ANNA — As the Argyle Eagles’ juggernaut pulled into Anna Friday, many vaunted observers were perhaps expecting a rout of epic proportions. After all, the undefeated, No. 1-ranked Class 4A Eagles had averaged 65 points per game in their last six outings - and hadn’t scored fewer than 42 all season. Anna, meanwhile, was out of the playoffs with a district mark of 1-3 and coming off three-straight losses.
High-powered Argyle indeed prevailed, 35-6, but the prophesied wipeout didn’t happen. To wit: By halftime, the Coyotes had picked off two passes, recovered a fumble and stuffed a 4th-and-1 try. And in one electric moment in the second quarter, Anna appeared to draw to within 14-12 when Cayden Parrott scooped up an Eagles fumble and raced 89 yards for a touchdown – only to see it called back due to a penalty.
After giving up a touchdown on Anna’s first drive, the Eagles’ defense clamped down the rest of the way, forcing eight punts and pitching a shutout. The Coyotes (4-5, 1-4) were held to 221 yards of total offense as Argyle rolled to 459, in spite of four eventual turnovers.
“We did a lot of good things, we still made mistakes,” Anna head coach Jason Heath said. “I was proud of our kids for the effort they gave. … Obviously, we’re disappointed in the loss and where we’re at right now. But we’ve still got a game left and we’ll build on it from there.”
Heath said he’d told the Coyotes this Senior Night game would reveal the true character of the team. “When you get a chance to play a team that’s probably going to be playing in AT&T Stadium in late December for a state championship, you’re going to say a lot about you as a player - in how you go out there and compete and get after it.
“I think a lot of people probably expected us to go out here and lay down and feel sorry for ourselves. We challenged them from that aspect.”
Said Argyle head coach Todd Rodgers, “We’ve had a couple of bumps and bruises and we rested some really good players tonight. But we put some really good players out there and Anna did a good job of having a good defensive game plan and they put themselves in positions to make some plays. … We kind of got it going in the second half, really established our running game. And we felt like, defensively, we had a good showing.”
In this their first trip to Anna since 2005, the Eagles (9-0, 5-0) came away with their 54th-straight district win. The victory sets up a showdown Friday when Celina (6-3, 4-1) visits Eagle Stadium, though Argyle - with 10-consecutive district titles - can now finish with no less than a share of the District 7-4A(I) crown.
The Coyotes wrap their season on Friday at Sanger (1-8, 0-5). “You can’t say that we don’t face anybody good in our district,” Heath said. “We’ve run through four of the top teams in the state if you look at it: Paris, Celina, Melissa and Argyle, back-to-back-to-back-to -back. It’s a tough stretch for them.”
Argyle’s Knox Scoggins rushed for a game-high 146 yards on 17 carries while teammate Trevor Duck posted 96 yards on 20 attempts. Both gashed for big yards up the middle behind the Eagles’ massive offensive line. Argyle quarterback Bo Hogeboom, who played three quarters, completed 13 of 19 passes for 169 yards with two interceptions. His favorite target this night, Cole Kirkpatrick, finished with a game-high seven catches for 87 yards.
Arthur Nwokorie led Anna rushers with 58 yards on five carries, including a 62-yard jaunt in the fourth quarter, while Coyotes receiver Noah Palshaw posted a team-high four catches for 55 yards.
Defensively for Anna, linebacker Josue Hernandez tallied a team-best 11 solo tackles with four assists while linebacker Jacob Odom added 10 solo stops and two assists. Cornerback Zachareus Gentry had five solo tackles with an assist, two pass knock-downs and a pick.
As for the Coyotes’ defense nabbing four turnovers - after getting four the week prior versus Celina - Heath said, “It was just flying around the football. You fly around the football and get guys on the ball good things are going to happen.”
Argyle’s first drive certainly looked like an epic blowout was in store. Hogeboom marched the Eagles 64 yards for a touchdown in four plays - and his 25-yard TD pass to a wide-open Kirkpatrick in the end zone looked way too easy.
But Anna came right back with a 71-yard scoring drive in six plays, the capper being Gentry’s 33-yard strike to a diving Dorien Allen at the goal line. Jaden Adams, who started and took most of the snaps at quarterback, had connected with Palshaw for 20 and 13 yards during the march. The point-after kick was blocked and Anna trailed, 7-6.
The Eagles’ second possession went for a TD as well, with big runs from Scoggins and Duck paving the way. Duck carried on the final three plays inside Anna’s 10, the last going for a yard and the touchdown. With 5:16 left in the opening frame, Argyle led, 14-6.
After an Anna punt, the Eagles took over at midfield and looked to be in business again. But six plays later, from the Coyotes’ 26, Hogeboom’s toss to the left side was intercepted by Gentry and returned to the Anna 16.
Argyle forced another 3-and-out and, after a punt, began from inside the Coyotes’ 40. As this drive pushed into the second quarter, the Eagles faced fourth down from the 6 and set up for an apparent 23-yard field goal try. But kicker Hunter Roberts took a direct snap and headed toward the line, where he lost the ball. Parrott alertly scooped it up and ran untouched 89 yards for a touchdown. As the Coyotes celebrated being within a 2-point conversion of knotting things at 14-all, a flag thrown a half-acre from the play wiped it all out. The call: illegal block.
Anna instead got the ball at its own 40 and three plays later Adams’ pass on 3rd-and-12 was picked off. Starting from the Coyotes’ 46, Argyle needed six plays to reach pay dirt. Duck’s 2-yard burst and extra-point kick made it, 21-6, with 7:55 to go before halftime.
Anna punted again after three plays and the Eagles set up once more in Coyotes territory. After moving to the Anna 35 in two plays, Scoggins was stonewalled for no gain on 3rd- and 4th-and-1 and the Coyotes took over.
Anna got to the Eagles’ 32 this time, boosted by Abner Dubar’s 17-yard run around right end, but the possession would end on Adams’ deep-ball incompletion on 4th-and-10.
The Eagles looked to get more separation before halftime, moving to midfield with a minute left on the clock. But after Hogeboom’s 16-yard pass to Kirkpatrick to the Anna 32, his next throw was intercepted by Palshaw and the Coyotes hit the break, down by just 15.
Argyle would lock it down in the second half with Hogeboom’s 8-yard TD pass to Kirkland in the third and a 23-yard scoring toss from backup quarterback CJ Rogers to Grant Mirabal in the fourth.
Dubar ended one Eagles third-quarter drive with a fumble recovery near midfield. After Nwokorie’s 62-yard dash to the Argyle 3 in the final stanza, the Eagles’ defense stopped Anna on four-straight tries.
Argyle 35, Anna 6
Argyle 14 7 7 7 - 35
Anna 6 0 0 0 - 6
Ar - Cole Kirkpatrick 25 pass from Bo Hogeboom (Hunter Roberts kick), 11:44
An - Dorien Allen 19 pass from Jaden Adams (kick blocked), 8:30
Ar - Trevor Duck 1 run (Hunter Roberts kick), 5:50
Ar - Trevor Duck 2 run (Hunter Roberts kick), 7:55
Ar - Cole Kirkpatrick 8 pass from Bo Hogeboom (Hunter Roberts kick), 6:18
Ar – Grant Mirabal 23 pass from CJ Rogers (Hunter Roberts kick), 10:54
Stats Argyle Anna
First downs 22 11
Rushes-yards 48-267 29-107
Passing yards 192 114
C-A-I 14-21-2 8-26-1
Punts-average 2-35.5 8-27.8
Penalties-yards 2-15 7-55
Fumbles-lost 2-2 0-0
Rushing - Argyle: Knox Scoggins 17-146, Trevor Duck 20-96, Tate Thompson 9-12, CJ Rogers 1-4. Anna: Arthur Nwokorie 6-58, Abner Dubar 9-31, Devonte Davis 2-18, Zachareus Gentry 6-4, Jaden Adams 6-(-2).
Passing - Argyle: Bo Hogeboom 13-19-2-169, CJ Rogers 1-2-0-23. Anna: Jaden Adams 6-22-1-80, Zachareus Gentry 2-4-0-34.
Receiving - Argyle: Cole Kirkpatrick 7-87, Alex Gonzalez 5-75, Grant Mirabal 1-23, Cade Merka 1-7. Anna: Noah Palshaw 4-55, Dorien Allen 3-29, Zachareus Gentry 1-30.