Home Uncategorized ‘We picked a bad night to have a bad night’

‘We picked a bad night to have a bad night’


RANCHO MIRAGE –The SoCal Coyotes weren’t surprised by the threats and trash-talking from their opponent. They were no more confused over the officiating than the overwhelmed referees themselves. But in the end, the Coyotes could not beat themselves.

A dropped 26-yard touchdown. A penalty for a cut block on a 62-yard bomb for a would-be touchdown. Five dropped passes in the open field. A clear punt return for a touchdown, only to have the runner slip and fall untouched. Another passing touchdown denied by officials in a bizarre ejection, enforced an entire offensive series after the alleged incident occurred.

The SoCal Coyotes went right back to work Sunday afternoon, reviewing the film of the team’s 32-20 loss to the Vegas Trojans. Monday morning quarterback Nate Lewis lamented that the  team “picked a bad night to have a bad night” in the desert showdown this past Saturday.

“No excuses — we beat ourselves,” said the quarterback, who was 18 of 36 for 208 yards and two touchdowns.  “We just didn’t make enough critical plays, the ones that could have gotten us over the hump.  It was just poor execution on our part. We had every opportunity to win decisively, and we didn’t capitalize. It’s as simple as that.”

In a bizarre game marred by penalties,  ejections, and inexplicable rule interpretations from officials who lost control of the home team in the first half, the Coyotes never found their rhythm offensively. Regardless, with four minutes remaining in the game, the nation’s number-one offense was  still in striking distance, facing third and inches on their own 40, trailing by only 25-20 and with all three timeouts remaining.

On third down, running back Ron  Hampton slipped and fell, and was smothered  for a two-yard loss. On the next play, the Coyotes were penalized five yards for false start. They failed to convert on fourth down and the Trojans put the game away with a late score.  It was the first time the Coyotes had lost since losing the 2012 national championship in September.

“It’s easy to point to one series,” said head coach J. David Miller. “But we showed up in a hostile environment and failed to make the four or five plays in the game that would have decided it. We preach in practice every day — the game will come down to four or five plays.  Looking at the film, we had seven. We shot ourselves.”

All-American  receiver Rashad Roberts had six catches for 146 yards, including a 61-yard touchdown on the game’s opening drive. Demario Brown had five catches for 48 yards, while Josh Asuncion had four for 30, including a touchdown. Running back  “Big Game” James Allison rushed for another score.

“It’s just another game,” Miller said. “Our entire focus has shifted to the Silver Cats this weekend. We know where we’re going, and the windshield is always way bigger than the rear-view mirror.”

The Coyotes fell to 3-1 on the year, 2-1 in league play. They return home this Saturday night at 7 p.m. at Desert Christian Academy, against the Las Vegas Silver Cats.

‘MIA’ COYOTES — There were 14 Coyotes noticeably ‘missing in action.’ All-American left tackle Kyle Moore was absent for personal reasons.  Injured All-American David “the Diesel” Cathcart, receiver Flamingo Malone and defensive end Mike Erwin were among 12 other players who didn’t make the road trip. The Coyote organization also honored its unwavering commitment to travel with players who both practice and fulfill their financial team obligations, including four rookie starters.

ZEBRA ZOO –Saying ‘we offer zero excuses, just watch the film and listen to its content (http://www.ustream.tv/recorded/28835984),’ Miller refused to comment on the officiating crew, whose frequent game stoppages and constant huddling turned the game into a zoo. The Coyotes sent the film to the league office and wouldn’t comment further. The WWFL operates games by NFL rules. However, officials admitted they were ‘unclear’ on judgment calls and not one had an NFL rulebook. On numerous occasions, Coyote coaches couldn’t get even the simplest rule clarifications, or given contradictory explanations by different officials, who argued amongst themselves. On film, the Coyote coaches were given the wrong time on the clock, down and distance, and even the score.  In the fourth quarter, Miller corrected the side judge, who insisted the score was 24-20 Trojans.  Miller, smiling, correctly told them it was 25-20, Trojans.

The second-half kickoff resulted in a melee near the Las Vegas bench that saw five Trojans and two Coyotes ejected. After the officials took 15 minutes to sort out the debacle, Coyote Alex Mendoza was ejected. Eight minutes later, and after scoring on a five-yard scat pass from Nate Lewis to cap a seven-play drive, tailback “Big Game” James Allison was ‘post-incidently’ ejected and the touchdown reversed. The officials claimed that Allison should have been ejected with Mendoza. His carries, and the drive, were allowed to stand. Only the touchdown was reversed, and Allison was ejected. Film revealed that Allison — number 22 — wasn’t in the altercation.

“No excuses, we lost,” Miller said. “It’s our fault for leaving a team in a position to benefit from poor officiating. However, we thought the league would enjoy the film.”

The Coyotes were penalized 13 times, more than the entire season combined.

ON TRASH-TALKING: The Coyotes players and coaches ignored the posturing, throat-slitting gestures and  trash-talking that ran rampant from pre-game warmups. “We don’t care,” Miller said. “However, we feel bad for any children who watched this game live or online. We look forward to one day playing in Vegas when a police presence is unnecessary. If our fans had to endure this environment at home, we’d give them their money back. Football is supposed to be a great game between great players playing a great sport at the highest level, not a contest on how many ways you can conjugate the f-word or refer to yourself, teammates or opponents as the n-word. ”

Miller applauded several of the Trojans as “a class act who played a heckuva game, especially the fullback. Hats off to those guys. Sadly, their teammates mouths and behavior outshone some great individual performance.”  Fans complained from around the world after listening to the commentary on http://www.ustream.tv/recorded/28835984.

“If this is football,” wrote Scott Blake, from Philadelphia, ” it’s a disgrace to the game.”

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