CELINA, Texas — One year ago Saturday, the Anna Coyotes sent reverberations across the high school football world. For the first time since 1972, the Coyotes defeated the Celina Bobcats. The 28-25 final score was reported far and wide - even Sports Illustrated featured the landmark win. Fifty years is a long time, and that win drew its fair share of attention.
A little over two months later, Anna knocked off Celina again. The 27-24 playoff victory advanced the Coyotes to the 4A-Division I Region II final, where they would see their dream season come to an end at 13-1, as they lost to eventual state champion China Spring, 31-14.
But the two wins over Celina were benchmark victories for Seth Parr's program that had been steadily improving in recent years.
Now, Anna has to tackle an even bigger challenge -- backing those wins up all over again, a year later, on the road.
Fifth-ranked Celina welcomes the No. 2 Coyotes into Bobcat Stadium on Friday night at 7:30, and you can watch the game live on WFAA+, as Week 4 of "Friday Night Football" hits the air.
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Celina is looking to build off an impressive 3-0 start that has seen them average better than 51 points per game. The Bobcats are led by a dynamic tandem at running back.
Sophomore Logan Gutierrez has been long anticipated in the Celina community, and he's arrived here as a sophomore in a dramatic way, already rushing for over 500 yards and 9 touchdowns in his first three games of this season. Against Bishop Lynch, he tallied the outrageous stat line of: 26 carries, 254 rushing yards, and 5 touchdowns. He also caught one pass for 39 more yards, and a sixth total touchdown.
And his backfield-mate Harrison Williams, a junior, had a similarly outstanding game, carrying 24 times for 326 rushing yards and three touchdowns of his own, in the Bobcats 77-41 win over the Friars. Anna's defense will have to find a way to slow down this one-two punch the Bobcats have at tailback.
Meanwhile, Anna features a young quarterback doing a marvelous job at replacing a star. Evan Bullock led Anna to that dream season in 2023, and is now at Louisiana Tech playing Division I football.
Williams, just a sophomore himself, has stepped in and lit the 4A ranks on fire in his first two games. Williams has 451 passing yards and 7 touchdowns, plus another 159 rushing yards and a TD. And he's done that without his top target, Jacob Emmers, healthy yet. Ronald Bell, Jr. and Sean Steens have both played terrific football these first two weeks, to step up in Emmers absence.
Defensively, Celina has talent all over the field. The Biagini brothers - older brother Cade, a senior; younger brother Luke, a sophomore - bookend their three-man linebacking corps. Cooper Farrow mans the middle of the field, and will look to make life difficult for the Coyotes offense. Ben Thomas is a presence at defensive end, and Jameson Driver roams the middle of the field for Celina at strong safety.
The Coyotes defense is as veteran as it gets -- 10 of their 11 starters are seniors. Grayson Stewart and CJ Miller work in tandem at linebacker, to fill the gaps. And senior Nathan Nickerson is a phenomenally talented defensive lineman who Parr is very excited about.