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Coyotes Advance to WWFL Championship


(LAS VEGAS) — In a business-as-usual, all-around team performance, the 10-2 SoCal Coyotes systematically destroyed the Las Vegas Cobras 40-8 Sunday at UNLV’s Rebel Park to advance to their second title game in as many years, and now stand just one victory away from a Wild West Football League championship.

The nationally ranked Coyotes (15th) stunned fans when quarterback Nate Lewis — who had earned a shot with the San Jose Sabercats of the Arena Football League — rejoined his teammates on the opening drive.

Lewis, the nation’s leading AAA passer, wasted no time picking up where he left off. The ace signal-caller went 14 for 24 for 316 yards and five touchdowns, including bombs of 98, 41 and 23 yards.

All-American receiver Rashad Roberts had seven catches for 132 yards and three touchdowns. With Demario Brown resting a tender hamstring, Neil Boyd took up the slack with clutch possession catches. Josh Asuncion made several key plays, including a 23-yard strike from Lewis, and Cory Westmoreland had a 16-yard catch to keep another drive alive.

Defensively, Devion Brown returned an interception 40 yards to the Cobras’ four-yard-line, and Coyotes running back James Allison scored moments later on a four-yard run. With the exception of one series, the “Darkside Defense” spent the day harassing Cobra quarterbacks, batting down passes and punishing runners.

Mondo Delgado Jr. , whose family had traveled from Colorado to watch him play, returned one punt for 16 yards, and had two catches for 113 yards and a score.

David “The Diesel” Cathcart rushed five times for 32 yards, and added a pair of two-point conversions. Allison had a four-yard touchdown and rushed three times for 25 yards, while Lewis had a 16-yard run. It was the first time the Coyotes rushed for under 100 yards when scoring 40 or more.

On the last play of the game, Lewis hit Delgado deep down the center of the field for a 98-yard touchdown. The score broke the club record of 97 yards, set last season on a Lewis-to-Roberts rainbow against San Diego.

Joyful Coyote players briefly celebrated the victory at a Vegas pizza buffet before heading home to prepare for the season finale. But as word of the win trickled out, it didn’t take long for inspired Coyote fans from around the world to congratulate the players via countless texts and social media on their pesky resilience and steadfast resolve to battle back to a league title game.

“You guys are an inspiration to us all,” wrote one fan, “and proof that good things happen to teams that fight together and don’t quit.”

Head coach J. David Miller called it “a total team effort by some of the most unselfish players I’ve ever coached,” adding that “true winners don’t quit, don’t complain, don’t put themselves ahead of the team, and survive this time of year and win down the stretch.

“Our sole focus now is four more quarters and winning one more game. You have to love a group of guys who win big and still aren’t satisfied. We’ve now identified our core of veterans who are true team leaders. And we’re thrilled with the young players who are no longer rookies — they have grown up right before our eyes.”

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