This contest was billed as the “real deal”, real competition for the mighty Coyotes, maybe not to the same degree as, “The Thrilla in Manila”, or “Rocky vs Apollo Creed”, but a great matchup by any standards. The Longhorns of Gordon, were considered by many, to be true contenders. The critics and haters of the Richland Springs Coyote football program, claimed that the Champs had faced no real competition and weren’t worthy of their yearlong #1 ranking. The 4-2 Longhorns came into Richland Springs hoping for an upset and maybe some validation of their own program. Gordon had previously beaten a very good Strawn team and were edged out by the Division I, #1 ranked Ira Bulldogs in their first game of the season. Yep, a real contenda’. The two-time defending Champs have cruised through their season defeating all comers by the mercy rule with most games ending at halftime. This game lived up to the all the marquee hype with both teams returning opening kickoffs for touchdowns. Like two heavyweights trading punches, the game see-sawed back and forth until late in the second quarter when the continuous body blows delivered by the Champs seemed to be taking a toll on the Longhorns. Two fourth down stops by Richland Springs indicated the Coyotes were getting stronger, and the Longhorns may be reeling from the effects of the relentless pummeling administered, by Head Coach Jerry Burkharts’ proteges, and belied the halftime score of 54-38. One by one the Longhorn starters were being assisted off the field, victims of clean knock-out tackles and blocks. But at halftime, Gordon still wasn’t down and out, dragging themselves off the canvas to score once more to close the gap in the scorecards. With the score 54-44, the Champs put the contender away with a flurry of jabs, uppercuts, and haymakers and built a wall on defense the Longhorns couldn’t penetrate. 38 unanswered points....game over with 7:40 left in the fourth quarter. Chance Bush was the Coyotes’ “Raging Bull” rushing 15 times for 289 yards and 7 touchdowns and completing 6 passes for 147 yards and 2 more touchdowns. Knockout runs of 39, 1, 23, 42, 68, 22, and 37 yards left the Longhorns dazed and confused with no answer for the continuous pounding. Thomas (Tommy Gun) Fowler threw the first punch, returning the opening kickoff 55 yards for 6 points and later snagging one of Bushs’ passes and scoring from 38 yards. Thomas put on an exhibition of speed and power on his mothers’ birthday recording 10 bone-jarring tackles on defense. Trevor (The Truth) Tinney gaining confidence week by week was spectacular, kicking 10 of 11 PAT tries, for 20 all-important points and was a contributor defensively. Up and coming freshman, Brian (Bone Crusher) Salinas, ran 5 times for 35 yards and the final touchdown, caught 3 passes for 42 yards, and had 7 tackles on defense including 2.5 tackles for losses and a sack. Brian had a devastating highlight reel block that cleared the way for one of Bushs’ long touchdown runs. Ty (The Hitman) Mann had 2 rushes for 39 yards and one touchdown and was a dominating force on defense with 6 tackles including a sack and 2 tackles for losses. Chris (Macho) Munoz, dinged up a little early, still managed to catch a Bush pass and score from 46 yards out and added a tackle on defense. Patrick (Pac-Man) Phillips patrolled the secondary and had 4 tackles, one for a loss. Gunner (IronMan) Mann had 2 tackles, one for a loss and a half a sack. Jacob (Hurricane) Cohn assisted on two tackles, one for a loss, and blocked 2 of the Longhorn PAT attempts. Jonathan (The Punisher) Patino steadily handled the PAT snapping duties and Michael (Storm ?) Teel and Stanley (Boom-Boom) Buttler again created havoc with their special teams play. Make no mistake, the Gordon Longhorns are a good team with some legitimate all-state caliber athletes. A top-ten ranked Division I program with more than twice the player pool as Richland Springs. Not a Joe Palooka club fighter.....a real contender. The Coyotes’ constant pressure created “happy feet”, hurried throws, and apparent intentional grounding from the Gordon quarterbacks, as the game wore on. The consistent pounding by the defense had the Longhorn receivers dropping passes, growing “short arms” as they tried to sneak a peek at oncoming tacklers. The neverend-ing onslaught was overwhelming and Gordon inevitably threw in the towel crying, “No Mas” in the fourth quarter. The mighty Coyotes’ offense, was virtually unstoppable, scoring on 1 out of every 3 plays from scrimmage, led by their All-State, “Raging Bull”, Chance Bush. The Coyotes extend their winning streak to 37 games and 7-0 on the season and will have a “bye” this week to prepare for the upcoming district schedule. LET’S GET READY TO R-U-M-M-B-B-L-E !!!!! GO COYOTES GO !!!!