By Daviaughn Reagan
The Campo Verde Coyotes won their Thursday night match-up against the Cactus Shadows Falcons, 31-12. It was the Coyotes’ home opener.
The two teams share a history dating back to last season. The Thursday night matchup is the first meeting since the Coyotes beat the Falcons in the 2020 5A quarterfinal game.
Campo’s’ O-line set the smash-mouth tone early, paving the way for a 34-yard rushing touchdown by junior running back Jace Mcgavock.
“That was a big focus for us tonight,” said Campo Verde head coach Ryan Freeman. “They answered the bell on that, even when the Cactus Shadows defense loaded the box with nine players.”
The Coyotes weren’t finished with the rushing attack for the night, striking again with a 52-yard house call by junior running back Amado Santiago.
“We were moving the ball early,” said Yotes quarterback Reilly Garcia. “That is what we need to do; last week, we came out slow.”
The Falcons would respond with a 75-yard bomb from quarterback Corbyn Vasily to senior wide-receiver John Young, shortening the deficit to 14-6.
The Coyotes wouldn’t take too long responding with a third score. Garcia aired one out for six to senior captain wide-receiver Boston Williamson, riding the momentum of the Campo Crazies to a 21-6 lead going into halftime.
In the third quarter, the Coyotes continued their dominant outing, with defensive lineman Majel Morones interception, setting them up in prime scoring position.
The Coyotes could not punch the ball into the endzone, so Coyotes kicker Jase Hudson had to put one through the uprights for a field goal, resulting in the Yotes going up, 24-6.
Down in the fourth quarter, the Falcons continued to battle. Vasily ripped another strike to senior wide-receiver Tate Andres for a 28-yard touchdown, trimming the Coyotes lead to 24-12.
Now down by only 12 points with a good portion of the fourth quarter remaining, the Falcons needed a couple of things to fall their way.
The Falcons tried for an onside kick, though the Coyotes were on top of their game and recovered it safely, putting them in the position to run the clock out to scratch in the win column.
The Coyotes grandly sealed the win, with another rushing touchdown by sophomore Athan Ferber.
“Our confidence was a lot higher in the run game tonight,” Garcia said.
With the offense grooving and the opportunistic defense, the Coyotes advance to a 1-1 record.
Campo Verde is set to take a trip down to Tucson to face Ironwood Ridge, where they hope to build on their performance of this outing.