In only their second visit to The Rim Forest in three seasons the Coyotes made the 25 mile climb up to Rim of the World High School for their first league game of the 17-18 season. Their last visit (2015) was a game that was played at the end of the season which even included playoff implications. This time, it’s up front and when asked if this is a must win, coach McMillan stated “every game is a must win.” One huge difference was the fact that, this time, the game was played during the first week in autumn which can be brutal and unforgiving, at least for the desert bound coyotes!
On the first possession of the game, the scots ran 7 consecutive running plays and moved the ball at will, nine yards at a time. The Scots fumbled the ball on their 8th consecutive running play and Coyote defensive end, Ananias Murphy caught it in mid-air and ran it back 69 yards for the game’s first touchdown, giving the Coyotes a 6-0 head start, with 8 minutes left in the quarter! However, after a healthy kick return, the Scots answered with a 5-play drive for a touchdown. The end of the first quarter meant it was 7-6 Scots. On the first play of the 2nd quarter, the Scots added to their lead with a 55-yard touchdown run as the Coyotes paid heavily for their poor tackling. With the game 14-6, the coyotes had a punt blocked in the end zone adding 2 points to the Scots total, bringing the game’s score to 16-6. The half ended with the Scots comfortably in the driver’s seat with a 22-6 lead. For good measure, the hosts added another touchdown bringing the score to 30-6, with 6 minutes left in the 3rd quarter. But the coyotes managed to wake up, although too late. In a game where the Coyotes showed high intensity on defense, they never managed to get started on offense. The Coyote defense created two turnovers, one for a touchdown but Kylaun Woods never had the quality runs he has shown throughout his breakthrough season and even fumbled early in the first quarter. After the Coyotes were forced to abandon their ground game, Woods, who entered the game with 788 total rushing yards, (ranked 5th in the Inland Empire) was asked to line up as a receiver to supplement the offensive attack. True to form, Kylaun ends the night with a 79-yard touchdown catch, which ended up being the Coyote’s only offensive scoring production of the evening. The Coyote defense has allowed 30 points or more in three games this season. On this night, the 33 points could be linked to their offensive turnovers and overall lack of production which translated in the defense being on the field for 75% of the game. When asked if the defense was affected by being on the field for so long, defensive back coach, Terrence Thomas, simply said “33 points is never a good thing.” Coach McMillan stated after the game, “we just need to get better. We need to find ways to get better. Our Players [need to dedicate more time to their game and not outside distractions]”. After only their first loss in league play, the Coyotes will be at home against San Gorgonio on Friday the 13th.