The Richland Springs Coyotes donned their hardhats, strapped on their toolbelts, punched the time clock, and went to work at 4:00 PM in Hico last Friday afternoon. The Coyotes earned no overtime, making short work of their task, defeating the Calvert Trojans at halftime via mercy rule, no lunch pails needed. The performance bonus they did earn was a berth in the State Semi-Finals next week in Tuscola. Head Coach and Master Draftsman Jerry Burkhart drew up the defensive blueprints and the Coyotes executed the plan with workman like precision. The Trojans employed a rather unique offensive strategy against the stingy Coyotes. Calvert ran all passing plays, absolutely no running plays whatsoever. Rarely is it seen, in todays’ football, a team that utilizes 100% running or passing plays. The Trojans, faced with the challenge of somehow scoring on the brickwall Coyote defense, were content to fling the ball downfield, in hopes of hitting the big play. They managed 10 completions on 29 plays for three touchdowns and one interception. They also suffered a sack for a safety and another tackle for a loss of 5 yards. Several of the completed passes were for losses or minimal gains. The Coyotes limited the Trojans to 122 total yards and only 6 first downs. All in a half days’ work. Offensive Architect Shawn Rogers designed an offense that was fairly balanced, running the ball 26 times for 360 yards and 6 touchdowns, and throwing and completing 8 of 11 passes for 127 yards and 3 more scores. The Coyotes had a staggering 19 first downs in only one half of play. The efficient Coyotes scored on every possession except one. Road Boss Denim Reeves rushed 16 times for 283 yards and was 8 for 10 passing for 127 yards. Chance Bush ran the heavy equipment, bulldozing for 77 yards on 9 carries with 2 touchdowns, and caught two passes for 34 yards and another score. Ben VanCleave used the cherrypicker to snatch two of Reeves passes for 46 yards and a touchdown. Tra Williams went high up the ladder to haul down one of Reeves’ passes for 24 yards and 6 points. Thomas Fowler took the slack out of the chain, with two catches for 16 yards, and paved the road with rockcrushing blocks for the runners. Patrick Phillips made the time sheet with a nice catch for 8 yards and a first down. Corey Bessents’ kicking was stringline straight and true contributing 8 PATs for 16 points. Corey shifted gears, showing off his speed, and ran down a fleet Trojan kick returner from behind preventing a touchdown. Ben VanCleave led the team with 5 sledgehammer tackles but Gunner Mann was the roughneck for the defense Friday evening. Gunners’ assignment was to speed rush and contain the rather large (6’2" 230 lb) Trojan QB. Gunners’ relentless harassment along with wallpaper-like coverage in the secondary by Tra Williams, Chance Bush, Denim Reeves and Patrick Phillips made for a long night for the Calvert passing game. Stanley Butler, Chris Munoz and Ty Mann gave the starters coffee breaks and all recorded tackles in the contest. Big Danny Tillery provided jobsite security keeping all vagrants and unauthorized personnel on the right side of the line of scrimmage and away from the ball carriers. No worthwhile project can be completed without exhausting preparation. Some of the all-important, behind the scenes work, is done by the “Scout Team”. Day after day, these boys assume the role of the next opponents’ offense and defense, running foreign plays and alignments, over and over again, to help prepare the starters. Their effort during practice can be directly translated into victories on Friday nights. Most of these boys get little or no playing time on game day, they are the boys on the sidelines, silently whispering, “Put me in, Coach” during the games. They are Justin Trevino, Ty Mann, Joe Avila, Wyatt Ramsey, Trevor Tinney, Stanley Butler, Dillon Parker, Jonathan Patino and Freshmen Jacob Cohn and Storm Teel. If you get a chance, say “Thank You” to these hardworking boys, their daily labor is essential in building a championship team. Fridays’ victory certifies the 2011 Richland Springs Coyotes as one of the top four Div II Six-Man teams in Texas, three playoff victories in the books, two more to go. Friday the Coyotes will face a salty Newcastle team, sporting a 12-1 record, the Bobcats’ only loss on the season is to a very good Abilene Christian High team. They have defeated Strawn, Knox City, Bryson and Milford enroute to the Semi-Finals. This should be a good one!! See ya in Tuscola at 5:00 PM on Friday!!! Go Coyotes Go!! Go Win State!!!!