KINGSVILLE - Alice linebacker Javier Castillo lived out every linebacker's dream Friday night in Javelina Stadium.
He had dropped back to cover an H.M. King receiver when the throw from quarterback Julian Guerra went straight into his hands. The tall and lanky Alice High School senior knew exactly what to do after that. He intercepted the pass, maneuvered his way past Guerra and raced 49 yards for a touchdown.
"Oh manů it was probably the greatest moment of my life," Castillo said. "All there was between me and the end zone was the quarterback, and I was able to get him out of my way. It was big, because it set the tempo for the rest of the game."
Alice ended up returning two interceptions for touchdowns on a night in which the Brahmas committed seven turnovers. With Kingsville piling up the turnovers, Alice cruised to a 40-0 win.
It was exactly the kind of experience the Coyotes (3-2, 1-1) needed following last week's 45-7 blowout loss to the Calallen Wildcats. Alice coach Chris Soza said a win like Friday can get the Coyotes back on track.
"We needed a win like this." Soza said. "We needed to win big to get our confidence back after last week. This win will hopefully get us going in the right direction."
For Alice, everything went in their favor Friday night.
On the Coyotes' fourth play from scrimmage, Mikey Lopez quickly scored on a 32-yard run.
The Brahmas' first series ended with Castillo's interception, and their second ended in a similar fashion. Guerra, who was hurried all night by Alice's defense, threw his second interception of the game on the Brahmas' second possession. This time, it was Jacob Dela Cruz who picked off the pass and ran it 20 yards into the end zone. Alice missed the extra point, but still led 20-0 just four and a half minutes into the game.
Even when things appeared to be going Kingsville's way, Alice's defense was there to spoil it. Midway through the first quarter, Guerra connected with Marcus Ramirez on a 53-yard pass play to give the Brahmas a first down at the Alice 15-yard line. However, Kingsville failed to get anything going, and when they went for it on fourth down and seven from the Alice 11-yard line, linebacker Marco Silva was there to throw Guerra for a loss.
The Brahmas' next possession also ended in an interception. This time, it was defensive back Zach Jaramillo who intercepted Guerra's throw.
After running back Amado Ramirez, who finished the night with 87 yards on eight carries, ran the ball from the Alice 25-yard line to the Kingsville 20, quarterback Angel Longoria hooked up with Norman Beltran for a 20-yard touchdown strike. The extra point kick by Jordan Harville gave the Coyotes a 27-0 advantage with 8:44 left in the game.
Another Brahmas turnover before halftime set up another Alice touchdown. This time, with Silva bringing him down to the ground, Guerra hurled the ball up and it was caught by Alice defensive lineback Zach Garcia who rumbled to the Brahmas' 5-yard line.
Ramirez later scored on a one-yard run to give the Coyotes a 33-0 edge before the half.
"It decided the game," Soza said of the seven turnovers. "Our offense didn't play their best tonight, so those turnovers really helped. I'm extremely proud of the way we played defensively. Our defense was ready to play and they played hard.
"Anytime your defense gets that many turnovers, it's a great thing. Our defense really helped our offense tonight."
Alice controlled the ball in the second half and score in the fourth quarter on a one-yard run by Steven Villarreal.
The Brahmas (2-3, 1-1) finished with just 123 yards of offense.
Jordan Boone led the group with 10 carries for 60 yards.
Guerra completed one of only 12 passes for 39 yards. He finished the game with five interceptions.