Home Sports Local Sports Rockets fall to rival Coyotes, 24-14

Rockets fall to rival Coyotes, 24-14

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Goddard’s Rion Lee (27) runs down the sideline Friday night against Roswell at the Wool Bowl. (Steve Notz Photo)

Copyright © 2021 Roswell Daily Record

Drives, quarters, games — they’re made up of highs and lows, peaks and valleys. So are seasons.

The inevitable ups and downs of a year-long campaign can define a football team. How the players and coaches meet opportunity, and how they deal with defeat.

Over the course of a season, there’s no better feeling than a win against a rival — and nothing stings more than a loss.

Short of a title game, no outcome lingers like the final score of a contest between rivals, especially when the rivalry plays out cross-town, year after year, like a never-ending family feud.

The Goddard Rockets will have to wait another year to experience victory against their crosstown rivals, the Roswell Coyotes. Roswell won Friday night’s family feud at the Wool Bowl, 24-14.

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Goddard head coach Chris White said after the contest, “It’s a hard-fought game. The kids fought their hearts out. As a coach, that’s all you can ask of your kids, is to go and play as hard as they can for you every game. …

“We’ll go back and we’ll get better — that’s who we are.”

In addition to the usual bragging rights, both teams came into this game looking to spread a little icing on the cake of an outstanding regular season — and perhaps gain a shot of momentum heading into the playoffs.

GHS entered the contest at 8-1 and ranked No. 2 in 5A — Roswell was undefeated and ranked No. 1.

It made for an interesting match-up — all the more so considering the squads’ contrasting styles: Roswell’s been a scoring machine all season. No one’s really slowed down their high-powered offense.

Goddard, meanwhile, plays a ball-control game, looking to control the clock with a grind-it-out offense and tough defense.

Friday night, the Coyotes took the opening kickoff and wasted no time putting points on the board, as Joel Renteria found the end zone with 8:46 to go in the first to make it 7-0, Roswell.

Goddard made it across midfield after getting the ball back — but the Rockets’ drive stalled, forcing a punt. That put the ball back in the hands of the dangerous Roswell offense.

The Goddard defense, however, did what few units have managed all season, putting the brakes on the Coyotes’ offense.

The Rockets’ offense once again took the field with just over a minute left in the first quarter, and leaned heavily on the ground game as they began methodically working their way downfield.

But the attack didn’t remain methodical for long.

Rion Lee broke away from the Roswell defense and rumbled down the right sideline, lunging across the goal line for the Rockets’ first score with 10:24 left in the second. After a failed two-point attempt, it was Roswell-7, Goddard-6.

After the change of possession, the Rockets’ D forced the Coyotes to punt.

The Rockets’ offense took over on their own 22. But a penalty helped ground the Rockets deep in their own territory, forcing a punt.

Roswell, after the return — and with the help of another penalty — took over on the Goddard 26. Once again the Rockets’ defense stiffened, forcing the Coyotes into a fourth and six.

Roswell went for it, but the pass fell incomplete, giving Goddard the ball on their own 22 with 5:29 left in the second quarter.

The Rockets drove the ball to the Roswell 30, where they failed to convert on fourth and 10.

A Roswell penalty, however, gave the Rockets another chance — but this time, the Coyotes’ defense came up big with their backs against the wall. The half ended with Roswell still up 7-6.

The Rockets got the ball to start the second half — in great field position. The Coyotes tried an onside kick, but Goddard recovered.

The Rockets’ drive, however, lasted just one play, as a Goddard fumble gave the ball back to Roswell.

The Coyotes would capitalize on the turnover. Joel Sanchez ran the ball into the end zone with 8:02 to go in the third, making it 14-6 in Roswell’s favor.

The Rockets would answer back, driving the length of the field to set up a dive into the end zone by quarterback Robert Aragon.

After a two-point conversion, it was all tied up, 14-14. That’s how the quarter would end.

With 11:23 to go in the fourth, Jasia Reese would put Roswell back on top, 21-14, with a scamper for a touchdown.

The Coyotes would add a 31-yard field goal with 2:15 left in the game for the 24-14 final.

Up next: The postseason. Playoff seedings are expected to be released this weekend.

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