CAPTION: Canyon Lake senior running back Helijah Johnson follows his linemen including Freddie Santiago (No. 65) and Sonny Bentley (No. 51) for big gains. Photo by Daniel Clifton
The Canyon Lake Hawks (7-3 overall, 5-0 District 13-4A Division I) will meet the Port Lavaca Calhoun Sandcrabs (4-7 overall, 3-2 District 15-4A Division I) in the University Scholastic League’s area playoff round Thursday, Nov. 17, at Eschenburg Field, 1813 Tiger Lane in Floresville.
Offensively, the Hawks may be looking in a mirror when they face the Sandcrabs.
The Sandcrabs beat the Alice Coyotes, 35-26, in their bi-district match-up. Calhoun rushed for 383 yards against Alice and passed once for 11 yards. Three Sandcrabs — sophomore quarterback Alex Parker, sophomore Darrik Salinas, and junior Jayce Campos — each rushed for more than 100 yards.
For the season Calhoun has rushed 535 times for 3,053 yards, averaging 5.7 per carry, and 24 touchdowns. Campos has 193 carries for 933 yards and 7 scores, Tony Hensley has 70 rushes for 608 yards and 5 touchdowns, and Salinas has 48 carries for 548 yards and 4 touchdowns.
The Hawks qualified for the second round of the playoffs thanks to erupting for 28 points in the third quarter to secure a 41-0 bi-district win over the Uvalde Coyotes on Friday, Nov. 11, in San Antonio.
The Hawks’ rushing game once again showed its muscle, accounting for 349 yards and 32 yards came from the passing game. On the ground, senior running back Helijah Johnson led the way with 124 yards and 2 touchdowns on 11 carries. Senior receiver Chase Anderson added 104 yards and a touchdown on 5 carries and sophomore James Garza rushed for 82 yards and 1 touchdown on 8 carries.
Anderson’s longest run was an 84-yard touchdown scamper to start the third quarter.
On the passing front, Hawks senior quarterback Hunter Anderson only threw the ball 4 times with 2 completions for 25 yards. One was a 25-yard touchdown to Cole Cason in the third quarter.
Defensively, the Hawks shut out the Coyotes and held them to only 154 yards — 71 on the ground and 83 through the air. Canyon Lakes’ defense forced Uvalde to punt 4 times, while the Hawks didn’t punt at all.
The Hawks scoring started in the first quarter with Johnson plunging into the end zone. In the second quarter, Garza rushed for a touchdown, and the Hawks went into the halftime with a 13-0 lead.
The third quarter turned into a Hawks’ scoring frenzy. Chase Anderson got things started on the opening drive with his long touchdown run.
The Coyotes, on their first drive of the third quarter, found themselves on fourth down deep in their own territory. Looking to get a spark, Uvalde tried to convert, but the Hawks’ defense denied the Coyotes.
The defense handed the ball to the Canyon Lake offense with a short field. The Hawks quickly took advantage and a few plays later, Johnson pounded his way into the end zone on a nine-yard run for a 27-0 lead.
The Hawks’ defense stepped up again on the next Uvalde drive, this time when Chase Anderson picked off a pass. On the first play from scrimmage, Canyon Lake quarterback Hunter Anderson connected with Cason for a 25-yard touchdown pass and 34-0 lead.
The Hawks added one more touchdown in the third quarter to ice the game, 41-0, and secure the bi-district championship.
The winner of this contest faces the winner of the Boerne High-Pleasanton contest.