Denair posts second shutout of season
with 14-0 victory in Mariposa

Fresh off its first Southern League football victory of the season, Denair will try to make it two in a row Friday night when it hosts Delhi to cap Homecoming Week.

The Coyotes relied on two rushing touchdowns by wingback Jayden Hensley and a swarming defense to shut out Mariposa 14-0 on the road last week. 

“It was definitely one of our better games of the year,” assessed Denair Coach Anthony Armas. “We defended the run very well and were efficient on offense. In our Le Grand game (a 35-17 Denair loss), we played a great first half. This was first time we put together a full game.”

The closest Mariposa (0-4, 0-7) came to scoring was in the fourth quarter when the Grizzlies drove to inside Denair’s 10-yard line. But Coyote cornerback Angel Rosas – defending a fade pattern — ended that threat when he intercepted a pass in the end zone.

Interestingly, both of Denair’s wins this season have come when the Coyotes (1-3, 2-4) held the opposing team scoreless. The first shutout was in the second game when they blanked Riverbank 20-0.

This week’s Homecoming festivities include a parade through downtown Friday at lunch featuring floats decorated by the freshmen, sophomore, junior and senior classes. Kings and queens will be announced at a pep rally.

On paper, Delhi (1-3, 1-5) looks like an even matchup with the Coyotes, but Armas thinks that’s misleading. The Hawks got into a brawl against El Capitan of Merced in their first game when players as well as people from the stands were fighting on the field. The Sac-Joaquin Section shut down the program for three weeks – costing Delhi a forfeit loss to Ceres – and suspended eight starters for five games. Those players all are expected to be available Friday.

“They’re very physical,” Armas said. “Their record doesn’t indicate how good they are.”

As has been the case all season, Denair again will be at a disadvantage, numbers wise. The Coyotes’ 19-player roster is one of the smallest in the league, even with two players having joined the team when they became eligible after first-quarter grades were released. All of Denair’s players play on offense and defense; some of them never come off the field during a game.

“We’ve always got a couple of kids banged up,” Armas acknowledged. “I’m hoping we have 15 or 16 ready to go Friday night.”

After this week, there will be only two games left in the regular season. Denair will finish its Southern League schedule in Newman against Orestimba (3-1, 4-3) on Oct. 20 and then home versus Waterford (1-3, 2-5) on Oct. 27.

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