The road warriors

Canyon Lake senior Nic Rivera (15) picks up a block from sophomore teammate Jeremy Greene during a run last Friday night against Marble Falls at Mustang Stadium. The Hawks prevailed 7-0 during their first of six away games this season.

FISCHER — Six of Canyon Lake’s 10 games this season will be played somewhere other than the friendly confines of Hawk Stadium in Fischer.

But you won’t hear head coach Charley Drum or any of his players bemoan that fact, even as they prepare to take a second straight trip north along Interstate 35.

“We always tell our kids that there’s no excuses,” Drum said. “Deal with whatever is dealt and go with it.”

The Hawks escaped a tight opening-week challenge from Marble Falls to win 7-0 despite a few self-inflicted wounds that kept the Mustangs alive. Canyon Lake’s defense preserved the triumph with its stellar work, but Drum said there are several improvements that need to be made offensively.

“We had seven false starts and we had a fumble inside the red zone,” Drum said. “Those are all things that are correctable. We’re just happy to get out of there on the road with a win.”

This week, Canyon Lake will travel to Pflugerville to take on a Weiss ballclub that just broke through for the program’s first varsity win last week in a 23-14 triumph over Leander.

Drum remembers when the Hawks went through a similar period of growing pains more than a decade ago.

“We were in the same boat 11 years ago when we first had seniors,” Drum said. “We expect them to be a better football team. They’re all coming back, they’ve all had an extra offseason and they’re a more confident football team.”

The Wolves are led on offense by the trio of senior quarterback Jackson Sandlin, junior running back Devin Cross and junior wide receiver Tavian Cord. Sandlin was 11 of 14 passing for 210 yards a week ago and connected with Cord for a 61-yard touchdown pass that helped ice the victory.

Cross added 75 rushing yards and a score on 10 carries, while Cord made four grabs for 112 yards on the night. Drum said Cord may also line up behind center to give Weiss an added element of speed in the backfield.

“He plays some Wildcat quarterback as well,” Drum said of Cord. “Their running back [Cross] is really good and he’s quick. Their quarterback [Sandlin], he’s a pretty good runner and thrower.”

The Hawks also come into Friday night at 1-0, but Canyon Lake relied on a few super sophomores to get the job done against Marble Falls.

Defensive end Kolten Ramey made several big stops in the contest, while fullback Derek Wiatrek led the team in rushing with 124 yards. Meanwhile, fellow sophomore Jeremy Greene hauled in the game’s lone score — a 16-yard touchdown toss from junior Peyton McMullen.

“Kolten Ramey had a real solid game,” Drum said. “Big sack on third down and seven or eight tackles.

“Derek Wiatrek, he played sparingly last year on the varsity — mostly on the JV. He had a big game and played linebacker and had some key first downs when we ran the clock down to end the game.”

Canyon Lake will face Weiss Friday night at 7 p.m. at The Pfield in Pflugerville.

“If we survive this one, then it will be four and four down the stretch — four home games and four away games,” Drum said.

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