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Denair overpowered by Orestimba offense
Denair football
Denair running back Isaac Martinez pushes through a Warrior defender during the Coyotes' loss to Orestimba Friday night (ALEX BANKS/The Journal).

The Denair High varsity football team again fell short in the quest for its first victory of the season, falling to Orestimba High 39-0 in the penultimate game of the year on Friday night.

“They played hard and that’s the thing we’ve always tried to pride ourselves on,” Denair head coach Anthony Armas said. “...We got to get some of our younger kids into the game there at the end and I think that really lifted the mood. We try to keep a positive outlook.”

The Coyotes have faced plenty of setbacks this season, from wildfires and COVID-19 quarantines to a number of players quitting the team during the season. That’s left Armas with a smaller, younger squad — but one with plenty of heart. 

Things were off to a good start for Denair on their first possession of the game, with running backs Harley Padilla and Isaac Martinez charging down the field to a first down. Then, a fumble and recovery by Orestimba’s Joseph Flores put the ball in the Warriors’ hands.

From there, Orestimba running back Lazs King put on a show, scoring thrice during the Warriors’ next three possessions on just six carries to put Denair in a 20-0 hole. Orestimba scored two more times in the first half on a 65-yard carry by running back Kae Brazil and a 46-yard touchdown pass from quarterback Vincent Lopez to wide receiver Jayden Vargas. 

Despite solid efforts from their two backs Padilla and Martinez, it wasn’t enough for the Coyotes to climb back — especially after Lopez ran in another touchdown with a running clock in the third. Denair converted 14 first downs on the night but was unable to score. 

“We’ve had Harley for four years now and Isaac for three; they’re hard-working kids and they love the program, love the school and love being out here. It’s great having those guys around,” Armas said. “You’re always wishing you’d have more success because I’d love to be able to see kids like that have success. It kind of sucks, but this year was the hand we were dealt so it’s nice to see them out there getting after it.”

Martinez led the offensive effort for the Coyotes with 65 all-purpose yards out of the team’s 148 total offensive yards. Orestimba’s King collected 74 rushing yards on seven carries with three touchdowns, while Lopez was 6-8 passing with 104 passing yards, 29 rushing yards and a passing and rushing touchdown. The Warriors had 325 yards of total offense on the night.

Following the loss, Denair is now 0-7 overall and 0-5 on the season. They’ll welcome Waterford next Friday at 7:15 p.m. for their final game of the season.