The Anna Coyotes defeated Paris North Lamar, 44-12, on Friday, Oct. 13, in the District 7-4A Div. I football-opener for both teams. The road win improved Anna’s overall season record to 5-1.

“I’m very pleased to start district off, 1-0,” Coyotes head coach Jason Heath said. “I was concerned about going over there and playing. The last time we were there, I believe it was four years ago, we didn’t play very well, didn’t have a very good game. … Being able to go over there on the road and come out with a win was big for us. It’s a great way to start the district off.”

Defensively, Heath highlighted the play of linebacker Antonio Moon and defensive end Josiah Ivery. “Those two played very well for us. Antonio had an interception there in the third quarter which was big. We gained some momentum off of that. And Ivery made some big plays and tackles for losses throughout the game. … Offensively, Aaron Lee had another good game running the ball and Noah Palshaw had a good game at receiver.” Heath also praised the Coyotes’ offensive line. “I think we rushed for 280 yards. The offensive line did some great things up front.”

Coyotes quarterback Keelan Crosby rushed for a team-high 109 yards and one touchdown and he threw for another score, while Lee collected 108 yards and three touchdowns on the ground.

The Panthers led, 6-0, after one quarter but Anna went up, 14-6, by halftime after Crosby’s 48-yard touchdown run and a 6-yard scoring scamper by Lee. In the third quarter, Palshaw’s 27-yard touchdown catch pushed the Coyotes’ lead to 22-6 before short TD runs by Lee boosted the advantage to 35-12 before the stanza ended.

In the fourth quarter, a bad punt-snap out of the end zone gave Anna 2 points before Josh Abara’s 42-yard touchdown run capped the Coyotes’ scoring.

North Lamar’s two touchdowns came on runs of 33 and 53 yards.

Heath noted what makes the Paris North Lamar Panthers (2-4, 0-1) a dangerous team. “Their running backs and the quarterback have a lot of speed,” he said. “You give them a crease and they can go score, which they did twice on us. I don’t know if we laid a hand on them when they scored. We knew going in that we had to keep them in front of us and make them keep snapping the ball. Defensively, they provide a look for us that we don’t see that often. It’s a 3-3 stacked defense. But I thought [our offense] did well as far as adjusting and sticking to the game plan.”

Anna next faces the Quinlan Ford Panthers at home on Friday, Oct. 20. Ford (5-1, 0-1) dropped its district-opener to Princeton, 28-24.