In a battle for the coveted Monte Vista Wheel, the Denair High Coyotes grounded the Turlock Christian Eagles 48-6 Friday night at Denair.
On senior night, the Coyotes’ seniors stepped up their play execution and displayed remarkable athleticism and field intelligence with an emotional performance in their final home game.
Coyotes head coach Therion Gregory challenged not only his seniors, but his whole team to play with heart and never give up, even in the face of a 1-7 overall record coming into the game.
“When we were 0-5 we wanted to win the next five games. Now with two games left we want to win and finish the season successful,” he said.
Senior running back Brad Tobin and fellow seniors quarterback James Behrens and Jim Atkinson, dominated the contest. The trio led the team to a 21-0 half-time lead.
By mid-way through the third quarter the seniors combined for 405 total yards and they accounted for all five Denair touchdowns, leading to a 34-6 Coyotes lead. Tobin took over the game in the first few minutes of the third quarter with two scores. The first TD came on a 75-yard kickoff return and the second on a 45-yard interception return for a TD.
With the victory, Denair improves to 2-7 overall and 2-4 in the Southern League. Turlock Christian remains winless for the year.
Eagles head coach Shane Smith was handed a soup sandwich when former head coach Rusty Lyon resigned just five games into the season. Smith had a small team riddled with injuries, however, the Eagles showed flashes of talent.
On the defensive side of the ball the Eagles forced three Denair fumbles and recovered four in the first half. On offense junior quarterback Chase Gonzalez, who stands 6-feet-6 inches tall, completed 12 passes for 134 yards in the first half. He added a 30-yard TD strike to senior wide receiver Martin Moreda to open the third quarter — the Eagles only score of the game.
Early in the season the Eagles’ Gonzalez and his back-up were lost to injury and the TC’s spread offense was flightless under a third-string frosh quarterback. Under Gonzalez the wings began to flap with effective wide receiver middle screens and crossing routes.
Smith said he is trying to change the culture of the Eagles by adopting a new motto: “Protect the family.”
To contact Jonathan McCorkell, e-mail firstname.lastname@example.org or call 634-9141 ext. 2015.