The Coyotes inability to defend the pass coupled with its struggle to execute a ground game proved pivotal when Paris returned home absorbing a 54-26 loss to Scotland County of Memphis on Friday.
“Scotland County threw the ball downfield extremely well and we did not cover them. That's the biggest difference in this game,” said Paris head coach Gary Crusha. “They had four touchdown passes that all went for more than 46 yards. We were in poor pass coverage and made mental mistakes. The last problem I thought of going into this game was us not being able to cover somebody, but it ended up being our biggest problem.”
Rams quarterback Hayden Long completed 10 of 12 passes for a little more than 300 yards, averaging big double-digit yardage numbers per reception reported coach Crusha.
“You can't give a team 567 yards of total offense and having them be very successful on defense and expect to come away with a win,” Crusha added. “But I felt we missed some scoring opportunities on the field too. We missed catching some big passes by inches that could have changed the game I thought, but that is how things can go against you.”
The Coyotes played their Lewis & Clark Conference rival close in opening stanzas and trailed 14-12 at halftime, and 26-20 when the fourth quarter began.
But when Scotland County (2-1, 2-1 LCC) amped up its passing scheme with quick scores, it forced Paris to become more one-dimensional in its play forcing quarterback Clayton Langerud to throw the ball more. In doing so, the Rams' defense looked to defend the pass on most every snap of the football.
Langerud finished the night completing 15 of 26 passes for 255 yards and three touchdowns.
Alex Green made a 21-yard touchdown reception, Reese Barton caught an 8-yard pass for a touchdown, and Langerud hooked up with Tarryn McCluskey that resulted in a 48-yard touchdown.
Kaison Berrey returned a kickoff in the fourth quarter about 85 yards for a score. He also led the team in rushing with 63 yards on 20 carries, but Berrey also coughed up the football twice in the first half.
“We continue to have trouble running the football and have a lot of things to fix with our offensive line,” Crusha said. “We have a goal to get at least 200 yards passing and 200 yards rushing each game. We've been meeting our passing numbers' goal, but we have work to do with our running.”
Coyotes host Knox County of Edina next Friday. The Eagles (2-1, 2-1 LCC) are coming off a solid 30-12 triumph over Westran.