Even a storm strong enough to delay the start of the game for an hour and a half was not enough to keep things cool in Midland Thursday night, as tempers flew late in the game between Coahoma and Greenwood.
A bad call by the refs, a personal foul and, for a moment, it looked like both sidelines were going to meeting the middle of the field. However, cooler heads prevailed and the last two minutes of the game were played out, leaving Coahoma on the short side of the 50-35 tempest.
The Bulldogs made a game of it in the second half, but were never really in it, trailing 28-7 at halftime. But the style of game that Coach Trey Gardner has his boys playing, that clock-draining, steady real estate grinding approach, is not the style of offense that comes from that far behind. However, it is the style Coahoma plans to use when they play the other teams in District 2-2A, so it was never changed in Thursday night's game.
“We played really good in that second half,” Coach Gardner said. “I was not happy with the outcome, but the effort the boys gave in that second half was impressive.”
Though Coahoma did have some big plays in the game, Greenwood always had the answer to them. In the second quarter, Aaron Acevedo made a big run up the middle, setting up a touchdown run by Justin Coker to bring the Bulldogs to within seven points, but the Rangers immediately marched down the field and scored again.
With under two minutes to play in the half and Coahoma with only one time out remaining, Greenwood came out throwing after being pinned inside their own five yard line by an excellent Marco Molina punt. Then Greenwood's Kam Williams, a big six-footer, runs a quarterback draw right up the gut of the Bulldog defense for seventy yards. Williams had 122 rushing yards and threw for 99.
The Rangers scored on the following play and when Coahoma's drive stalled with an interception at the eight yard line, the two teams headed into their respective locker rooms, only halfway through what appeared to be an already decided 28-7 game.
The second half started like the first one ended, with Greenwood scoring, but the Bulldogs were just getting started in this one, as they ramped up their running attack, driving the length of the field for six points.
Still, the 35-14 loomed heavy from the scoreboard. When Greenwood returned the ensuing kick-off back to Coahoma's six yard line and immediately scored again, it was all but over.
Coahoma would go on to score three touchdowns in the fourth quarter, but it would not be enough against a 3A team that played very tough and physical. Coker scored from one, 28 and 65 yards out in the game.
“Don't take anything away from Greenwood,” Coach Gardner said. “They played a great game. We have a few things we need to clean up in the next few weeks, quit missing tackles, hang on to the football. It's best to get that out of the way before the district games start.”
The Bulldogs compiled 427 yards of total offense in the game, all but 53yards of it on the ground.
Quarterback Tanner Ruiz was five out of ten in the air with two interceptions and one touchdown. Ruiz also ran five times for 45 yards. Marco Molina was Coahoma's top receiver, catching four passes for 57 yards, including one touchdown.
On the ground, the Bulldogs relied heavily on Justin Coker. The Coahoma senior carried the ball 29 times for 204 yards. Sheigh Craven ran 15 times for 66 yards and Aaron Avevedo had three carries for 59 yards. Coahoma had 18 first downs to Greenwood's 12.
Coahoma gave up the football four times in the game, but were unable to force any turnovers from the Rangers.
The Bulldogs will be back on the road Friday, Sept. 2, as they take on Comanche.