Looking to snap a four-game losing streak, Anna came into its homecoming weekend knowing it had a tall order ahead taking on an undefeated Ferris squad. The Coyotes had no answer for the ground attack of the YellowJackets, however, falling 49-29.
Ferris (6-0, 0-0) amassed more than 450 yards on the ground, with 260 coming from the running back spot, while quarterback Javaughn Thurmon accounted for 195 on his own. Many of Ferris’ long rushes came from broken plays where it looked like the Coyotes defense had them stuffed. The runners exploited the Anna (1-5, 0-0) weak side defense, changing directions and coming up with big plays for scores.
Six of the seven YellowJacket touchdowns came from more than 20 yards out.
The change of direction plays proved costly for Anna in more areas than the scoreboard. Runners running back across the field left defenders unprotected against several bone-crushing, blindside blocks that resulted in a few key injuries throughout the game — including leading rusher Isaac Armijo (head) and kicker and defensive specialist Alan Segura (ribs).
Things looked bright for the Coyotes early as they were able to score and take the lead just seconds into the game when Joseph Lopez took the opening kickoff 95 yards for a touchdown. A few plays later, running back Jay Foster made his first trip to the end zone with a 55-yard scoring run that got Ferris on the board.
The next YellowJacket drive resulted in another score that gave them the lead. Ferris never looked back as it scored four unanswered touchdowns before Anna replied with less than a minute to go in the half. Anna recovered an onside kick and then drove it down to the 11 yard line. Armijo was able to get the score with a pack of Coyotes pushing the crowd back along the left sideline.
Ferris answered with a 63-yard run with less than 10 seconds in the half to quiet the crowd.
Anna had an impressive drive early in the third quarter that was fueled by the arm of senior quarterback Ty Chapman and capped off with a perfectly placed 21-yard fade pass up the left sideline to Eric Jackson. Ferris replied on its next possession with a score and the Coyotes could not close the gap.
"I thought special teams was good and we were able to get a TD off of a kick off to open the game," Anna Head Coach Jason Heath said. "Armijo getting hurt in the third quarter forced us to go to our passing game more and I thought we were successful in doing that. We had some guys make some plays at receiver that we have been waiting on to step up."
In the middle of the fourth quarter, Korey Sanchez scored Anna’s final touchdown and the 2-point conversion brought them within 13. That, however, was as close as the Coyotes got to the lead the rest of the way.
Anna will look to get its players healthy as it starts district play this week, hosting Community, which fell to Rains on Oct. 4.
"In preparing for Community we know how big this game is," Heath said. "To start out 1-0 in district is what everybody wants to do. We got pretty banged up so we want know for sure who all will be able to play until later next week."
Ferris 49, Anna 29
Ferris 14 21 7 7 — 49
Anna 7 6 8 8 — 29
AN — Joseph Lopez 95-yard kickoff return (Alan Segura kick)
FS — Jay Foster 55-yard run (run failed)
FS — Javaughn Thurmon 41-yard run (Javaughn Thurmon run)
FS — Jay Foster 1-yard run (Miguel Mendiola kick)
FS — Javaughn Thurmon 21-yard run (Miguel Mendiola kick)
AN — Isaac Armijo 11-yard run (run failed)
FS — Jay Foster 63-yard run (Miguel Mendiola kick)
AN — Eric Jackson 21-yard pass from Ty Chapman (Ty Chapman run)
FS — Javaughn Thurmon 22-yard run (Miguel Mendiola kick)
AN — Korey Sanchez 1-yard run (Sean Kyle from Ty Chapman)
FS — Javaughn Thurmon 31-yard run (Miguel Mendiola kick)
Total yards 544 247
First downs 21 13
Rushes-Yds 47/462 34/176
Comp-Att-Int 12-21-0 12-22-1
Pass yards 82 171
Punts-Avg 2-23.5 3.34
Fumbles-Lost 0-0 1-1
Penalties-yards 15-115 8-85
Passing – Ferris: Javaughn Thurmon 12-25-82-0-0; Anna: Ty Chapman 12-22-171-1-1; Rushing – Ferris: Jay Foster 25-260, Javaughn Thurmon 17-195, Armando Morones 4-7; Anna: Isaac Armijo 11-60, Ty Chapman 12-52, Korey Sanchez 6-19, Chase Pinion 2-3; Receiving – Ferris: Niko Garza 2-4, Darius Rouwtt 5-33, Cameron King 3-27, Raul Mendez 1-18, Jay Foster 1-0; Anna: J’Varri Stewart 3-46, Eric Jackson 3-42, John Erwin 1-37, Joseph Lopez 3-15, Dylan Duncan 2-10.