Anson Tigers Ready to Challenge #1 Canadian in Regional Round in Rare Thanksgiving Day Game

The Canadian Wildcats (12-0) will meet the Anson Tigers (6-5) in the third round, Regional Championship game on Thursday, November 26th, 2:00 p.m., at Plainview’s Greg Sherwood Memorial Bulldog Stadium. The rare high school Thanksgiving Day game came about due to a reschedule of the original Friday schedule, which had been put in jeopardy by the  possibility of dangerous road conditions. Although Canadian usually experiences more games in a season below 40* than most teams south of Lubbock, neither team has played in significantly bad weather this season. One predicted forecast timeline has a 50% chance of showers and 66* at game time.

Anson enters the contest with a fresh recharge of confidence with impressive wins in the Bi-District and Area rounds of the playoffs, defeating Christoval 44-6 in Bi-District round and outscoring Panhandle in last week’s Area round 37-29. The only opponent Anson can compare with Canadian is Panhandle, which had a 56-7 loss to the Wildcats in District play.

The Tigers are also known for running a fast paced offense and have skill players ready to pitch and catch on Canadian with any snap of the ball. In the Christoval game WR Israel Aguirre (603 yards rec on the year) went 5-for-112 yards with 4 TDs and added a fifth TD rushing as a scatback. QB Cade Baker, who delivered those TD passes has 2,283 yards passing this season with a completion rate of 57.7% and leads the team with 712 yards rushing. RBs Dustin Moore and Nicholas Tanner have contributed almost 600 rushing yards each this season.

On the Canadian offensive side, production from QB Tanner Schafer has reached 3,063 yards of passing completing 218 of 282, or 77%. Most of the passing yards are divided up between WR Cameron Copley (1,219 yards, 19 TDs), WR Sawyer Cook (735 Yards, 11 TDs), WR Manny Ramsey (407 Yards, 4 TDs) and WR Ryan Royse (351 yards, 3 TDs). From his RB position, Chance Cook has tallied 314 yards receiving and 4 TDs. The Wildcat offensive line has opened up defenses for a bona fide rushing attack that has turned RB Chance Cook loose for 1,522 yards on 156 carries. All of these yards and TDs translate into a 50.8 point per game average.

As in all playoff or Championship games, defense will play a major role in the success of the winning team. Not only will Anson be faced with cutting that 50 point-per-game average of Canadian in half to stay in the game, but will also will need to have a plan to crack the Wildcat defense that only allows a little over 6 points per game. 

Anson is riding a wave of wins and doesn’t want to waste their opportunity to dethrone the defending State Champions in Class 2ADI; and what better day to do it than on Thanksgiving Day? The only thing missing will be John Madden and a six legged turkey after the game for the winners, but advancing to the next playoff round will be celebration enough for either team.

Next week the winner will face either Wellington or Stratford, the remaining District 1-2A contenders along with Canadian, in the Quarter-final (Regional Final) round. This sets up a possible repeat of last season’s Regional final with District rivals Stratford and Canadian.

 By Jerry Brunson, Class 2A and Canadian Wildcat Correspondent

 @CHSWildcatNews on Twitter

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Stamford Falls Victim to #1 Canadian 52-20

VERNON, TX – Fans of both teams that gathered at Lion Stadium for the Class 2ADI Area Championship would leave winners, even though the Canadian Wildcats dominated the game on the field as predicted. Earlier in the week, when the student body of Canadian High School learned of a costly fire that destroyed an FFA pig barn claiming fifteen project pigs at Stamford, they decided it was time to help with what they call “the Wildcat Way”. In the span of only one and one-half days, CHS students spearheaded a fund raising effort and at the end of the 3rd quarter of last night’s game presented Stamford ISD and its student’s with a $10,273.00 cash donation. In addition to the cash funds donated, there have been at least eleven project pigs donated by Canadian area pig breeders (or otherwise) in the fire relief effort to date.

The Canadian offense took the field after returning the opening kickoff to their own 38 yard line and proceeded to show the crowd once again how to score on the first drive with less than two full minutes subtracted from the clock. The 62 yard, 5 play drive was capped by RB Chance Cook throwing a 25 yard TD (his second on the season) on a half-back pass to WR Manny Ramsey, wide open due to the execution of the play design.

The fast-to-line-up-quick-snapping Wildcat offense, which sports several nicknames and monikers by now, resembles what basketball fans refer to as a fast-break, run-and-gun team that is relentless when it comes to getting the ball to the end zone. QB Tanner Schafer (15 for 19, 183 yards, 2 TDs, 0 INT) who was just announced as a semi-finalist in the Dave Campbell’s Mr. Texas Football High School Player of the Year award, made some extraordinarily accurate passes for some amazing catches by both WR Cameron Copley and WR Sawyer Cook. The other Canadian offensive threat, RB Chance Cook, had 62 yards rushing and 2 TDs with his 2 quarters of service. However, another big difference Cook made in the first half was returning 3 punts for a total of 138 yards, which gave the Wildcats a short field every time he touched the ball after it was punted by the Bulldogs.

With 2:10 left in the 1st half, the starters for Canadian were all but done for the night after K Benigno Heredia (5 PATs, 1 FG) kicked a 24 yard field goal, and went in at the break with a 46-0 lead. After the Wildcat defense had held Stamford to only one first down and less than 10 yards total offense in the 1st half due to the punishing pass rushes of NG Bailey Urschel and DEs Cooper Trolinger and Cory Chidester, it was no surprise to see Canadian’s bench receive valuable playoff experience the entire 2nd half.

Stamford opened the 3rd quarter with the kickoff return to their own 41 yard line and moved the ball into the red zone in 12 plays against Canadian’s heavily replaced defense only to give up the possession on downs. The Bulldogs wouldn’t give up, however, and put together a 14 play, 92 yard drive ending with a 20 yard TD on a keeper by QB Ligon West. The PAT by K John Schirer was good. Canadian answered with an 11 play, 69 yard drive topped off by a 2 yard TD by RB Edgar Moreno with a failed PAT, making the score 52-7 Canadian.

The Bulldogs would find the end zone two more times with RB Zai Zai Smith receiving a 63 yard TD pass from West where the majority of those yards were run-after-catch, zig-zagging and reversing the field for the score. West later hit WR Garret Ramos on a beautifully executed post route over the top of Canadian’s DBs for a 44 yard TD. The PAT failed leaving the score as the contest ended at 52-20, Canadian.

Canadian (12-0) extended their win streak to a school record 27 straight wins, with 7 of those wins in the playoffs. The Wildcats will take that win streak and the bullseye on their back to Plainview’s Greg Sherwood Memorial Bulldog Stadium to meet Anson in the Class 2ADI Regional round on Friday, November 27th, at 2:00 p.m.

By Jerry Brunson, Class 2A and Canadian Wildcat Correspondent,

@CHSWildcatNews on Twitter

“Canadian Wildcats & Lady Cats Update & Review” on Facebook

#1 Canadian to meet Stamford For Area Championship

The Canadian Wildcats (11-0) will meet the Stamford Bulldogs (10-1) in the second round, Area Championship game on Friday, November 20th, 7:30 p.m., at Vernon’s Lion Stadium. The defending State Champion Wildcats  have already seen action on Leo Brittain Field in Vernon this season when they met a (then ranked #5) 2ADII Albany and came away with a 49-0 victory which sent smoke signals warning the rest of the Class 2A world what the playoffs might hold in store for them.

Stamford might have seen the smoke signals, but have no intention to be intimidated by them as they claim to have a readiness and motivation to take their shot at the #1 ranked team in the Class and send them home for the rest of the playoffs. Stamford Head Coach Ronnie Casey said in an interview with KTAB-TV this week, “It will be a great atmosphere. These guys are extremely good. They’ve got nine and nine back from last year’s state championship team. They run the exact same offense. We run the exact same defense. We’re modeled a lot after each other. It’s going to be a great contest for our kids. Our kids are motivated, and they look forward to the action.” Bulldog QB Ligon West said, “I think playing the number one team in the state, there’s a lot of stuff that comes with it, but I think for our guys, we’re really motivated to play our best game because we feel like we haven’t really peaked yet. So, we feel like if we can play our best game, I feel like we can take care of them.”

West brings with his offense 1,903 yards of passing and 643 yards of rushing along with Zai Zay Smith’s rushing for 751 yards on 107 carries. That’s an impressive body of work to date for a QB and leading rusher. Canadian’s offense also sports a similar “dynamic duo” with QB Tanner Schafer passing 2,881 yards and RB Chance Cook rushing for 1,461 yards on 145 carries.

The defenses of the two teams, similar as Stamford Coach Casey has noted, have also totaled impressive results over the season. The point differential of Stamford to their opponents comes to 325-189, while the Wildcats held opponents to 558-70, an average of 50.7 points scored and 6.3 points allowed per game compared to 29.5 points scored per game and 17.2 points allowed by the Bulldogs. However, the only numbers that will be worth mentioning after Friday night will be what’s left on the scoreboard at Lion Stadium after the final buzzer. Will the defending State Champion Wildcats be sent home packing their gear for the last time this season? A highly motivated Bulldog team knows what it takes as they won State titles in both 2012 and 2013. Tradition, pride, and the will-to-win go head-to-head Friday night. This match might be a good one to use as Exhibit A in the evidence to prove Texas High School Football is the greatest sport, in the greatest State.

By Jerry Brunson, Class 2A and Canadian Wildcat Correspondent

@CHSWildcatNews on Twitter

“Canadian Wildcats & Lady Cats Update & Review” on Facebook

Canadian Wildcats Claim 2015 Bi-District Championship

AMARILLO, TX – The Canadian Wildcats hauled another gold football home after meeting the Hale Center Owls in a Bi-District contest at AISDs Dick Bivins Stadium Thursday night. This marked their 26th consecutive win and not surprisingly, the 26th win for QB Tanner Schafer as a varsity starter. It’s entirely fair to use the old phrase “lightning in a bottle” for the kind of execution and teamwork Canadian’s crew has exhibited in the last 26 games of said win streak. But it is much more accurate to use the term “lightning strikes” when you’re the opposing team trying to crack through a tenacious defense which has been nicknamed the Blackade (most fitting when they wear black jerseys) or halt an offense that can easily reel off three plays in one 40 second play-clock.

A scenario that the Wildcats practice for turned into reality when Canadian won the coin toss choosing to receive the ball, and 28 seconds after the clock started rolling the scoreboard was already lit up 7-0 Wildcats. This might be considered an unusually great start by most offenses, but it has been made the norm by Canadian this season with at least three other opening drives culminating in scores within 1:16, 1:19, and 2:08 minutes, proving it was not a fluke. After a 20 yard kickoff return by Ryan Royse, the first 2 play, 52 yard drive of the night began with a 30 yard pass from Schafer to WR Sawyer Cook, and then finished the drive with a 22 yard TD scored by WR Ryan Royse as he took the reverse pitch from RB Chance Cook. Twenty-eight seconds.

Hale Center’s first possession ended in a 3-and-out with Chance Cook receiving the punt with a fair catch on Canadian’s 25 yard line. Schafer proceeded to commandeer another fast 4 play drive to the end zone capping the drive with a 21 yard TD strike to WR S. Cook with 9:08 left in the first quarter.

The torrential downpour of points continued throughout the 1st period and into the 2nd period giving Canadian a 42-0 lead with 11:30 left in the half. Canadian’s leading receiver on this night would be WR Cameron Copley with 5 catches for 110 yards and 3 TDs. Hale Center QB D.J. Dunn and his receivers then went to work on the powerful Wildcat defense with a 9 play 86 yard drive ending in a Dunn to WR Jose Ramirez 24 yard TD pass in the end zone. Hale Center successfully opted for the 2 point conversion with Dunn once again throwing into the end zone to WR Trey Buxton getting the Owls on the scoreboard with 7:56 left in the 1st half.

When Hale Center was forced to punt from their own end zone, it left Canadian with yet another short field on the Owls 44 yard line. Two Chance Cook rushing plays later saw the Canadian offensive line open up a huge hole for Cook (10 carries, 139 yards, 2 TDs) to work past the Owl linebackers and outrun the secondary for a 39 yard TD. That handoff to Cook was all of the damage QB Tanner Schafer (12-of-13 for 272 yards, 0 INTs, 5 TDs) would need to do in order to get two of his backup QBs playoff game experience. Schafer isn’t one to be concerned about missing out on increasing his stat sheet; he has made it clear in the past that helping his team get the “W” each week is more important. And besides, what Texas High School QB could ask for more than completing 45 of his last 49 pass attempts?  QB Corbin Douthitt was next up for the Wildcats and promptly threw an unexpected 76 yard TD pass to one of Chance Cook’s backups, RB Edgar Moreno, ending the first half with the score at 63-8, Canadian.

Canadian was finished scoring in the 3rd quarter with a Corbin Douthitt keeper from 3 yards out and Kicker Benigno Heredia was perfect on the night with 9-for-9 PATs. Hale Center continued to work hard despite the deficit, scoring again in the 4th quarter with a Justice Pardo run from 16 yards out and a PAT added by Adrian Sifuentez.

The Wildcats amassed 667 total yards offense compared to the Owls 186 yards, a feat which didn’t surprise a lot of folks, including Hale Center’s Coach Adam Cummings, who had pulled out some video of the Baylor Bears last week to give his team a look at the kind of tempo they would be forced to defend. According to some witnesses that are knowledgeable in Texas High School football, the only difference between Canadian’s offensive tempo and that of the Baylor Bears is that the Canadian Wildcats might be a little faster.

Next week Canadian will face Stamford for the Area Championship game scheduled for 7:30 p.m., Friday, November 20th, in Vernon, Texas, at Lion Stadium, Leo Brittain Field.

By Jerry Brunson, Class 2A and Canadian Wildcat Correspondent, @CHSWildcatNews

Canadian Wildcats v Hale Center Owls Bi-District Pregame Capsule

Canadian Wildcats meet Hale Center Owls In Opening Round of 2015 Playoffs

The Canadian Wildcats and The Hale Center Owls will open the playoff season Thursday night, November 12, at Dick Bivins Stadium in Amarillo for the first round Bi-District Title. Hale Center enters the game as the fourth seed from District 2-2A with an overall season record of 5-5 after having missed the playoffs in 2014, while Canadian is the District Champion from 1-2A with a 10-0 record and defending 2014 Class 2ADI State Champion team on a 25 game win streak.

Hale Center, like Canadian, will spread out the field with a passing game from QB D.J. Dunn (1,839 yards passing) to his two most productive receivers, Anthony Borjas (543 yards) and Trey Buxton (767 yards). The Owls will, however, need to figure out a way to protect Dunn from one of, if not the fastest defensive lines in Class 2A, which returns defensive ends Cory Chidester (11 sacks) and Cooper Trolinger (6 sacks), not to mention the defensive backfield of Cameron Copley, Nick Dumbauld, Manny Ramsey, and Chance Cook who have totaled 10 interceptions and several pick-six INTs and a scoop and score (by Mario Flores) produced by this defense through the season.

Canadian’s fast-to-line-up-quick-snapping offense has been a subject of discussion among sports writers and broadcasters for several years now, led by Sr. QB Tanner Schafer (2.568 yards passing, 75% completions). The “Air Canada” offense (as named by a Fox Southwest broadcaster) is not only a threat with a prolific passing game, but RB Chance Cook has balanced the Wildcat’s offensive attack to the tune of 1,313 yards rushing this season. Cook is not only a threat from the line of scrimmage, but also on special teams returning punts and kickoffs along with WR Cameron Copley.

The Owls have tall order to fill shutting down a Wildcat offense that averages 48.9 points per game this season and also be able to fulfill their own 24.3 point average against the highly rated Canadian defense, giving up an average of only 5.5 points per game. Harris Ratings calls the game a no line favoring Canadian.

Get out and support your favorite high school teams and/or players, because after this weekend half of the entire 2ADI playoff bracket will not have “next week”.

By Jerry Brunson, Canadian Wildcat Correspondent

@CHSWildcatNews on Twitter

“Canadian Wildcats & Lady Cats Update & Review” on Facebook