Somewhere along the way — amid the combined 89 points and more than 1,000 yards of total offense, the Port Lavaca-Calhoun Sandcrabs took over Friday night.

It happened in the second quarter when the Sandcrabs survived a second turnover and stunned the Alice Coyotes by scoring just before halftime. The quick touchdown tied the game and gave Port Lacava the confidence it needed to get back in the game. The Sandcrabs went on to outscore the Coyotes by nine in the second half en route to a 49-40 victory in the District 15-5A, Div. II showdown.

The Coyotes took advantage of a Sandcrabs’ fumble at the Alice 5 yard line midway through the second quarter. Two plays after the turnover, Alice was in the end zone celebrating an 89-yard touchdown pass from quarterback Isaiah Aguilar to Waylon Moore. Alice added a two-point conversion on a Devyn Orta run to go ahead, 21-14.

The Sandcrabs’ next drive also ended in a turnover, however, this time their defense stepped up and stopped the Coyotes’ ensuing drive with a sack of Aguilar on a fourth down play with 1:22 left in the second quarter. Port Lavaca-Calhoun was then able to capitalize with a Connor Kestler pass down the middle to a wide-open Adam Fox for a 56-yard touchdown with 34 seconds left before halftime.

It was the only pass Kestler threw all night. Other than that, the Sandcrabs relied on their tricky Triple Option offense. It gave the Coyote defense fits and allowed Kestler to put together a career night. The tall and speedy quarterback kept the majority of the carries and totaled 340 yards on 33 carries. Behind Kestler, the Sandcrabs compiled 630 total yards of offense, including 574 in rushing.

Alice coach Kyle Atwood said his team practiced at stopping the Triple Option, but the Sandcrabs were simply a little better Friday night.

“I think our kids battled hard for 48 minutes, but I don’t think we played as well defensively as we have in the previous four weeks,” he said. “(Port Lavaca-Calhoun) coach (Richard) Whitaker is a great coach, especially with that Triple Option that they run, Their kids have been running that scheme for 15 or 16 years, as long as he’s been there, so they’re really good at what they do offensively. They executed a little bit better than we did tonight.”

Alice’s offense had its finest outing so far this season. The Coyotes racked up a season-high 532 yards of total offense. Aguilar led the charge by completing 23 of 27 passes for 413 yards. He threw four touchdown passes and had rushing touchdown of four and one yard. Moore had four catches for 165 yards and Orta had seven catches for 107 yards. Sophomore Jacob Guzman had five catches for 63 yards.

After the Coyotes stopped the Sandcrabs’ initial drive in the first quarter, the offense went to work, putting together a 10-play, 76-yard drive. They used a trick play where Aguilar threw a pass behind him to Guzman who in turn lined up and connected back to Aguilar to convert a fourth down and 10 to a first-and-goal at the 4-yard line. It set up a four-yard scoring run by Aguilar.

Kestler answered right back on Port Lavaca-Calhoun’s next drive by busting through the Alice defense for a 66-yard scoring run.

Sean Chapa returned the ensuing kickoff to the Sandcrabs’ 40-yard line to set up a 31-yard scoring pass from Aguilar to Orta. Alice missed the extra point, but still led, 13-7.

Port Lavaca-Calhoun moved the ball with a series of runs by running back Steve Johnson and Kestler. Johnson wrapped up the 76-yard drive in the first minute of the second quarter. With the extra point kick, the Sandcrabs went up, 14-13.

What followed were the points Alice scored off Port Lavaca-Calhoun’s first turnover and the Kestler touchdown pass before halftime.

Alice scored on its first drive of the second half on a nine-yard touchdown pass to A.J. Moreno. The Coyotes failed to convert the point after attempt, but still led, 27-21.

Kestler was able to again run free on the Sandcrabs’ next possession to set up a four-yard touchdown run by Jarius Stewart.

The Coyotes failed to convert a fake punt attempt to save their next series, and Port Lavaca-Calhoun was able to come back with a time-consuming 10-play drive capped off by a one-yard Kestler run. The two quick third-quarter scores out the Sandcrabs ahead, 35-27.

The Coyotes scored twice in the fourth quarter on a one-yard run by Aguilar and a 10-yard pass to Guzman, but the Sandcrabs matched each score.