Quick-starting Panthers hold off Coyotes, 34-14

Pete Luna|Leader-News
Several Uvalde Coyotes defensive players converge to make the tackle of Medina Valley’s quarterback. Their tackle took place during the second half of the football game played at Castroville last Friday night.

The Medina Valley Panthers got off to a quick start in the first half and held off the Uvalde Coyotes in the second half to record a 34-14 football victory Friday night at Castroville.

Medina Valley scored on two of their first three offensive possessions, while forcing the Coyotes to three consecutive three-and-out possessions to take a 14-0 lead.

On the first play of the second period, defensive back Jarrett Hernandez picked off a Medina Valley pass at the Uvalde 25-yard line.

Fired up by Hernandez’s interception, the Coyotes put together an impressive nine-play, 75-yard touchdown drive.

“We got off to a terrible start in the game. I think we were a little intimidated early on, but Jarrett’s pass interception was the spark we needed to get us going,” said UHS head football coach Wade Miller. “After that, we settled down and played competitive football.”

On the ninth play of the drive, quarterback Brodie Carnes completed a pass to wide receiver Joey Martinez. He caught the pass to near the 15-yard line, eluded a couple of defenders, and ran the rest of the way to the end zone to complete the 20-yard touchdown play.

The Panthers blocked the extra-point kick and returned the ball to an apparent two-point play, but that was negated by an offside penalty.

Miller Carnes kicked the extra point and the Coyotes cut the scoring deficit to 14-7.

During the final eight minutes of the first half, MV scored twice to extend their lead to 21 points.

On their final possession of the half, the Coyotes drove the ball to the Panthers 27-yard line, but lost the ball on downs.

Pete Luna|Leader-News
Wide receiver Martyn Malic (left) battles a pair of Medina Valley defenders for possession of the football. Malic came down with the football to complete a 20-yard pass for the Uvalde Coyotes in the fourth quarter of the Uvalde-Medina Valley game last Friday night.

On their first possession of the second half, the Coyotes put together an eighth-play drive.

They topped the drive with an eight-yard pass from Brodie Carnes to Joey Martinez for a touchdown.

Miller Carnes added the extra-point kick.

Later in the third period, the Coyotes had a drive end on downs at the MV 22-yard line and had another drive into MV territory stopped by a pass interception.

In the fourth period, the Coyotes stopped a Medina Valley drive when linebacker Justin Rendon covered a fumble.

Down by 14 points with just over five minutes left in the game, the Coyotes went for a first down facing a fourth-and-12 situation.

Their pass failed and they turned the ball over at the Uvalde 39-yard line.

“Our kids really played a terrific second half. We had the ball in Medina Valley territory much of the time,”Miller said. “But we just were not able to sustain those drives and put points on the scoreboard.”

Medina Valley scored their only touchdown of the second half on a 27-yard run at the 4:34 mark of the final period.

Uvalde’s final possession of the game ended in Medina Valley territory on a pass interception.

“Our kids were up against a bigger, quicker team in Medina Valley,” said Miller. “But the Coyotes played hard from start to finish.

Pete Luna|Leader-News
Linebacker Justin Rendon holds the football up in the area after covering a Medina Valley fumble for the Uvalde Coyotes. Rendon’s fumble recovery came at the 9:21 mark of the fourth quarter of the game.

“We made some mistakes in the ball game, but we came away with a lot of positives, as well,” said Miller. “We just need to stay focused on trying to cut down on our mistakes and to concentrate on playing better, fundamental football. If we do that, we are going to continue to get better.”

With the loss, the Uvaldeans now are 1-4 for the season.

The Coyotes will wind up pre-district play tomorrow night at Zapata.