Home Coyote Spotlight Karls Sets Franchise Record in 58-20 Apache Destruction

Karls Sets Franchise Record in 58-20 Apache Destruction


(ANZA) – It’s not a fluke.

Rookie quarterback Michael Karls won his third straight game, throwing six touchdowns to five different receivers and running in another himself to set a single-game franchise record (7) as the two-time champion SoCal Coyotes (4-1) feasted on the visiting Downey Apaches, 58-20, in an explosive display of the team’s relentless Silver Stretch offense.

Karls was the first Coyote to account for seven touchdowns in a single game, and statistically, it was was the best game at any level for the former Palm Springs High School star.

Comfortably leading a confident no-huddle attack, Karls broke open the Coyotes’ Mouse Davis-authored, Run ‘n’ Shoot playbook, spreading the ball to seven different receivers on 20 of 31 passing for 350 yards, and cleverly mixing screens, draws, sweeps, traps and options that added another 112 yards on the ground.

Of his 11 incompletions, five were dropped, including another pair of would-be touchdowns that would have made things worse for the stunned Apaches.

“We made them defend every single inch of the field,” said the scrambling former Midlands University record-setter, who wasn’t sacked and made it look easy. “With all the weapons we have, somebody is always open, running competitively to space. It’s my job to protect the football and find them.”

As it was, the Coyotes scored on eight out of 10 possessions, and threw the kitchen sink at the Apaches. “Slide, Choice, Go, Switch, Denver, Dallas, Cincinnati — everything was working today, and that was a heckuva lot of fun,” said Karls.

“I love the Run ‘n’ Shoot. When we execute, there’s no answer for what we do, and the scary thing is we’re young, still learning and getting better each day. I’m just having fun, throwing it all over the place, and letting our incredible athletes do their thing.”

Their ’thing’ they did. Rashad ‘The Franchise’ Roberts had five catches for 66 yards and a touchdown, while Stevie Wills had a pair of touchdowns on four catches for 64 yards. Demario ‘The President’ Brown had four catches for 34 yards and a touchdown. Billy Eichmann had three catches for 27 yards and a score.

Running back Andre Hunt, back after missing five weeks with broken ribs, didn’t play the first half, but the former Golden State Bowl MVP still shredded the Apaches defense. He led all receivers on just two screens, including one where he ran through and over Apache tacklers before sprinting 65 yards for a touchdown. Hunt also carried five times for 50 yards. Starter LeRon Wilson punished tacklers with 39 yards on two carries, while Karls rushed five times for 33 yards.

James ‘The Human Highlight Film’ Calhoun returned a kickoff 53 yards, had two acrobatic catches for 29 yards, and — working double-time on defense at cornerback – snagged an interception that he tight-roped down the sideline for a 67-yard touchdown.

The ‘Darkside Defense’ played without five starters, but led by stalwart veterans Devin Jones, Bo Bovain and Cedric Cox, showed the depth of the Coyotes rookie ‘Brat Pack’ – and brilliance of assistant head coach and defensive coordinator Shane Helms.

The ‘rookie show’ was everywhere, from Calhoun, to corner Jimmy Awolesi, to linebacker Jeremiah Spicer, who had several key stops. Javonte Brown continues to blossom into a dominant every-down player at defensive end.

But on this day, Michael Karls was the story. The game culminated an intense week of practice and film study with coaches, in which he identified and isolated challenges from his first two games, and ironed out solutions – while being fed the entire playbook. Coyote practices have become crisp, wide-open 90-minute, no-huddle affairs, scripted to address each detail – and the results Saturday were palpable.

“If anybody’s paying attention, what this kid is doing is no joke,” said head coach J David Miller, who has now watched his young protégé win three straight games – SoCal Steelers, San Diego Thunder, Downey Apaches — against rugged playoff teams in the nation’s top-ranked LaBelle Community Football League (LCFL).

“He’s earned the trust and confidence of his teammates,” Coach Miller said. “Michael’s equally committed in the classroom, and he loves coming to practice. His desire to be coached and get better is motivating. He’s chasing the perfect game. Like we do with every player who speaks with his behavior, not his mouth, we’re here to provide every resource in our power for him to attain his goals.”

Afterward, outside the locker room, Anza reporter Ed Kohout of the High Country Journal asked Coach Miller what statistic of the multi-dimensional Karls – running, or passing – he liked most.

Coach Miller didn’t blink.

“Three games, three wins,” the coach said, “and zero turnovers.”

KARLS’ SIX PASSING TOUCHDOWNS tied the passing TD franchise record set by the injured Nate Lewis on May 5, 2012. Lewis threw six touchdowns in a 50-0 win over the Las Vegas Cobras at UNLV.

THE 58 POINTS WERE THE Coyotes highest scoring production since a 70-0 victory over the Las Vegas Lions on October 19, 2013, at Xavier College Prep.

THE COYOTES CONVERTED three out of five two-point conversions, after kicker Dan Kelly – 3-3 on his first three PATs — was rested to prevent irritating a recurring muscle twinge.

THE COYOTES ARE 6-1 in 2014, and 4-1 in LCFL league play.

FOR COMPLETE STATISTICS, download the Coyote Mobile ‘Yapp,’ free in iTunes or Android Market (by searching So Cal Coyotes).

MORE COYOTE COVERAGE – photos, game notes and highlights — to follow.

THE COYOTES PLAY THEIR NEXT HOME GAME this Saturday at 3 p.m. against the San Diego Stallions at Anza’s Hamilton High School. It will be the first-ever matchup between the two teams.

FOR A COMPLETE RUNDOWN of the Coyotes remaining schedule, visit www.thesocalcoyotes.com and click ‘schedule.’

FOR MORE INFORMATION, email [email protected].

–GM Sam Maggio

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