Friday’s dominant 28-13 Southern League victory over Orestimba was the game Denair football Coach Anthony Armas and his coaching staff had been waiting for this season. It was the first time when all facets of the Coyotes’ attack – offense, defense and special teams – came together in a way the coaches imagine as they draw up plays and schemes each week.
“We played well in every aspect of the game,” praised Armas. “We limited our mistakes. The kids really executed everything well.”
Surprisingly, Armas said he and his staff were uncertain before the game how the Coyotes would come out.
“We were a little nervous because the guys were so quiet,” Armas said. “But that’s the personality of this senior group. They’ pretty quiet. They’ve been that way their whole careers.”
Any doubts were quickly erased as Denair raced to a 21-6 halftime lead behind an offensive line that consistently opened huge holes in Orestimba’s defense that Dylan De Silva, Damien Peral and Jorge Yanez turned into big chunks of yardage.
“We didn’t run a big variety of plays because they were blocking so well,” Armas said of his linemen.
In fact, quarterback Elvis Silva only attempted two passes, though one of them went for a short touchdown to Jacob Lewellen.
As usual, De Silva led the way on the ground, punishing the Warriors for 140 yards and two more TDs, raising his season total to 14. All that despite missing some time after he tweaked his ankle.
“He’s a workhorse,” praised Armas. “When we get close to the goal line, he’s going to get the ball.”
Peral, who also was sidelined temporarily with a shoulder injury, had his best game of the season, churning out 118 yards. Not included was an 84-yard touchdown run in the third quarter that was called back because of a holding penalty.
Yanez added 55 yards and a short TD run before dinging his knee. At one point in the fourth quarter, De Silva, Peral and Yanez were all on the bench nursing injuries, forcing Denair to turn to its reserves.
Armas said he spoke to all three players over the weekend and they reported they were feeling better. He expects them to play this week against Delhi.
JV score: Orestimba 44, Denair 0. The Coyotes are 1-6 overall and 0-4 in the Southern League.
This week: Friday’s victory allowed Denair (5-2 overall, 3-1 Southern League) to keep pace with Ripon Christian (6-1, 4-0) and Mariposa (5-2, 4-0) in the league standings. Those two teams play this week in Mariposa. If the Grizzlies can knock off the Knights – who handed Denair its only league loss three weeks ago – that would set up a chance for a three-way tie for the SL title. Denair hosts Mariposa on Oct. 25. The Coyotes are 4-0 at Jack Lytton Stadium this year. … Denair goes on the road itself this week to face Delhi (0-7, 0-4), one of its two closest geographic rivals along with Waterford. “We have a tendency to play down to our competition sometimes, so we really want to focus this week on what we do well,” Armas said. “Delhi runs three different kinds of offenses, so we really need to pay attention to our assignments on defense when they’re in different formations.”