PLAINVIEW — Canadian slipped Friday afternoon. But that was some balance the Wildcats showed in not falling.
With the outcome of this Region I-2A Division II area playoff hanging in the balance and momentum shifting toward Cisco, Canadian came up clutch three times in the final eight minutes, winning 27-20 at Greg Sherwood Memorial Bulldog Stadium.
“Was that a game?” Canadian coach Chris Koetting said. “Wow. What I’m so proud of is when we needed things the most we got it.”
Canadian knocked last year’s state runner-up out of the playoffs by executing three times in the final eight minutes:
n Scoring on a 66-yard drive with 6:15 to play
n Holding Cisco to a three-and-out for only the second time in 10 possessions
n Grinding out the final 5:04 of the clock thanks to the running of Chris Marquez behind a motivated offensive line.
Cisco struggled in the first half against Canadian’s “NASCAR offense,” a no-huddle style designed to quickly run plays and deftly executed by junior quarterback Ben Arbuckle.
The Wildcats led 20-7 at halftime with Arbuckle finding junior receiver Boston Hudson — who made big plays on both sides of the ball — for touchdown passes of 19 and 10 yards. But the biggest blow of the first half was Canadian’s 76-yard scoring drive in the final 2:33 that answered Cisco’s lone score of the first half.
But all the Canadian momentum of the first half disappeared when Cisco owned the entire third quarter and early part of the fourth. Cisco forced two turnovers and scored twice when star running back Mason Reed hauled in a 26-yard pass right up the gut from quarterback Colten Gayle and then tied the game at 20-20 on a 2-yard touchdown run with 8:37 to play.
“The turnovers kept us in the game, or quite frankly it might have been a blowout” Cisco coach Brent West said. “But when you have a team with a lack of depth like we do, that hurry-up offense kind of puts you in a bind. We had a great third quarter, but you could see us struggling in the fourth to stay with them.”
Canadian had one first down and two lost fumbles in its opening four possessions of the second half.
But after Reed’s 2-yard plunge, Arbuckle completed all three passes he attempted and guided the Wildcats 66 yards in eight plays for the game-winning touchdown.
Hudson finished the drive off scoring on an 11-yard fly sweep from his wide receiver position, leaping two Cisco players before scoring.
Hudson scored three touchdowns, intercepted a pass, and caught eight passes for 85 yards.
“I was just trying to get the edge,” Hudson said. “Brock (Hedgecoke) made a good block, and (Braiden) Galla cracked the linebacker, and I jumped over a few guys and got in. Cisco came out in the third quarter and just hit us in the mouth. We had to respond and really try to push the pace of the game.”
Cisco’s next possession started with Canadian lineman Tyler Lynch making a tackle for a 7-yard loss, then sophomore Galla batting away back-to-back passes to force a punt.
Canadian took over with 5:04 to play and ran out the clock, using the determined running of Marquez to seal the win. Marquez impacted the game with his 115 yards and play at defensive end.
“They did what they had to do,” West said, “That’s a good football team.”
Arbuckle finished with 251 yards and completing 26-of-36 passes.
Cisco was led on offense by Reed’s 82 yards rushing and 33 yards receiving, along with Landen Lewis’ 74 yards rushing.
“As bad as we had been in the third quarter offensively, we got it together,” Koetting said. “The defense kept stepping up and getting stops. Boston has been clutch for us all year. Cisco is such a well-coached team and physical. I’m just proud of our guys.”
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- 12/1/12 - Stratford too strong for Panhandle
- 12/1/12 - Skyrockets thump Springlake-Earth
- 12/1/12 - Booker QB Lile breaks 2 passing marks in loss
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- 11/24/12 - Skyrockets zoom past Bovina
- 11/24/12 - Canadian takes out No. 9 Cisco, 27-20
- 11/24/12 - Wheeler falls to Wolverines
Canadian 27, Cisco 20
Canadian 7 13 0 7 — 27
Cisco 0 7 13 0 — 20
Can—Boston Hudson 19 pass from Ben Arbuckle (Jessie Sandoval kick)
Can—Hudson 10 pass from Arbuckle (Sandoval kick)
Cis—Mason Reed 1 run (Heath Draper kick)
Can—Chris Marquez 2 run (kick failed)
Cis—Reed 26 pass from Colten Gayle (kick failed)
Cis—Reed 2 run (Draper kick)
Can—Hudson 11 run (Sandoval kick)
First Downs 21 16
Rushing Yards 102 175
Passing Yards 251 94
Total Yards 353 269
C-A-I 25-36-1 6-22-1
Punts-Avg. 4-48.5 5-37.6
Fumbles-Lost 5-3 1-0
Penalties-yards 7-65 3-25
RUSHING: Canadian - Chris Marquez 21-115, Boston Hudson 3-29, Ben Arbuckle 8-(-)27, Chance Cook 1-1, Marc Marquez 1-(-)9, Team 1-(-)13, Cisco — Mason Reed 7-13, Colten Gayle 6-17, Gabe Martinez 2-12.
PASSING: Canadian - Arbuckle 26-36-1—251, Cisco — Gayle 6-22-1—94.
RECEIVING: Canadian — Brock Hedgecoke 7-58, Chance Cook 3-12, Chris Marquez 2-15, Bradien Galla 5-81, Boston Hudson 8-85. Cisco - Jackson Witt 2-16, Colton Kent 2-45, Mason Reed 2-33.