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San Antonio East Central rolls to win against Canyon Lake

CAPTION: Canyon Lake’s Harris Gilliam hauls in a pass during the Sept. 21 homecoming game against the East Central High School Hornets. The visiting Hornets took home a 58-16 win. The Hawks get a bye in the coming week as they prepare for the Friday, Oct. 6, district opener at Marble Falls. Photo by Daniel Clifton 

The San Antonio East Central High Hornets controlled just about every aspect of the Sept. 21 game against Canyon Lake High School. The Hornets (2-3 overall, 0-0 District 27-6A) beat the Hawks, 58-16.

Canyon Lake (1-4 overall, 0-0 District 13-4A Division I) played a tough pre-district schedule in preparation for district play. The Hornets proved to be a tough opponent for the Hawks on both sides of the ball. The Hawks, known for a high-potency offense, struggled to get much going throughout the game. Canyon Lake managed 211 rushing and passing yards on the night with an almost even split of 111 yards on the ground and 100 yards through the air.

Senior Justin Abbott led the Hawks in rushing by carrying the ball 13 times for 78 yards. Senior quarterback Steven Crowder connected with junior Harris Gilliam three times for 62 yards. He also hit junior Carter Williams for a 33-yard touchdown pass. Crowder accounted for the Hawks’ other touchdown with a 1-yard dive into the end zone in the first quarter.

The Hornets, however, amassed 466 total yards. East Central junior quarterback Isaiah Mackey accounted for 306 passing yards as well as another 35 rushing yards. He threw eight touchdown passes on the night as well. Mackey connected with sophomore Deirionn Smith-Cline six times for 131 yards and three touchdowns.

East Central favored short passes into the flats and along the sideline and let their receivers and backs try to beat the Hawks for more yards. It worked.

The Hornets took an early lead, scoring on their first two drives and both times successfully converting the two-point conversions.

The Hawks got on the board with 40 seconds left in the first quarter when Crowder dove into the end zone.

After that, the Hornets started rolling.

They scored 21-unanswered points before Canyon Lake added its second touchdown of the night, making it a 37-14 ball game.

But with 46 seconds left in the second quarter, the Hornets once again found the end zone, stretching their lead out to 44-14.

East Central added two more touchdowns in the third quarter for a 58-14 lead.

The only Canyon Lake points after that came on a safety when a snap sailed over Mackey’s head. He was able to coral the ball but deep in the Canyon Lake end zone where he took the safety.

The Hawks endured a tough pre-district season, something that could — and has — paid off in district competition. Canyon Lake gets a bye this week. They open district on them road, Friday, Oct. 6, when they play the Marble Falls Mustangs (1-4 overall, 0-0 District 13-4A Division I). The Mustangs are coming off a 14-9 win against the Fredericksburg Battlin’ Billies.

Marble Falls is also coming off a challenging pre-district run with losses to two undefeated teams — Brownwood and Kerrville Tivy — as well as two 5A teams – Killeen Chaparral and Pflugerville Connally.

Marble Falls High School is located at 2101 Mustang Drive in Marble Falls. However, visitors enter off Manzano Mile, located about a quarter of a mile east of Mustang Drive on RR 1431.

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