Friday the 13th proved to be an unlucky night for the Uvalde Coyotes as they lost their first football game of the season.
The Coyotes put 37 points on the scoreboard, but it wasn’t enough.
Southwest’s Dragons scored five touchdowns in the second half and wound up with a 48-37 football victory over the Coyotes.
The game was a tale of two halves.
In the first half, it was a defensive battle as the Dragons built up a 13-10 lead over the Coyotes.
But the football game turned into a track meet in the second half as the teams combined to score 62 points.
“It was a crazy game. Mostly defense in the first half and mostly offense in the second half,” said Uvalde High School head football coach R.T. Gonzales.
“We made some mistakes and you cannot do that against a talented, well-coached team like Southwest because they will make you pay for those mistakes,” said Gonzales. “We had some key plays where we were not disciplined in our play, where we did not do our job. Southwest took advantage of that.
“We got behind and had to play catchup which is always tough to do,” said Gonzales.
“You never want to lose a game, but in the long run this game should help us to become a better football team,” said Gonzales.
On Southwest’s first possession of the ball game, it looked as though the Coyotes had stopped the Dragons on downs at their 40-yard line.
Southwest set up to punt the ball, they faked the punt as Matthew Luna tossed a swing pass to running back Andre Mitchell who picked up 20 yards and a first down.
“The fake punt was huge. It kept their drive alive,” said Gonzales.
Eight plays later, Mitchell scored on a six-yard touchdown run.
Southwest’s two-point conversion run failed, but the Dragons took a 6-0 lead with 1:48 left in the opening period.
After a couple of possession exchanges, the Dragons had the ball at their 47-yard line.
A high snap from center resulted in a fumble by quarterback Matthew Luna.
Defensive lineman Hector Najera covered the ball for the Coyotes at the Southwest 37-yard line.
On the very next play, quarterback Donovan Davila connected with wide receiver D’Andre Carroll for a 37-yard touchdown pass.
Miller Carnes’ successful extra-point kick gave the Coyotes a 7-6 lead with 7:40 left in the first half.
On the ensuing kickoff, Andre Mitchell returned the ball 72 yards from the Southwest eight-yard line to the Uvalde 20.
“That kick-off return after our touchdown may have been the turning point of the game. We scored and had the momentum at that point, but gave it back to them on the return that set up their second touchdown,” said Coach Gonzales.
Two plays later, running back Jesse Hernandez scored on a three-yard touchdown run.
Oscar Jimenez made the extra point kick to put Southwest back on top, 13-7, with 5:39 left in the half.
Later, the Coyotes put together a drive that went from their 19-yard line to the Southwest nine.
Facing a fourth-down situation, the Coyotes set up to attempt a 30-yard field goal.
Miller Carnes’ kick was good and the Coyotes cut the scoring deficit to 13-10 at halftime.
The Dragons scored on their first five possessions of the second half.
They began with a six-play, 69-yard drive that was capped by Andre Mitchell’s five-yard touchdown run.
The drive was aided by penalties assessed against the Coyotes.
Down 20-10, the Coyotes put together a six-play, 47-yard drive.
Donovan Davila tossed a 21-yard touchdown pass to wide receiver Christian Rivera.
Southwest fashioned a nine-play, 78-yard drive that ended on a one-yard run by Andre Mitchell.
The Coyotes then went on a seven-play, 60-yard drive that ended on a 36-yard touchdown pass to Christian Rivera.
Southwest scored on a 65-yard touchdown run by Andre Mitchell.
D’Andre Carroll topped off a five-play, 85-yard drive with a 17-yard touchdown pass from Donovan Davila.
The Uvalde drive was aided by two personal foul penalties on Southwest.
Up 34-29 with 10:02 left in the fourth period, the Dragons scored on a 62-yard touchdown run by Andre Mitchell.
Trailing by 12 points with just over seven minutes left on the game clock, the Coyotes faced a fourth-and-11 situation at the Southwest 48-yard line.
Their pass play failed and the ball went over to the Dragons.
From that point, the Dragons put together a nine-play drive that ended on a six-yard touchdown run by Andre Mitchell.
Down 48-29, the Coyotes refused to throw in the towel. Instead, they put together a five-play drive that came to an end on a 21-yard touchdown pass from Donovan Davila to wide receiver Tanner Bowman with 31.1 seconds left in the game.
Running back Sotero Martinez Jr. scored on the two-point conversion.
That cut Southwest’s final margin of victory down to 11 points.
“I was proud of the fact that our kids fought right down to the last play,” said Coach Gonzales. “Hopefully we can learn from the mistakes we made and become a better football team.”
Statistically, the Coyotes finished with an advantage over Southwest in first downs, 24-22, but the Dragons edged the Uvaldeans in total yards, 389-378.
Andre Mitchell racked up 258 of his team’s 365 rushing yards.
Penalties marred the ball game.
Southwest had 13 penalties for 125 yards, while the Coyotes were penalized 14 times for 100 yards.
Donovan Davila completed 20 passes for 298 yards and five touchdowns.
D’Andre Carroll and Christian Rivera each caught two touchdowns, while Tanner Bowman had one touchdown catch.
Bowman caught eight passes for 101 yards.
Sotero Martinez Jr. led the Coyotes in rushing with 13 carries for 42 yards.
The Coyotes now are 2-1 for the season.
They will begin District 14-5A Division II competition next Friday when they go on the road to face the San Antonio Memorial Minutemen.
Kick-off time is scheduled for 7:30 p.m. in San Antonio’s Edgewood Veterans Memorial Stadium.