone twice during the live portion of the scrimmage Friday, Aug. 19, against the visiting Elgin Wildcats, but it was more than that in the eyes of head coach Charley Drum.
“It was a little slow start but we responded in the live quarters,” he said.
The Wildcats scored a touchdown on a pass over the middle during the controlled portion of the scrimmage, but it was the only time they’d get in the end zone. While the Hawks didn’t score in the controlled portion, the offense moved the ball well.
However, when the coaches came off the field and the clock was live during two timed quarters, the Hawks offense and defense showed they were in control of the game.
Senior quarterback Hunter Anderson marshaled the Hawks offense with a slew of weapons. During the first quarter (Canyon Lake and Elgin played a half of live ball), Anderson found senior Marshall McConnell for a 13-yard touchdown reception. The extra point was good, and the Hawks took a 7-0 lead.
In the second quarter, with the Wildcats in pursuit, Anderson rolled out to his right to the Hawks sideline and launched a pass into the front corner of the end zone. Even while double covered, senior running back Helijah Johnson pulled down the ball for a 29-yard touchdown catch.
Again the extra point was good, and the Hawks went up 14-0.
“I like how we responded, there was a little adversity, but we were able to finish the drives,” Drum said.
During the Cuero scrimmage Aug. 12 and controlled portion of the Elgin scrimmage, Drum pointed out while the Hawks offense moved the ball quite well, they struggled to finish drives. Canyon Lake struck a different tune Aug. 19 during the live half of play. Not only did the Hawks’ slot-T offense move the ball, it hit all the right notes when necessary.
Anderson used a selection of players to advance the ball and keep the Wildcats off their feet. Along with McConnell and Johnson, the Hawks tapped junior Cole Cason, sophomore Carter Williams, junior Caden Rodriguez and seniors Griffen Williams and Chase Anderson.
Of course, a lot of the offensive success starts at the line where the Hawks return pretty much everyone from last year.
“Anytime you have senior leadership on the line, that’s a great thing,” Drum said following the Aug. 12 Cuero scrimmage. Both the Hawks offensive and defensive lines give Canyon Lake a strong foundation.
Out front on the lines, the Hawks have built that foundation on players such as, but not limited to, center Cory Bowers, guard Brett Hartwell, guard Sonny Bentley, Williams and Ryan Verette, who are all seniors.
Defensively, the Hawks kept the Wildcats well contained during the live half. Though Elgin managed a few plays for good yardage, the Canyon Lake defense didn’t give up any big plays or touchdowns.
Since the start of the fall training camp on Aug. 1, the Hawks have set a priority of always improving. Drum noted following the Elgin scrimmage his squad did just that.
“That’s kind of our mantra, get better every week,” he said.
Drum added that there’s more to be done as the Hawks prepare for the season opener Friday, Aug. 26, when they host the Wimberley Texans in the “Battle of the Backbone,” referring to the stretch of RR 32 called the Devil’s Backbone. which separates the two communities.
“It’s for real next week,” the coach said. “And with Wimberley, it’s always a slugfest.”
Canyon Lake and Wimberley kick off at 7:30 p.m. at Hawk Stadium, 8555 FM 32 in Fischer. Tickets are sold online (https://comalisd.edlioschool.com/apps/pages/athletics). Comal Independent School District has a clear bag policy for its athletic facilities (https://www.comalisd.org/apps/pages/clear-bag-procedure). Check that before attending games.
People who can’t make the game can watch is live-streamed on the Canyon Lake Broadcasting YouTube channel (https://www.youtube.com/channel/UCXuJca28fNHd2rrv2THuEVQ).
Watch videos on Highland Lakes sports by going to Jennifer Fierro’s YouTube channel and searching for The Broad Podcaster. Please like, subscribe and share.