Two Southern Athletic League football rivals met under the lights Friday night, but in the end, it was Denair High who came out on top over Delhi High with an impressive 36-6 victory.
“I think we’re doing what we’ve always thought we could do,” Denair head coach Anthony Armas said. “Our kids know we have a rivalry with Delhi over the past few years, so it’s always going to be a big game.”
The Coyotes (4-1 SAL; 7-1 overall) came into Week 9 of the 2018 season fresh off a thrilling victory over Orestimba High, handing the Warriors only their second league loss in the last three years. The Hawks (0-5 SAL; 0-8 overall) were looking for their first win of the season, but Denair’s offense proved too much to handle for the young team.
“We’ve had a rough year but our guys kept fighting and that’s the biggest thing for us,” Delhi coach Erik Martinez said. “We had some great drives tonight but made minor little mistakes at the wrong times.”
The Coyotes were able to score on their first four possessions of the game during the first half on just five plays. In the first quarter, the game’s first two touchdowns came thanks to running back Hunter Musgrave — a 29-yard touchdown on the Coyotes’ first possession, and a monster 88-yard run the next time Denair had the ball.
Musgrave completed the night with 146 yards on just four carries, while the Coyotes as a team collected 359 offensive yards.
“We just executed really well and they gave me holes to run through, so that’s part of my success,” Musgrave said. “We do it every week, so week in and week out I’m scoring touchdowns.”
Denair went on to score twice more in the second quarter thanks to a 71-yard touchdown run from running back Drew Pritchard, which came after defensive back Steffin Winston recovered a Hawks fumble for the Coyotes, and a 50-yard touchdown pass from quarterback Elvis Silva back to Winston, who also plays running back.
The Hawks only allowed Denair to score once more in the second half when Silva connected with wide receiver Scott Badal on a 31-yard touchdown pass just one minute into the third quarter. From there, it was a back and forth between the two teams with a running clock.
A seven-play drive down the field for Delhi was cut short by an interception from Denair’s Pritchard, but the Hawks were able to force a turnover on downs and get the ball back, leading to their only score during the game’s final seconds. Quarterback Adam Guzman pitched the ball to running back Daniel Torres, who then tossed a six-yard pass to Johan Larios to get the hawks on the board.
Delhi collected 223 offensive yards during the 36-6 loss, but Martinez believes the young team, which has many sophomores on the roster, will use both Friday’s game and the season as a whole to improve.
“I think our guys are starting to trust each other…the positive thing about this is that we’ve got a young team and a young offensive line we can build off the next couple years,” Martinez said. “It hasn’t been the best year for us but I’m still happy that we’re still fighting. The kids still have the drive to finish the season.
Next week, Delhi will play Orestimba High School (3-2 SAL; 5-3 overall) at home beginning at 7 p.m. Denair will head to Mariposa where they’ll take on the Grizzlies (1-3 SAL; 2-5 overall) at the Mariposa County Fairgrounds starting at 7 p.m.