It was destined to be a long Friday night for Denair High when they hosted Summerville High in the third game of the season.
The Coyotes (0-3), who lost their previous two games by a combined 99-0, seemed eager to turn the page, pumping each other up on the field as they prepared for the opening kickoff. As the game began Denair’s tacklers aggressively rushed down the field and surrounded Summerville’s Dalton Day but there was one problem—he didn’t have the football. Day had handed it off to Tanner Kreig who ran 80 yards down the right side of the field and into the end zone on a reverse return. Fifteen seconds had elapsed and Denair was already trailing.
The Coyote’s special team errors continued on their first possession as the ball was snapped over the head of the punter on fourth down for a 20 yard loss. The Bears (3-0) quickly capitalized, scoring from 13 yards out via a Colton Ebbers run.
“We’re still a young team,” Denair’s head coach Rich Goodwin said.
Denair’s offense displayed its youthful inexperience throughout the night as its runners were routinely hit behind the line of scrimmage and its receivers dropped passes. Still, there were flashes of what could be as sophomore quarterback Dominic Silva threw for 163 yards. Unfortunately, Silva also threw three interceptions and lost a fumble, accounting for four of Denair’s five turnovers of the night.
Denair’s defense also displayed moments of grit, refusing to quit against a large Bears offense. Tyler Oliver came up big in the first quarter with a fumble recovery and the Coyotes twice stopped Summerville in the red zone, once on their own half yard line, forcing field goals rather than touchdowns. Without a steady offensive attack Denair’s defense was left on the field for the majority of the game however, giving the Bears the opportunity to score 45 first half points.
Denair’s highlight of the night happened with 2:35 left in regulation when Silva connected with Raul Rodriguez for a 51 yard touchdown. It was the team’s first touchdown of the season. The Coyotes executed a successful onside kick on the subsequent kickoff and nearly found pay dirt again after a 35 yard long ball from Silva to Trey Howze set them up on Summerville’s 15 yard line. The effort was too late though; the clock expired and the game was over with a score of 48-6 on the scoreboard.
“I don’t think about just the touchdown, I look at the kids never quitting during the entire game,” Goodwin said of his team’s positives. “They’ll keep working hard and practicing hard. It’s all about experience.”
Denair travels to Le Grand High next week where the Coyotes will seek their first win.
“We’re going to bring it,” Goodwin said.