Delhi and Denair High’s varsity football teams have built a rivalry over the years and this past Friday’s Southern Athletic League battle was a physical match full of excitement for both schools and programs.
In the end, the Hawks of Delhi, who have been on the short end of one-point losses in back-to-back weeks, came out on top over the Coyotes of Denair in a 28-14 victory, earning their first league win in the process.
“This one was the one we told our kids at the beginning of the week, doesn’t matter what we did at the beginning of the season,” said Delhi head coach Rod McCombs. “If we took care of this one tonight then they accomplished something that last year’s team did not do.”
“It’s Delhi, it kind of has become a rivalry, but everyone knew it was important and wanted to finish the season strong,” said Denair head coach Anthony Armas. “We did good things against Orestimba, but didn’t have it tonight, we didn’t play well, too many mistakes.”
Delhi goes to 3-5 overall and 1-4 in the SAL while Denair drops to 2-6 overall and 1-4 in league.
“Couple games we had leads but gave it up and came up short,” said McCombs.
The Hawks end a five-game losing streak with the win. Their last victory came on Sept. 1 against Johansen.
Denair has now lost three straight by two touchdowns or more.
“Too many mistakes. Too many penalties, too many mental mistakes,” said Armas. “We are just not where we want to be as a football team and it’s getting frustrating, but we have a young team and have to keep doing what we are doing.”
The Coyotes came out and scored early when Steffin Winston broke loose for a 97-yard run to put Denair up 7-0 with 7:13 left in the first.
Just one play later, Delhi’s German Lua scored a touchdown of his own after breaking free for a 72-yard scamper to tie it at 7-7.
Denair followed with a lengthy drive before Delhi got the ball back and marched down the field for a 15-play scoring drive that ended with a four-yard touchdown pass from Alecxis Miranda to Victor Ambriz to make it 14-7 in the second with 7:16 on the clock.
Denair followed up with their second and final score on a two-play drive that ended with a Hunter Musgrave 73-yard gash that tied it all at 14-14 going into halftime.
The third quarter was a barrage of hard hits and some miscues from both sides, along with an abundance of flags. Well over double-digit penalties were called for the game.
Tied at 14-14 heading into the fourth, Delhi marched down the field and scored after Anthony Mejia ran up the middle for a one-yard plunge to make it 21-14.
Miranda scored the final touchdown of the game and for the Hawks after he ran the ball for 64-yards to make it 28-14.
Denair will next take on Mariposa at home at 7:30 p.m. Friday.
Delhi will travel on the road at Orestimba at 7:30 p.m. Friday.