It took the Patriots of Mission Veterans Memorial High School nearly the entire first quarter to finally figure out how to move the ball Thursday night.
Still, they never came up with an answer on how to stop the Coyotes, and that led to Aliceís greatest offensive output of the season. The Coyotes (3-0) racked up 503 yards of total offense in the lopsided 57-14 victory over the Patriots (1-2).
Alice scored touchdowns on their first three possessions and quickly went ahead, 23-0, in the first eight minutes of the game.
Quarterback A.J. Benavides engineered a quick eight-play, 69-yard drive on Aliceís first possession which ended with a short three-yard plunge by running back Deon Hill.
Benavides then connected with receiver Richard Davis for a 31-yard touchdown pass on the first play of Aliceís ensuing possession. Lined-up in their trademark offset extra-point formation, Alice scored two points following their first two touchdowns on a Mickey Lopez threw and then on a run.
Justin Guerrero scored Aliceís third touchdown when he took a short screen pass from Benavides and then ran through the Patriotsí defense for a 41-yard touchdown.
The 23-point deficit left Veterans Memorial temporarily deflated.
"It puts the other team in a real bad spot when theyíre down three touchdowns in the first few minutes,í Alice head coach Brent Davis said.
The Patriots did manage a touchdown in the final second of the first quarter on a 24-yard touchdown pass from Richard Alvarado to Joseph Tovar. They scored again midway through the second on a 27-yard pass from Alvarado to Johnathan Gilpin.
The Coyotes answered each one of those scores. After Mission Veteransí first touchdown, Alice responded with a 65-yard touchdown run by Hill. After the Patriotsí next score, Benavides hit Mark Garcia for a 25-yard score to put the Coyotes ahead 36-14 at halftime.
In the third quarter, after Amado Ramirez kept Aliceís first possession alive by picking up a first down on a fake punt, Benavides went on to throw a 42-yard touchdown pass to Garcia. Later in the quarter, Benavides scored on a 12-yard run.
Benavides, who played only through the third quarter, ended the night completing 13 of 20 passing attempts for 263 yards and four passing touchdowns. Hill had only five carries in the game, but† finished with 138 yards.
"Our offense has been clicking," Davis said. "Weíve been doing that in every game so far. We just have to keep on doing it."
Playing in front of various coaches from around District 31-4A, who were in Memorial Stadium to scout the Coyotes, Davis said his team played exactly the kind of game they hoped to.
"We told our kids that we wanted to come out and make a statement," Davis said. "We knew a lot of our (district) opponents would be here because itís a Thursday night. We wanted to make a statement and we did.
"We wanted to come and show people that we have a great football team. We want people to know that. We want them to have to worry about our offense and defense. Thatís what we did tonight, and itís a testament to our kids and how hard theyíve worked."
Defensively, the Coyotes kept the Patriots out of sync throughout most of the game. Mission Veterans ended the game with 267 yards of offense. It was also their second-straight loss.
"I obviously thought that this kind of game would get us ready for district," Mission Veterans coach Carlos Longoria said. "Itíll teach you the things you need to work on and when youíre playing a team coached by Brent Davis, believe you me, itís going to be a good team."