This is the kind of effort the Alice football team has been waiting for all season.
The Coyotes dominated Moody on offense, defense and special teams in a 59-41 victory Friday night at Memorial Stadium. Alice (4-3 overall) improved to 2-2 in District 31-4A and is in sole possession of fourth place in the standings with three games left in the regular season.
More importantly, the win gives the Coyotes much needed momentum heading into the stretch run.
We needed a win, and in a big way, said fourth-year Alice coach Chris Soza, whose team was coming off a lopsided loss to Ray. We needed this as a confidence-booster. Any time you get beat obviously there's a lot of evaluating to do. The kids want to win. They practice hard. This is what we expected to do tonight to finally play like we're capable of playing. We have to just build off this and get some momentum heading into next week's game against (Laredo) Nixon.
The Coyotes certainly built some steam against Moody (1-3, 1-6).
Alice piled up 566 total yards, with 479 of that coming on the ground. Running back Juan Gonzalez led the attack with 211 yards and four touchdowns on only 11 carries.
Gonzalez wasn't the only one able to take advantage of a porous Trojans defense.
Fellow ball carrier Preston Valenzuela finished with 132 yards on 12 carries, while running back Robert Ramos and quarterback Oscar Resendez each scored a rushing touchdown and combined for 55 yards. Backup quarterback Mark Alaniz added 40 yards on three carries.
Resendez completed four passes for 59 yards and a touchdown before leaving the game early in the second quarter with an apparent injury to his throwing hand. Alaniz took over and led the Coyotes on four scoring drives.
Soza said it all had to do with the offensive line.
I thought the offensive line finally came through and we were able to run what we wanted to run, Soza said. The offensive and defensive lines controlled the game, pretty much. In the second half we kind of got a little sloppy as far as defense. I was disappointed we let them score so many points. But again, if we keep our (starters) in there they don't have the opportunity. I was pleased with the effort. I know the score doesn't reflect it, but I thought we dominated completely. I think this will hopefully give us the momentum we need to continue on through district.
The Trojans finished with 429 total yards, including 344 through the air. Quarterback Michael Cantu went 20 of 45 with five scoring passes and one interception, which Alice defensive back Davey Arredondo intercepted and returned 89 yards for the team's final touchdown.
Moody's Isaiah Patterson led all receivers with nine catches for 156 yards and a score, while teammate Robert Diggs had five catches for 135 yards and four touchdowns.
Alice scored first when Gonzalez broke free for a 44-yard touchdown run less with 9 minutes, 27 seconds left in the first quarter. Less than four minutes later, Resendez scored on a 16-yard scamper to give the Coyotes a 12-0 lead.
The Trojans answered with a 31-yard pass from Cantu to Diggs, but Alice responded with three more touchdowns two by Gonzalez before the end of the quarter to take a commanding 32-7 advantage.
The carnage continued in the second quarter after a 24-yard scoring strike from Cantu to Diggs cut Moody's deficit to 32-14. A 4-yard touchdown run by Ramos and 32-yard field goal by Alex Castillo put the Coyotes in front 42-14 heading into the locker room.