COOLIDGE — The Combs Coyotes brought their A-game to Larry Delbridge Stadium on Friday night against the Coolidge Bears in a thunderstorm-affected contest.
The game was reasonably close before nearby lightning interrupted play, with the scoreboard sitting at 14-6. The Coyotes posted 40 unanswered points when the game resumed and ran out convincing winners 54-6.
Earlier, the Coyotes quickly broke into their offensive stride led by quarterback Tanner Hale and running backs Connor Wiles and Chase Theabold.
Hale chose to run the football in the wet, slippery conditions as his offense pushed through the Bears defense.
The Coyotes quarterback led by example as he powered his way through for a 10-yard touchdown run. The extra point was added and Combs led 7-0.
On their first offensive series Coolidge was unable to gain any traction and had to punt the ball away.
The Coyotes special teams stepped up when middle linebacker Ammon Craig blocked Gavin Gunter’s punt and it was an easy scoop-and-score by Craig.
Again the Coyotes successfully added the extra point, and the score was 14-0.
Combs kept up their pressure and hustle with two on-side kick attempts. One came very close to a recovery but the Coyotes were penalized and they tried again for the onside play.
To Coolidge’s credit, Guage Froman was heads-up as he scrambled to gain possession of the ball under a sea of Coyote players.
With good field position, the Bears were able to regain their offensive composure.
Quarterback Ethan Rameriez was being clobbered by the Coyotes defensive line and countered beautifully with a superb 20-plus yard pass to Salim Sesma.
Jovonte Wall cashed in with the excellent field position and sliced through the big Combs defense for Coolidge’s only touchdown. The Bears went for a two-point conversion, it was unsuccessful, but they were back in the game.
Combs had possession when the game was paused after on-field officials conferred and a 40-minute delay of game was enforced.
After the lengthy delay, the Coyotes came out and crushed the Bears with their relentless defensive and offensive pressure.
Combs head coach Levi Hoagland told PinalCentral he was pleased with the win after a disappointing game against Phoenix St Marys last week.
“Our boys have been working really hard for this,” Hoagland said. “Last week was definitely disappointing. But all week they just really focused on the basics and what we do on offense and defense and special teams. We wanted to just want to execute tonight and I think they did a great job of that.”
Coolidge coach Rodger Schenks was obviously disappointed with the loss but was looking to move on to the big rival game against Florence next week.
“I told the kids, ‘You’ve got five minutes to remember this and let it go,’” he said. “Now it’s Florence week.”
This is rivalry week for both teams as the Bears (2-2) will host Florence, and Combs (1-1) will host Apache Junction.