SONORA ‚ÄĒ It's been a long time coming, but Coahoma Head Coach Trey Gardner and his squad of Bulldogs finally pulled off a win ‚ÄĒ their first since the second week of the season ‚ÄĒ and it couldn't have come at a better time.
The banged-up, but hard-fighting Bulldogs traveled to Sonora and came home with a 27-21 victory over the powerful Broncos to even their district record to 1-1 and hopefully boosting the confidence of a team that has been embroiled with injuries since the season began.
‚ÄúI think it was a huge win,‚ÄĚ Gardner said. ‚ÄúWe knew going in we had to win three of our remaining four games and we have so many things going on with guys playing different positions and the injuries, but this was huge for us and hopefully we can build on the momentum.‚ÄĚ
Trailing 7-0 after two quarters were in the books, Coahoma's adjustments worked as they started the second half with a score when Peyton Rodriguez picked up a Sonora fumble and ran it 57-yards to the end zone for a game-tying score.
Tanner Ruiz scored the other three Bulldog touchdowns, two coming by way of ground and one with a reception from Braxten Iden ‚ÄĒ the sophomore backup quarterback who came in for Ruiz who is still battling a wrist fracture.
‚ÄúWe really had no intention of playing Iden much, with him still dealing with the ACL injury,‚ÄĚ Gardner said. ‚ÄúHe came in when we needed him to and he did a good job on both sides of the ball. He threw the ball well and ran the ball well a couple times. He was more mobile than I expected him to be. We had no intention of using him on defense either, but he came in because a couple guys went down and he came up with a big pick.‚ÄĚ
The defense bent, but didn't break, as the Bulldogs' secondary held Sonora off long enough to get the win.
‚ÄúThe defense played very hard,‚ÄĚ Gardner added. ‚ÄúWe had a lot of kids step up and make big plays that kept us in the game.‚ÄĚ
With nearly every starter out at some point this season, Gardner is hoping the worst is behind the Bulldogs so they can focus on the original plan: securing a playoff berth.
‚ÄúWe have a long way to go,‚ÄĚ Gardner added. ‚ÄúI told them to just keep going and out there and playing hard. They have been playing their rears through a lot of adversity. If any of them wanted an excuse quit and turn in their pads, they have had that excuse, but there is no quit in them.‚ÄĚ
Coahoma will have to keep playing hard, as the 5-2 Crane Golden Cranes will travel to Bulldog Stadium on Friday.
Other scores: Stanton (3-4) def. by Crane (5-2), 33-13
Open week: Forsan, Sands, Grady and Garden City.