LUBBOCK, TX — The Wall Hawks (11-2) squared off against the Canadian Wildcats (11-2) in the Regional Final of the UIL Texas High School Playoffs 3A Div II on Friday, Dec. 2, at Lubbock’s Pirate Stadium at 6 p.m. Wall’s stout defense fell to pieces against Canadian’s potent passing attack and the Hawks failed to stop Canadian once in the first half. Ultimately, the Hawks’ triple-option attack could not sustain drives and had multiple turnovers. Canadian hammered the Hawks 45-10.
Wall won the coin toss and deferred until the 2nd half. Canadian received the opening kickoff and immediately went to work. Faced with 3rd and one at mid-field, QB Camren Cavalier found a wide open Landon Fuentez streaking down the field. Fuentez completed the catch, and the Wildcats took the lead with 9:23 left in the 1st quarter, 7-0.
Wall responded well on their first offensive possession. QB Gunnar Dillard and RB Nathan Pepper found holes in the defense and pushed the football down the field. As the Hawks approached the goal line, Wall’s offense was caught holding. Wall never recovered from the 10-yard penalty, and the drive stalled. K Pierce Jameson converted the 28-yard field goal, and the Hawks were on the board, 7-3.
The following video is a condensed summary of the plays of Wall's first drive:
Canadian went on to score 28 unanswered points before halftime. Cavalier connected with WR Preston Miller for two long touchdowns.
Wall wanted to keep hope alive before halftime, but a late pitch from Wall’s QB Dillard to RB Ryan Allen hit the turf, and the Hawks gave the Wildcats a short field from Wall’s 29-yard line. Canadian scored on the next play on a 29-yard touchdown pass.
After another punt from Wall, Junior RB Luke Flowers broke away from the defense to set the Wildcats up with a 1st and goal at Wall’s 4-yard line. The Hawks held for two plays, but Cavalier scored on 3rd and goal with a quarterback keeper from the one to put the Wildcats up at halftime, 35-3.
The Hawks’ best drive of the evening happened right after halftime. Wall grounded out an 18-play, 73-yard drive that took 9:35 off the clock — almost consuming the entire 3rd quarter. Dillard, Pepper, and Allen took turns driving the Wildcats down the field. Dillard capped off the drive with a 1-yard quarterback sneak for a touchdown. Wall scored their first touchdown but still trailed 35-10 with only a little more than a quarter left to play.
Wall held the Wildcats to a field goal on the ensuing possession but then coughed up another fumble right after. Canadian took advantage of the takeaway to score another touchdown. With less than eight minutes remaining in the 4th quarter, Wall trailed 45-10. face the Gunter Tigers (13-0) for the semi-finals. The winner of this game goes to the State Championship game at AT&T Stadium in Arlington in two weeks.
The Hawks drove down the field on one more drive but fumbled again. Wall’s 2022 campaign ended in Lubbock Friday night, 45-10.
Wall had an excellent season with a sophomore quarterback Gunnar Dillard who has a bright future because has an arsenal of excellent talent around him returning next year: Junior RB Nathan Pepper, junior RB Ryan Allen, sophomore DE Brylan White, junior ML Logan Thomas, sophomore RB/CB Luke Kemp, and sophomore Garrett Guy. The 2022 Wall Hawks were a young team that made it four deep into the UIL Texas High School Football Playoffs. Watch out next year!
Wall’s senior class deserves special recognition for the leadership and hard work they put into a season not many will forget.
The Canadian Wildcats (11-2) face the Gunter Tigers (13-0) for the semi-finals. The winner of this game goes to the State Championship game at AT&T Stadium in Arlington in two weeks.
Below is a video of the remarks by Wall Hawks Head Coach Houston Guy following the loss: