Looking for a win in the season opener, Anna knew it had big shoes to fill with the loss of Malik Berry to graduation last year.
In the preseason games it looked like there would be a group of players sharing the load at running back — and there was in the opener — but it was sophomore Isaac Armijo who had a shining performance with 163 yards on 14 carries with four scores to lead the Coyotes to a 42-14 win over Dallas Life.
Anna’s defense forced a turnover-on-downs on the first possession of the game. When the Coyote offense took over it was Armijo who took the ball at mid-field, cut around the corner and went 50-yards for pay dirt to put the Coyotes ahead just minutes into the game.
They never lost that lead.
"I knew he (Armijo) had it in him," Coach Jason Heath said after the game. "I wasn’t expecting it when he took off around the corner on that first play but he showed that he has a little more speed than he looks like. To come out and rush for 100 yards in the first game, it may be a little surprising but we knew he was capable of it."
In the second quarter, Anna (1-0) put together a 57-yard drive that was capped off by a 3-yard scoring run by quarterback Ty Chapman. The Coyotes picked off the ball on their next defensive stand and returned it to the Lion’s 15-yard line.
Armijo scored a few plays later to give Anna the 21-0 lead it carried into the half.
"Overall we’re pleased; we got a game under our belts and glad we came away with a win," Heath said. "At times, offensively we showed what we can do and we were our own worst enemy some of the time. When something went wrong it’s usually because of something we did."
Early in the second half, Armijo again showed his speed, gaining more than 50 yards in two runs — the second resulting in a 25-yard touchdown. After recovering a fumble, Chapman connected with John Erwin down the right sideline for a 53-yard touchdown.
Anna forced a punt on the ensuing possession and then was able to put together a 72-yard drive that was capped off with Armijo’s fourth score of the game. The touchdown put the Coyotes ahead 42-0 going into the fourth quarter.
Dallas Life (0-1) was able to score twice in the fourth but it was not enough to bring them back into the game as Anna pulled away with the win.
Anna will prepare for Aubrey Friday night, looking to top the Chaps for the second consecutive season.
"They are going to be a team that grinds out the ball offensively to control the clock," Heath said of the team’s next opponents. "They are going to give us a lot of looks and formations, they will be tough to prepare for. So we have continue to improve on those things that we do, work on the little things that we focus on every day and come out and try to play a great game."
Dallas Life 0 0 0 14 - 14
Anna 7 14 21 0 - 42
AN — Isaac Armijo 49-yard run (Alan Segura kick)
AN — Ty Chapman 3-yard run (Segura kick)
AN — Armijo 4-yard run (Segura kick)
AN — Armijo 25-yard run (Segura kick)
AN — Chapman 53-yard pass to John Erwin (Segura kick)
AN — Armijo 8-yard run (Segura kick)
DL — Christopher Fellows 5-yard run (Daniel Gonzales kick)
DL — Mark Gomez fumble recovery (Gonzales kick)
Passing – Anna: Ty Chapman 4-9-101-1-0; Dallas Life: Christopher Fellows 7-18-66-0-2;
Rushing – Anna: Isaac Armijo 14-163, Ty Chapman 10-74, Brandon Dossett 4-18, Korey Sanchez 1-20, Chase Pinion 8-3, Scott Crum 2-9; Dallas Life: Christopher Fellows 21-58, Debraylon McClinton 7-32, Alfredo Hector 8-33;
Receiving – Anna: John Erwin 3-96, Joseph Lopez 1-5; Dallas Life: Debraylon McClinton 2-7, Kendrick Warren 2-19, Justin Holden 1-1, Alfredo Hector 1-7, Jared Wooley 1-32.