The Erath County Coyotes (8-3) made the most of their first ever playoff game on Saturday by putting away the DFW Diamondbacks (7-4) 28-10 to move onto the second round of the Texas United Football League playoffs.
“Looking at the playoffs, I knew our game was going to be the closet game out of all of them,” Coyotes owner Jase Schumacher told Developmental Football USA. “Since we weren’t favored to win, I was nervous all week, but once the game started rolling, I just know how tough my boys can be and how they can adapt to the other team’s playing style.”
In the first quarter, Coyotes quarterback Richard Chaney connected with Dusty Hicks for a 41-yard touchdown pass and the Diamondbacks got on the board with a field goal.
Erath County went into the locker room at halftime with a 6-3 lead in the promised defensive battle. The Coyotes defense had forced a few turnovers in the first half.
“The head told us, ‘Y’all truly are a pack of Coyotes surrounding and attacking the ball like hungry animals,’” Schumacher said.
Both teams exchanged touchdowns in the third quarter, but Erath County’s touchdown drained the venom out of the Diamondbacks’ bite as Marcus Wimby returned a kickoff 91 yards for a touchdown to ignite the Coyotes.
Chaney found slot receiver John Cherry for the two-point conversion to take a 14-10 lead into the fourth quarter.
The Coyotes put the game away in the fourth quarter as Chaney scoring a diving touchdown to extend the lead to 20-10, then moments late Dylan Turner broke a 35-yard touchdown run to extend it to 26-10. Hicks ran in the two-point conversion for the 28-10 win to send Erath County to the second round of the playoffs.
“When I started this team, I was just hoping we’d go .500 this season so that there would be hope for next year,” Schumacher said. “But, after our second tryout and seeing the athletes come, I had a good feeling about these men, so finishing (the regular season) 7-3 I was extremely happy and proud.”
Erath County travels to Whitney, Texas, on Saturday to play the Central Texas Apaches (13-3, 9-2 in TUFL).
“The Apaches are a tough, tough team and they’ve got some phenomenal athletes as well,” Schumacher said. “I’ve got high hopes for this game. Our game plan is simple, let my defense attack like a pack of Coyotes. As far as offense goes, with the receivers I’ve got and Chaney leading them, it’s going to be fast-paced.”