The passing game saved the Alice Coyotes Friday night against Victoria East.

The Titans led, 24-7, after halftime, and challenged the Coyotes offense by stacking their defensive line. With East rushing the line of scrimmage to stop the run, the obvious choice was to throw the ball, which Alice did effectively.

The end result of Alice being able to throw the ball and loosen East’s defense was 21 second-half points and a 28-27 Coyote victory. Quarterback Michael Garcia completed seven of 12 passes for 146 yards and three touchdowns. Michael Brackon had two catches for 59 yards and Javier Alvarez had two for 47 yards. Ryan Jaramillo had a 23-yard touchdown reception.

“Victoria East was basically lining up in a goal line defense.” Alice coach Chris Soza said. “They didn’t think we could throw it, but we got our play-action pass plays working and we go the ball to some open guys. That got them to back off. They challenged us to throw it and we were able to make the throws.”

It’s a trend that Soza hopes his team can continue when faced with a heavy defensive front, similar to what they might face when they line up against District 30-5A rival Calallen Friday night in Wildcats Stadium.

The Wildcats are 2-1, but they traditionally play the Coyotes very tough.

“Calallen is Calallen,” Soza said. “They’re sound and solid. They’re a typical Calallen team. They’re big and strong and they do things right.”

The Wildcats also have an offense which can score. They beat Tuloso-Midway, 43-0, Friday night.

Quarterback Gaige Lamb completed seven of 14 passes for 171 yards and three touchdowns. He also ran the ball nine times for 69 yards and a rushing touchdowns. Running back Elijah Hawkins had six carries for 46 yards and a touchdown and Nathan Rabe had two catches for 93 yards and a touchdown.