(INDIO) - A merciless 'Darkside Defense' and a pounding ground game led by surprising option quarterback Ridge Turner and S-back Dylan Peebles led the SoCal Coyotes to a 50-0 victory over the Los Angeles Scorpions to claim the Pacific Coast Championship.
Turner, a former Louisiana prep legend and West Alabama standout at cornerback, was pressed into action as the Coyotes fourth starting quarterback of the season.
Capping a turbulent season that began with August two-a-days in 110-degree desert heat, SoCal demonstrated the resolve that is synonymous with the entire Coyote organization.
The Coyotes posted a franchise-record seventh-consecutive shutout, and the win marked the first time America's #1 Developmental Football Program™ has finished a season without surrendering a single point.
It was the Coyotes 27th consecutive victory since 2015, their fifth title, and their third undefeated season.
A well-coached, well-prepared and hard-hitting Los Angeles team came to play. The first quarter ended 0-0, and the Scorpions were the first team to hold the Coyotes scoreless for the first period in 16 months.
But it was a matter of time before the Coyotes' defense, disciplined athletes, and remarkable sideline communication would take control of the game. The dam broke when Coyote linebacker Devin Jones scooped up a fumble early in the second quarter and rumbled 31 yards for the game's first touchdown.
Lineman and team captain Jordan Warford took another scoop and score 39 yards for the Darkside, which harassed Scorpion quarterbacks and punished ball carriers all night. Led by defensive end Jake Sheffield and linebacker Gary Young, the Coyotes had five sacks and forced three fumbles.
Linebacker Demajiae-Reed-Samuel had his best game as a Coyote, with a thunderous sack and three tackles for loss. Cornerback Shaine Boyle added an interception.
The veteran Turner impressively stepped in to quarterback the Coyotes Run 'n' Shoot. Relying on his wrist coach and the system, Turner called his own plays, and led six impressive scoring drives.
Peebles played his best game of the season, hammering through the Scorpions on inside runs while Turner attacked the perimeter with the Coyotes 'Ohio' option package.
Collectively, the Coyote pair rushed for 190 yards - Peebles accounted for 109 yards on 20 carries, including a six-yard score.
Turner threw two touchdowns and ran for one, with slotback Josh Meier and receiver LeRon Wilson hauling in scoring receptions of 10 and 33 yards. In relief of Peebles, Wilson added a five-yard touchdown on the ground.
ABOUT THE SOCAL COYOTES
The SoCal Coyotes are the national standard of American developmental football. The Coyotes non-profit organization provides elite athletes a professional environment that refines and showcases their skills through trademarked processes similar to the NBA's D-league and MLB's minor-league systems.
NFL executives have named the SoCal Coyotes organization America's #1 Developmental Football Program™ for its national, scalable brands, community outreach programs, five-year operating track record, verifiable data, youth curriculum, sales, public-private sector alliances, and measured results.