The La Joya Coyotes fell short against the Memorial Mustangs 24-7 tonight at McAllen Veterans Memorial Stadium, losing their third straight district game.
The first half started off competitive as the La Joya defense played with an edge, shutting down McAllen Memorial’s dangerous ground game led by running back Campbell Speights. The Coyote defense kept the Mustangs out of the end zone in the first half as they came up with two goal line stops, only surrendering a field goal.
Memorial’s first touchdown came on a strip sack of Coyotes’ quarterback Irving Garcia to put them up 10-0 in the second quarter. That’s when La Joya workhorse running back went to work. Eddie Villarreal carried the Coyote offense on his back as he has all season, with the help of his offensive line.
The Coyotes began a drive at their own five-yard line, but grinded out a 95 yard, 13 play drive that was capped off with a five-yard Villarreal touchdown to send the game into halftime with La Joya trailing 7-10.
In the second half, the Mustangs keyed in on Villarreal, sending linebackers up the middle to prevent La Joya’s bruising runner from hurting the Memorial defense. He still found yardage all night and kept the pile pushing forward, but the Coyote offense failed to convert two second half red zone opportunities.
The loss sends the Coyotes to 3-4 on the year and 0-3 in District 30-6A, and they’ll have to turn things around quickly to create an outside chance at a playoff spot. Up next for La Joya is a home rivalry game against the 6-2 Juarez-Lincoln Huskies at 730 p.m. in La Joya.