The Richland Springs Coyotes put a good old-fashioned whuppin’ on a athletic and speedy bunch of Bulldogs from Milford last Friday night in Hico. Lots of folks from the world of six-man football had predicted that Milford was the team to take down the Mighty Coyotes. They also predicted that same Coyote demise last week against Jonesboro. The prognosticators speculated that the superior size and speed of the Bulldogs would expose the undersized Coyotes and finally dethrone them. Even with their sophisticated computers, which can put point values on just about everything,....they still just can’t seem to find a way to quantify those mysterious assets called “heart” and “desire” and willingness to work. These boys, this team, will be remembered for a long time, although they are not the biggest in terms of stature, they will be remembered as Titans, for their fight and work ethic and desire to win. The Matchup It really doesn’t get any better than the #1 ranked team going against the #2 ranked team in the state. Both teams came in undefeated with identical 12-0 records. Milford had mercy-ruled Cransfil Gap and then survived a four-quarter scare from a very good Cherokee team. The final score not reflecting how close the game really was. Richland Springs routed Oglesby by half-time and then outworked a very physical Jonesboro team last week winning going away by 16 points. The History Milford had previously won back-to-back State Championships in 1979 and 1980. Their last playoff appearance was the 2010 State Semi-Finals where they were shut-out and mercy ruled by Richland Springs 50-0. The Coyotes have 5 State Championships in the last 8 years including the last two back-to-back. Their current winning streak now stands at 43 straight games.The Game On the Bulldogs first possession, Patrick Phillips picked off a Jarius Russell pass and returned it for touchdown( Trevor Tinneys’ PAT is good) and an early 8-0 Coyote lead. A lead they would never relinquish. The Bulldogs return the ensuing kickoff for a touchdown but missed their extra point try. Coyotes- 8 Bulldogs -6. The Coyotes drive and Chance Bush scores from 16 yards out. Tinneys’ PAT kick is good. Coyotes up 16-6. The Bulldogs take one play to score on a 60 yard pass from Russell to Essary. Bulldogs PAT kick is blocked by Jacob Cohn. Coyotes lead is 16-12. The Coyotes next drive stalls at the Bulldogs 3 yard line and they turn the ball over on downs. The Bulldogs can’t move the ball and they have to punt. The Coyotes drive again with Patrick Phillips catching a Chance Bush pass for 49 yards and a touchdown. Tinneys’ kick is blocked. Coyotes 22-12. Milford answers right back with a drive and score from Essary. PAT attempt is fumbled and no good. Coyotes lead 22-18. Coyotes drive and score again, this time its Brian Salinas slamming it in from 3 yards out. Tinneys’ PAT is good. Coyotes up 30-18. It only takes Milford 3 plays before they find the endzone again and make their PAT and the score is 30-26 Coyotes. The Coyotes next drive is highlighted by an outstanding catch by Ty Mann who managed to stay in-bounds. Bush finds Patrick Phillips again for 6 points and Tinneys’ kick is good for a 38-26 Coyote halftime lead. After halftime the Coyotes turn the ball over on a fumble on their own 25 yard line. The Coyotes defense stiffened and the Bulldogs can’t score from the 2 yard. Ty Manns’ relentless pressure was notable in this potentially game deciding series. The Coyotes take over and drive...Bush finds Brian Salinas for 64 yards and a touchdown. Coyotes stretch the lead to 46-26 (Trevor Tinneys’ PAT is good again). The Bulldogs drive and score. Coyotes lead is reduced to 46-34. Coyotes drive right back with Chance Bush finding Thomas Fowler for 30 yards and a score. Tinney kicks the PAT. Coyotes up 54-34. The Coyotes hold and then Gunner Mann freight-trains for the endzone from 45 yards out. Tinneys’ kick is good ....Coyotes 62-34. Coyotes defense holds again and forces a fumble on a field goal try before Chance Bush busts loose for 45 yards and a touchdown and a 70-34 Coyote lead with Tinneys’ successful PAT kick. Jairus Russell gets loose again for the Bulldogs but Brian Salinas answers right back with a beautiful 50 yard touchdown run to make the final score 78-42. The Coyotes win going away!!! The Stats The Coyotes were led again by their stud spreadback, Chance Bush. Chance ran the ball 17 times for 149 yards and two touchdowns. He also completed 11 of 13 passes for 239 yards and four more touchdowns. Chance lead the defense with 10.5 tackles (7 solo). Patrick Phillips had a huge night with 2 touchdown catches and a Pick Six on defense for another score. Ty Mann had 4 solo tackles and 8 assists (1.5 for losses) and 2 catches for 35 yards, he ran the ball 3 times for 34 yards and had two kickoff returns for 51 yards. Gunner Mann had a 45 yard run for a touchdown and added two assists on defense. Thomas Fowler caught 6 passes for 82 yards including one for a 30 yard touchdown and added 5 solo tackles and 7 assists on defense. Brian Salinas ran the ball 8 times for 73 yards and two touchdowns and caught a pass and scored from 64 yards out. Chris Munoz had 2 solo tackles and 2 assists including 1.5 for losses in the Bulldog backfield. Trevor Tinney was successful on 9 of his 10 PAT kicks for 18 points and had 3 solo tackles and 1 assist on defense a sack and a tackle for a loss. Special thanks to Thurman Saxon for the stats and Cubby Pearce for the film. Fixed on SixHead Coach and defensive coordinator Jerry Burkhart is well known for his ability to make defensive adjustments on the fly, but given a whole 30 minutes of halftime to plan and scheme.... well, its almost not fair. The high-powered offense of the Bulldogs were held to their lowest point total of the year and the well-oiled offensive machine engineered and operated by Coordinator Shawn Rogers was near perfect scoring nearly twice as many points on the Bulldogs as they had previously allowed. So, on to the Semi-Finals, the last four teams standing, .....again. The Coyotes will face the Strawn Greyhounds this Saturday in Hico at 2:00 P.M. The Greyhounds are 12-1 on the season, suffering their only defeat against their long-time rival, Gordon 36-34. There is some history here, the Coyotes have lost only 5 games in the last 10 years, three of those losses have been to the Strawn Greyhounds, in the 2003 Semi-Finals, the 2008 Bi-district game and the 2009 Quarterfinals. The last loss the Coyotes can remember was at the hands of these same Greyhounds.....43 games ago. Don’t miss this one !!! The Coyotes are Fixed on Six. Go Coyotes Go !!!! Go Win State !!!