Home Sports Local Sports Roswell pounds Piedra Vista on Senior Night

Roswell pounds Piedra Vista on Senior Night

Roswell High School quarterback Ethan Valenzuela runs with the football from a Piedra Vista defender in a game Friday night at the Wool Bowl. (David Rocha Photo)

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For Roswell’s seniors, Senior Night was everything it was meant to be. There was laughter, high-fives, tears and hugs as the players know there are only three games left to their careers wearing the Red and White. Even though RHS is ranked No. 2 in the state, coach Jeff Lynn and the players know that nothing is guaranteed.

Nothing could have predicted what would turn out to be an omen to the game, when the players fell and tripped over each other trying to break the banner coming onto the field.

Among those getting choked up was Lynn. Emotion aside, Lynn’s tears gave way to anger as his team allowed Piedra Vista to stay in the game longer than necessary.

“This a great group of seniors,” Lynn said. “They’re great kids with great parents. I was kind of tearing up a little bit during senior announcements because they have meant a lot to us. We are not done, so we have a lot of football ahead of us.”

Roswell threw three interceptions and had two penalties called back against the Panthers. It wasn’t pretty, but the Coyotes got it done as they held off the pesky Panthers, 26-14, Friday night at the Wool Bowl.

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“Give PV (Piedra Vista) credit,” Lynn said. “When you turn the ball over four times and have the penalties we had — it just wasn’t really good tonight. Nothing was really good tonight, we had a field goal blocked. We have some things we have to clean up. We watched it on film and when they brought eight I made the call.”

Roswell had their chances to put the Panthers away early. Piedra Vista punted on a three and out, Roswell’s Jasia “Sweet Feet” Reese took the punt at the Coyote 20 yard line and made two tacklers miss, and once he did that he took off down the left sidelines where he picked up a wall of blockers and raced across the goal line to give the Coyotes a 6-0 lead — but the play was called back because of a holding penalty to nullify the score, to end a scoreless first quarter.

In the first quarter, Roswell had the ball five plays and had one interception, one fumble and the fumble was on the Panthers’ 6-yard line as Roswell was driving in for a score. On the next possession, Roswell threw another interception to stop another scoring drive.

Roswell’s defense stood up big in this game when it had too. The Panthers dove the ball on the ground to the Coyotes’ 6-yard line in the second quarter and their quarterback Trent Kirlay threw an interception to Dominic Nava as Nava stepped in front of a Panthers receiver in the end zone to get the Coyotes the ball back.

Roswell finally got on the board when quarterback Ethan Valenzuela threw a bubble pass to running back Justin Carrasco, who made a couple of tacklers miss and took it to the house for a 65-yard TD reception. The PAT was blocked.

“Jasia (Reese) was blocking for me,” Justin Carrasco said. “They (Piedra Vista) was pretty fast on the perimeter, it would not have been possible without my blockers. It was emotional for me and the seniors because you only get so much time. Some people have more time than others, unfortunately, our time is coming to an end.”

On the next possession, the Panthers stopped the Coyotes at their 45-yard line. Fourth and eight at the 45, coach Lynn called for a fake punt and the center snapped it to the up back, Cade Manzanares who faked like he was going to run into the line of scrimmage and when a tackler came up to him he threw a pass to Jesus Molina, who ran the ball for 31 yards to the Panthers 24-yard line.

“This is the most physical game I’ve been in all year,” Roswell senior linebacker Manzanares said. “Hobbs might have stomped us out, but this one was — they were running it just like us. They (Piedra Vista) was trying to get into our throats and we were trying to get into their throats. It was the most physical game by far. It is tough and you’re going out there and your season is dwindling down with your boys. It’s bittersweet.”

Manzanares thought the pass he threw on fourth down was one of the ugliest passes he had thrown in his life. Lynn made the call from the sideline to go for it on fourth down by hitting his knee.

“Coach looked at me,” Manzanares said. “He saw they were going for the block and I just executed.”

During the drive, the Coyotes faced another fourth down at the Panthers’ 35 yard line. This time Lynn left his offense out on the field, Coyote quarterback Valenzuela threw a swing pass to Reese, who made a tackler miss at the line of scrimmage and then bulled his way to the first down carrying two defenders to the 27-yard line for a first down.

On third and 10 from the 27-yard line, Valenzuela threw a semi route to Roderick Sedillo for a touchdown as Sanchez added the PAT to give the Coyotes a 13-0 lead at halftime.

In the third quarter, the Panthers took the opening kickoff and their offense ran up the middle on the Coyotes’ defense, scoring with a TD on a Panthers quarterback sneak with three minutes left in the third quarter to make the score 13-6.

On the next possession, Roswell came right back when Valenzuela scored on a 1-yard run. Sanchez added the PAT with 1 minute to play in the third quarter as RHS led, 20-6.

In the second half, the Coyotes had trouble containing Piedra Vista’s quarterback as he ran inside and outside. He ended up scoring on a quarterback sneak around the right side to make the score 20-12. The Panthers went for the 2 point conversion and scored when Cameron Swarts ran over the right side of the defense to convert and make the score 20-14 with 8:12 to play.

Roswell closed the show when Sanchez scored a touchdown on a jet sweep from the 25-yard line as RHS did not make it on the 2 point conversion, as they increased their lead, 26-14 with 3:54 to play.

“It was a big win for us,” Sanchez said. “The play was designed to go to the outside, but I saw a seam and I cut up. One of their players tried to arm tackle me and once he missed that tackle, I knew I was gone. This was a physical game for us.”