The La Joya Coyotes dropped to 1-2 in non-district play tonight as a result of their 59-7 loss to the Edinburg Vela Sabercats. Turnovers and costly penalties were the Coyotes’ downfall as Coach George Espinoza’s squad dug themselves into a hole that they could not climb out of.
After Vela scored on their first possession of the game, an Isaiah Calderon return to the Sabercats two yard line on the on the ensuing kickoff went to waste when a missed hand-off between La Joya quarterback Julio Garcia and one of his running backs fell to the ground and was picked up and run back for a 97-yard touchdown by a Vela defender.
Unfortunately for La Joya, that play was a sign of things to come as the only points they’d put on the board all night was a 4-yard run by Calderon late in the second quarter and the point after by Jorge Munoz.
Calderon did have two touchdowns called back on back-to-back plays in the fourth quarter due to holding penalties but that would be as close as the Coyotes would get to the end zone the remainder of the game.
Garcia completed 13 of 29 passes for 122 yards and two interceptions on the night. Justin Leanos ran the ball 13 times for 103 yards while Joel Casas and Victor DeHoyos caught three passes for 34 yards and two passes for 35 yards respectively to lead the Coyotes.
La Joya actually had more first downs than Vela did on the night, 16-14, but the Coyotes gave the Sabercats an extremely short field after several of their turnovers making it unnecessary for Vela to have to move the ball much at all to score. On the night the Sabercats began five of their drives in Coyotes’ territory with two of them being inside the La Joya 20-yard line.
After the game Espinoza expressed his disappointment in the way his team played when he said, “The bottom line is that we need to find a way of eliminating the mistakes. That’s what’s hurt us in the long run. Early on tonight we were in a position to tie the game at seven but instead we found ourselves down 14-0.”
“We’d drive the ball but then we’d get in a crucial situation and we’d throw an interception that they’d run it back and then they’d have a short field,” added Espinoza. “There are a lot of things that we’ll need to correct. We could’ve hung in there but the mistakes that we made gave them the scores.”