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After Campo Verde lost its opener 18-8 to Williams Field in a rematch of last year’s 5A final, the Coyotes rebounded with a resounding 56-7 victory over Kellis on Friday night.

Senior running back Caden Calloway, whose third-quarter ankle injury in Week 1 kept him out the rest of the way, eased his way back into action against the Cougars. He carried the ball just nine times for 119 yards and three touchdowns.

“We were going to rest him, but the kid’s pretty tough,” said coach Ryan Freeman. “He needed to get in the game, get some reps.”

The Coyotes rode Calloway’s legs to their first 5A championship game appearance a year ago, but they showed their depth in Friday’s rout.

Junior Adrian Vicini ran for 81 yards and two touchdowns on 16 carries, and quarterback Reilly Garcia had an efficient night — 9 of 12 for 118 yards and a score. The defense shook off the loss of starting cornerback Chris Villalobos to a season-ending knee injury suffered against Williams Field to hold Kellis to 72 yards of total offense and had two takeaways.

“Losing him affected us in last week’s game,” Freeman said. “We got back to the way we like to play football Friday. We had a nice team effort.”

The Coyotes kick off East Region play this week with a rivalry game against Gilbert, and they still have games upcoming with Notre Dame Prep, Saguaro and Horizon. They know their path back to the 5A playoffs won’t be easy.

“Our goal is to take care of our business and to get back to the 5A conference final,” Freeman said. “We came up one game short last year, and we want to take care of that this year.”

— René Ferrán