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Canyon Lake outlasts Davenport to take first in district standings

CAPTION: Canyon Lake’s Hayden Baker (No. 42) wraps up Davenport’s Shastin Golden in the Hawks’ 38-35 district win. Photo by Daniel Clifton

Here is a highlight video on the Hawks’ win over Davenport by Daniel Clifton: https://youtu.be/E1tPuUscEI0

The Canyon Lake Hawks snapped the Davenport Wolves’ undefeated record Friday, Oct. 14, in a 38-35 shootout.

The key to the Hawk win included slowing down the vaunted Davenport offense and calling a fake punt late in the game to keep the Wolves (6-1, 1-1 District 13-4A Division I) offense on the sidelines.

“They’re hard to contain. They’re a very good offensive team,” said Canyon Lake head coach Charley Drum after the game. “It kind of went the way we thought it would. We had to take away their running back, and I think we did that to a certain extent.”

Davenport running back Shastin Golden entered the game averaging 229 yards per contest. He posed a tremendous threat for the Hawks (3-3, 2-0 I). But the Canyon Lake defense contained the running game as best possible, though it didn’t mean the Wolves were out of the hunt.

“They’re so dangerous with the short passing game and over the top, but we did just enough,” Drum said.

The win gives the Hawks a 2-0 district start alongside the Lampasas Badgers (5-2, 2-0), who beat Taylor 42-13 Oct. 14.

Regardless of containing the Davenport run, the Hawks-Wolves game was a high-scoring affair. Canyon Lake scored first on a 29-yard Helijah Johnson touchdown run at the 9:24 mark in the first quarter. Where the Hawks focused on slowing down Golden, the Wolves struggled to hinder Johnson and the Canyon Lake running game. Johnson gained more than 200 yards on the night.

He credited the offensive line as a big key in the eventual win.

“Our o-line led the way for us,” the senior said.

However, Davenport returned the favor a few minutes later, thanks to a four-yard touchdown run by junior Emmet Greiman and the two-point conversion run by junior quarterback Triston Hamlin to take an 8-7 lead.

Canyon Lake’s Jayden Van Ausdall gave the Hawks the lead back, 10-8, on a field goal with 2:56 left in the first quarter.

Again, the Wolves responded with a touchdown when Hamlin hit junior receiver Kyler Payne for a 20-yard score. The two-point conversion failed, but Davenport led, 14-10.

Hawks senior quarterback Hunter Anderson found Chase Anderson for a 26-yard touchdown that gave Canyon Lake a 16-14 advantage early in the second period.

The Wolves punched the ball out of a Hawks ball carrier and recovered the fumble. Hamlin immediately found Payne for the 77-yard scoring play and the 21-16 lead midway through the second quarter.

But the Hawks remained determined. Hunter Anderson found junior fullback Justin Abbott for the 10-yard score and the 23-21 half-time lead.

In the third quarter, Davenport scored first thanks Golden rushing for the three-yard score, 28-23.

The Hawks’ James Garza put Canyon Lake back on top with a touchdown at the 5:09 mark in the third quarter. Johnson crashed through the Wolves’ defense for the two-point conversion, and Canyon Lake was up, 31-28.

“We spent all week preparing hard because we knew they were a good team,” Garza said after the game. “We came out and we played physical. We played Canyon Lake football.”

He added the Hawks’ physical play was a big part of the eventual win.

Canyon Lakes’ defense forced the Wolves to punt on the next drive. The Hawks’ offense took advantage of it, working its way down to the goal line area. Hunter Anderson finished off the drive by following a big push by his offensive line into the end zone for the 38-28 lead, the game’s biggest, with 9:56 remaining.

But with just under 10 minutes left in the game, Davenport had plenty of time.

The Wolves looked as if they’d get a quick score on the ensuing kickoff when senior athlete Darion Brown returned the ball for what appeared to be a certain touchdown. But just a yard or two short of the goal line, the Hawks knocked the ball loose.

The ball tumbled into the end zone where Canyon Lake junior Caden Rodriguez recovered it.

The Hawks ended up turning the ball over on downs, giving the Wolves’ offense another shot. Davenport took advantage of it.

Golden pounded into the end zone from two yards out and with 3:19 left in the game, the Wolves cut into the Hawks’ lead, 38-35.

Canyon Lake recovered the Wolves onside kick attempt and took over on the Davenport 45-yard line due to an offsides penalty. The Hawks then began running down the clock.

But with 2:22 left in the fourth, the Hawks found themselves in a fourth-and-7 situation on the Wolves’ 43-yard line. Hunter Anderson set up to punt but when the snap rolled to his right, he turned and looked back across the field and found tight end Hayden Baker several steps away from the nearest defender.

Anderson hit Baker on the pass, and the Hawks got the first down, enabling them to run out the clock.

After the game, Drum said the fake punt just made sense. If the Hawks had punted, he pointed out, the ball likely would have gone into the end zone for a touchback.

“We were on the 40-, 45-yard line so if we kick into the end zone, it ends up a 20- or 25-yard punt, which didn’t mean a whole lot to their offense, they’re just so fast paced,” Drum said. “We wanted to ice the game, and our defense was gassed. They just wear you out with that offense, and we needed to keep (their offense) off the field.”

The plan worked, and the Hawks get their first 2-0 district start in a number of years.

“It gives us a lot of confidence,” Drum added about the win. “We beat a good, undefeated football team.”

The Hawks travel to Burnet Friday, Oct. 21, to take on the Bulldogs (4-3 overall, 1-1 District 13-4A Division I). The Bulldogs are coming off a 28-14 win over the Marble Falls Mustangs,

Kickoff is at 7:30 p.m. at Bulldog Stadium, 1400 Bulldog Stadium Drive in Burnet.

Watch videos on Highland Lakes and Canyon Lake sports by going to Jennifer Fierro’s YouTube channel and searching for The Broad Podcaster. Please like, subscribe and share.

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