Coyotes score last three touchdowns after Cowboys gain lead
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McCollum and Uvalde are no longer in the same district, but the rivalry remains strong.
Although the final margin wasn’t indicative, the non-district game between former District 29-4A rivals was about as close as could be through three quarters. Uvalde (1-0) scored the last three touchdowns for a 27-8 win Friday at Harlandale Memorial Stadium.
“It’s always a great game,” said Uvalde quarterback Jerry Almaraz, who ran for 146 yards and two touchdowns. “It was fortunate for us it worked out, but it’s a great rivalry. Both teams played hard.”
McCollum (0-1) took an 8-7 lead with 2:40 left in the third quarter when senior quarterback Ralph Vidal scored on a one-yard quarterback sneak. The Cowboys took the lead on a two-point conversion run by Jeff Valdez.
“(Uvalde) is a good team,” said Vidal, who worked out with Almaraz in the offseason. “We knew it’d be a close game. When we came back, we knew they’d come at us.”
Following a 30-yard kickoff return, the Coyotes drove 50 yards to regain the lead. Trae Garcia, who accounted for two of Uvalde’s last three scores, ran seven yards for the clincher, 50 seconds before the third quarter ended.
McCollum’s Noe Trevino returned the second-half kickoff 66 yards to the Coyotes 19. The Cowboys lost a fumble on the next play, but Valdez pounced on a loose ball near midfield six plays later. It launched a 13-play, go-ahead scoring drive.
Uvalde roared 62 yards in four plays after taking the opening kickoff. The Coyotes led 7-0 on a 25-yard run from Almarez. Almaraz ran on the last two plays of drive, covering 45 yards.
McCollum was stopped three times inside Uvalde territory in the first half, twice on fourth down.
“It hurt (Uvalde) a little bit, not having (Zach) Sanchez at full strength,” McCollum coach Juan Hinojosa said. “It made them a little one-dimensional, but Almaraz is a dual threat.”
Cowboys back Mike Ramirez sustained a minor knee injury that kept him out of the fourth quarter, but is expected back next Friday.