ANNA — Going into its season opener, Anna knew there were big shoes to fill with the loss of Malik Berry to graduation.
In the preseason 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 that had a shining performance with 163 yards on 14 carries with four touchdowns 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 and when its offense took over it was Armijo that took the ball at mid-field, cut around the corner and went 50 yards to put the Coyotes ahead just minutes into the game.
"I knew he had it in him," Anna head coach Jason Heath said. "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 put together a 57-yard drive that was capped off by a three-yard scoring run from 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 would take 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 over 50 yards in two runs — the second resulted 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 final score to put the Coyotes ahead, 42-0, going into the fourth quarter.
Anna will prepare for Aubrey this week, 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. "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."