LAREDO — The Alice Coyotes piled up 585 yards offensively in an impressive 41-23 dismantling of Alexander Saturday night.

One game into the new season, this Alice team seems serious about its goal of making up for last year when they fell apart late in the year and went a dismal 4-6.

The Coyotes overcame two first-half turnovers and found its rhythm offensively. Quarterback Isaiah Aguilar had a stellar night. He completed 16 of 27 passes for 340 yards and three touchdowns. Aguilar also had two touchdown runs and totaled 63 yards in rushing on 21 carries.

Running back R.J. Salaiz led the Coyotes in rushing with 13 carries for 151 yards, including a 70-yard touchdown run. He also had 59 yards in receiving, including a 16-yard touchdown pass, on five catches.

Five different receivers had catches, and four of those had multiple receptions. Senior Waylon Moore had three catches for 107 yards and junior Jacob Guzman had four catches for 94 yards, including a 52-yard touchdown pass. Weston Moore had three catches for 59 yards and William Davidson had one catch for 21 yards.

Defensively, the Coyotes held the Bulldogs to only nine points through the first three quarters, and six of those came on a touchdown which was set up by an interception and return to the Alice 1-yard line.

Alice head coach Kyle Atwood, now in his third season with the Coyotes, said the win Saturday night was the product of the team’s months of hard work and preparation.

“Our kids played really well,” Atwood said. “We felt like we had a phenomenal offseason, good spring ball and a great summer. To come out here and play well just sets the tone for the year and gives the kids some confidence.”

The Coyotes began the game with a productive drive, but it ended abruptly with a turnover at the Bulldogs’ 9-yard line. After Alexander turned the ball over on downs, Alice again moved the ball, this time finding the end zone on a 31-yard touchdown pass from Aguilar to Weston Moore.

The Bulldogs answered with a drive which yielded a 33-yard field goal, but the Coyotes responded with another potent drive which was capped off by a 16-yard touchdown pass from Aguilar to Salaiz.

The Alice defense again made a stop, but Alexander took over with an interception and a return to the Coyote 1-yard line. The Bulldogs needed only one play for quarterback Camilio Pedraza to carry the ball in for a score with 4:29 left in the second quarter.

Junior Chris Garza gave the Coyotes a spark it the ensuing kickoff with a lengthy return. Alice was able to quickly march down the field behind Salaiz and extend its lead with a two-yard touchdown run by Aguilar.
Salaiz added to Alice’s lead in the third quarter when he broke through the Alexander defense and sprinted for a 70-yard touchdown run.

Alice and Alexander traded scores in the fourth quarter, with the Coyotes scoring on a 10-yard run by Aguilar and a 52-yard touchdown pass from Aguilar to Guzman.

The 18-point win by Alice was a dramatic turnaround from last year’s 22-6 season-opening loss to Alexander.

“Alexander is a great ball team and they’re very well-coached,” Atwood said. “Our kids just played extremely well.”

The Coyotes play in their first home game of the season Friday night in Memorial Stadium against H.M. King.