In a game where there were more penalty yards than passing yards, Anna let a halftime lead slip through their hands in a tepid three minute stretch in the third quarter of its bi-district playoff game against District 11-3A champion Wilmer-Hutchins at Pirate Stadium in Wylie on Friday night.
After leading 14-6 at halftime, two fumbles turned into easy scores plus a 62-yard punt return completely flipped the momentum meter and Hutchins (5-5, 2-1) was able to use a 26-point third quarter to get the 32-14 win.
"All night we kinda shot ourselves in the foot with penalties and turning the ball over," Anna Head Coach Jason Heath said. "You can’t lay the ball down as many times as we did and expect to win the game. Obviously the punt return was big – it gave them a lot of momentum – but we have to learn to overcome that."
Early in the game it was Anna (3-8, 2-2) that was able to take advantage of its opponent’s mistakes. On the Eagles’ first offensive possession, Anna forced a fumble and recovered the ball on the Eagle 24 yard line.
Isaac Armijo scored a few plays later with a three-yard run up the gut to get the Coyotes on the board first. Anna’s Korey Sanchez intercepted a pass on the ensuing drive but the offense was unable to turn it into points and Hutchins took over at the 18 yard line.
Anna had a chance to shut that drive down, too, but the Eagles were able to convert a fourth-and-six to keep the drive alive. They scored a few plays later when DeaUndre Foster scampered in from seven yards out. Foster was the driving force of the Eagle offense, accounting for 170 of the team’s 346 rushing yards. Armijo led Anna with 175 yards on the ground.
Later in the second, the Coyotes again took advantage of a short field when a Hutchins punt gave it the ball at the Eagle 30 yard line. It was again Armijo who punched it in for Anna to put it up 14-6 at the end of the first half.
The Eagles marched down the field to open the second half, putting together an 82-yard scoring drive that culminated with a 26-yard touchdown run by Foster. A dropped pass forced a punt by Anna on its ensuing drive and Hutchins made it pay with a 62-yard punt return by De’Monte Ruth to give the Eagles their first lead of the game.
Armijo fumbled the ball on the next Coyote drive and Hutchins was able to recover just 29-yards from the end zone. It scored a few plays later on a 39-yard run by Foster.
On the ensuing Coyotes drive, another fumble gave the ball back to the Eagles and they then turned that opportunity into points, also.
Hutchins was able to control the pace of the game from that point forward and used the 26-point third quarter to advance to the Area round of the UIL 3A Division I playoffs, where it will take on Decatur. Anna, however, ended their season much earlier than hoped but were able to make it to the postseason for the second time in the last four seasons and for the first time under the direction of Heath.
"Making the playoffs, that was a big goal for us but we’re not going to be satisfied," Heath said. "We’re not going to be a team that’s thinking about rebuilding, we are going to reload and go to work. Starting Monday of next week, we’ll move to off-season, go to work and find a way to eliminate those little mistakes that cost us all season."
An Anna win would have given their district a clean sweep of 11-3A. Bonham and Melissa won their playoff games on Thursday night and Princeton was able to topple Ferris on Friday night.
Wilmer-Hutchins 32, Anna 14
Hutchins 0 6 26 0 — 32
Anna 7 7 0 0 — 14
AN — Isaac Armijo 3-yard run (Alan Segura kick)
WH — DeaUndre Foster 7-yard run (conversion failed)
AN — Isaac Armijo 5-yard run (Alan Segura kick)
WH TD 7:28 DeaUndre Foster 26-yard run (pass failed)
WH TD 5:53 De’Monte Ruth 62-yard punt return (pass failed)
WH TD 4:29 DeaUndre Foster 39-yard run (De’Monte Ruth run)
WH TD 0:59 Shuwon Carter 27-yard run (pass failed)
First downs 19 15
Rushes-Yds 47-346 41-221
Comp-Att-Int 4-6-1 7-16-0
Pass yards 31 61
Total yards 377 282
Punts-Avg 2-33 4-42
Fumbles-Lost 1-1 4-3
Penalties-yds 14-104 7-75
Passing – Anna: Ty Chapman 7-16-61-0-0; Hutchins: DeaUndre Foster 4-6-31-0-1.
Rushing – Anna: Isaac Armijo 29-175, Ty Chapman 11-45, Joseph Lopez 1-1; Hutchins: DeaUndre Foster 17-170, Cedrick Derrett 12-78, Shuwon Carter 3-61, De’terrion Wortham 12-39, LaDraylon Battie 1-5, Wilton Maxwell 1-(-4).
Receiving – Anna: Eric Jackson 1-31, John Erwin 6-30; Hutchins: LaDraylon Battie 2-16, Bernard Anderson 2-15.