The Richland Springs Coyotes pulled off the first shut-out ever, in Six-Man State Final history, last Saturday at Shotwell Stadium in Abilene, against the Sterling City Eagles. The win capped off a brilliant 15-0, perfect season, as the Coyotes lay claim to their fourth State Championship in the last 7 years.
Fox Sports Southwest provided the first web streamed broadcast of a Six-Man championship and the game was enjoyed by many of our Armed Forces, as far away as Afghanistan.
The 46-0 victory was also the second lowest point total in Six-Man history. The Coyotes, accomplished their season long quest, in workmanlike fashion, mercy ruling the Eagles, with only 19 seconds gone in the fourth quarter.
The Eagles opened the first quarter with a time consuming drive, eating over 6 minutes of clock, only to be turned away by a Denim Reeves tip to Stephen Fowler interception. On the Coyotes first play from scrimmage, the Coyote fans were holding their breath, as Denim Reeves was shaken on his first carry for no gain, and left the game for a couple of plays. After a nice run by John Greenwood, Reeves returns and finds Stephen Thornhill for 37 yards to the Eagle 2 yard line. John Greenwood drives it home, Franky Soto adds the PAT for two and its 8-0 Coyotes. The Eagles run three plays and punt and Denim Reeves runs for 8, and then breaks three tackles, and gains 43 yards to the Eagle 2 yard line. John Greenwood again slams it home and Franky Soto kicks the PAT and its Coyotes 16-0 with 8:42 left in the half. A beautiful pooch kick by Brian Torres is recovered by Torres at the Eagles 34 yard line. Reeves runs for 8 and Greenwood grinds out 3 yards before Reeves finds Chance Bush for 12 yards and a touchdown. PAT no good. Coyotes 22-0, 8:02 left in the half. Sterling City drives to the Coyote 5 yard line but are smothered on 4th down. Coyotes take over, but fumble it back to the Eagles, at the Coyote 21 yard line. The Coyote defense again holds the Eagles, to 4 and out ,and the Coyotes resume at their own 13 yard line. Tommy Hollon sprints for 58 yards to the Eagles 15 yard line to set up a Denim Reeves score, but it is called back for a penalty. Coyotes turn the ball over on downs and the half ends, 22-0 Coyotes.
On the first play of the second half, a Reeves to Fowler toss, for 60 yards and a TD, is called back. on yet another penalty. Denim, then finds Bush for 21 yards and a first down, at the Eagle 39 yard line. Reeves scats for 9, and then 29 yards for a touchdown. PAT is no good. Coyotes 28-0. 8:22 left in the third. Coyotes then stonewall the Eagles, 4 and out. Ball on Coyotes 36 yard line, Reeves runs for 7 and then misses to Tommy Hollon deep, fakes the pass and dashes for 37 and another Coyote touchdown. Pat is no good. 34-0, 4:07 left in the third period. Another 4 and out by the Eagles, Coyotes take over at the Eagles 36 yard line. Reeves scampers for 16 and Brian Torres finishes the drive with a nice 7 yard touchdown run. PAT is blocked. 40-0, 37 seconds left in the third.
The Eagles once again, are forced to go 4 and out, then Ben Vancleave runs the reverse for 17 yards and the game ending touchdown, Coyotes 46-0, 9:41 left in the fourth quarter. Pandemonium ensues!!! The crowd goes wild!!! and Coach Burkhart gets his Gatorade shower!!
Stephen Fowler was named Defensive Most Valuable Player and Denim Reeves the Offensive MVP. Denim Reeves had 19 carries for 211 yards and 2 touchdowns. John Greenwood rushed 6 times for 28 yards and 2 TD’s. Ben VanCleave had 1 carry for 18 yards and a score. Brian Torres had 1 rush for 7 yards and 6 points and Tommy Hollon had 1 carry for 58 yards. Denim Reeves was 5 for 7 passing for 81 yards and 1 touchdown, while Chance Bush caught three passes for 36 yards and a touchdown. Stephen Thornhill had the one catch for 37 yards to set up a score and Stephen Fowler had a catch for 8 yards. Chance Bush had 4 tackles and 5 assist and 1 tackle for loss, while Stephen Fowler had 5 solo tackles and 2 assists. John Greenwood had 4 solo tackles and 3 assists which included 1.5 tackles for loss. Ben Vancleave had 2 and 2 with 1.5 tackles for loss. Denim Reeves had 2 solo tackles and 2 assists with .5 tackle for loss. Brian Torres had 2 solo tackles one a tackle for loss. Brennen McGinty had 2 solo tackles and Tommy Hollon had assist on a tackle for loss and Elbert Thomas getting one assist.
The Richland Springs Coyotes, 2010 Six-man State Champions, Hero to the Average Sized Joes, and small town folks everywhere, you had the Serenity to accept the things you could not change, the Courage(and willpower) to change the things you could, and the Wisdom to know the difference. These boys will carry this experience throughout their lives. A realized knowledge of this truth... if you want something bad enough, and are willing to work hard enough for it... anything is possible. Congratulations!!! Coyotes...for a job well done. To the Coaches....Jerry Burkhart, Shawn Rogers, and Michael Brand...Thank You.. for the countless hours of devotion to these boys. Your dedication and attention to detail is obviously of Championship caliber. In the words of the great Bum Phillips....You may not be in a class by yourself....but it sure don’t take long to call the roll.