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,
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