COAHOMA — With the injuries Coahoma has faced to its position players, it seemed a bit like a David vs. Goliath affair as the Bulldogs hosted the perennially robust Alpine Bucks on Friday to close out their season.
This time, Goliath won.
Despite a characteristic strong showing from the 'Dogs, Alpine went home the victors with a 53-25 win, cementing its District 3-2A title.
As for Coahoma, Head Coach Trey Gardner hopes the grit shown by his seniors set a good example for the underclassmen poised to fill their shoes.
“These guys,” Gardner said the seniors, “Have been in the playoffs. They have had success. If nothing else, this year they have set the standard for the younger guys to see. With all they have been through and having nothing really to play for (Friday), they played their rears off. They played great.”
The Bulldogs started off strong, scoring on their first two offensive possessions. Alpine was also lighting up the scoreboard, scoring on their first three consecutive drives.
“It started with fireworks, Gardner said. “I was worried with how banged-up we were, we wouldn't be able to keep up that pace.”
Coahoma's Joe Melendez had 23 carries, accounting for 121 yards and a touchdown, Tanner Ruiz had two catches for 80 yards and a touchdown, Caleb Chapa picked up 23 yards and scored a touchdown and sophomore Braxten Iden completed five-of-16 passes for 105 yards and rushed for a touchdown.
Coahoma outgained Alpine 235 yards to 120 on the ground, but Alpine was the more efficient passing team, racking up 248 yards through the air to the Bulldogs' 105.
“Alpine's quarterback is tremendously good,” Gardner said. “When we got the ball, we were able to move it and gain yards, but they have such a high-powered offense, we just couldn't keep up.”
Gardner also has high hopes for the future of Bulldog football, but admits he will be working with a very young cadre of athletes next year.
“Our J.V. Team went 9-1,” Gardner added. “We know we've got some good players coming up, the question is, can we get them ready in time?”
As for Gardner's seniors, he heaps praise on their efforts in what turned out to be a rough season.
“I am extremely proud of the way the kids played all year,” Gardner said. “There was no quit in them.”
The Bulldogs finished with a 2-8 overall record.
• Grady (7-3) def. Klondike, (6-4), to advance to playoffs where they will meet Ropes. Game time is tentatively set for 7:30 p.m. Friday in Ackerly.
• Garden City (3-7) lost to Rankin (9-1), to advance to playoffs where they will meet Water Valley on Thursday in Sterling City at 7:30 p.m.
• Wellman-Union (2-8) def Sands (4-6).
• Stanton (4-6) def. Reagan County (5-5).