Riptide-Coyotes Game Preview
San Diego Riptide (8-7, t-2nd National West)
Central Valley Coyotes (2-13, 4th National West)
SERIES HISTORY: 10 games (SDG 7, CEN 3) The Coyotes, in its first season in Fresno, are the only team that the Riptide has an all-time winning record against. In the Riptides only playoff appearance, they pulled off a win against the Coyotes.
2004 SEASON: 3 games (SDG 3, CEN 0) San Diego has dominated the series this season. In their last meeting, Kevin Feterik came off the bench to lead the Tide to a 63-49 victory. The Riptide has won each game by a margin of at least 10 points.
GAME NOTES: Its the last game of the season and the Riptide is looking to end the season with a franchise best 9-7 record, but they have to go through the Central Valley Coyotes first. Both teams are coming off big wins in Week 17. San Diego defeated the National West Division Champion, Bakersfield Blitz, 34-30, when Matt Guardia pounded the ball into the end zone on the ground with two minutes left in the fourth. The Coyotes stole a win against the Islanders when quarterback Frank Borba ran the ball in on a two point conversion with 39 seconds left in the game snapping Central Valleys eight game losing streak.
San Diegos three game win streak started in Week 15 when the team killed the Coyotes, 63-49. The Riptides key to victory against Central Valley has been a balance of rushing and passing plays. In the three meetings between these teams, San Diego has recorded 105 rushing yards on 25 rushing attempts for nine touchdowns. Through the air, the Tide has 12 touchdowns with Feterik and Claunch completing passes to five different receivers and having at least two receivers go over fifty receiving yards in each game.
The Riptide defense has been ruthless this season, especially against the Coyotes. Nakoa McElrath has had his way with the Central Valley quarterbacks, recording three of his five season interceptions in this series. Ryan Smith also recorded an interception against the Coyotes in their first meeting of the season. Quincy LeJay has recorded 17 tackles and a forced fumble in the series. The team continues to boast a +12 turnover ratio. As an overall defense this season, San Diego has made 21 tackles for losses, 18 sacks, 21 interceptions, 55 breakups, forced 16 fumbles, blocked three kicks, and recorded two safeties.
The Central Valley Coyotes have been struggling all season to get something started. They have three quarterbacks who have thrown over a hundred passes with double digit touchdowns. Frank Borba has been the starting quarterback in the past two games. Borba has thrown 15 touchdowns on the year, but only saw brief playing time when they took on San Diego in Week 10. He completed just 5-of-12 passes and threw two interceptions for 44 yards against the Tide.
Due to the problems at the quarterback position, the Coyotes have relied heavily on receiver Kenyatte Morgan. Morgan leads the league with an average 220.5 all purpose yards per game. He also has 30 touchdowns this season and 1383 receiving yards, putting him in the af2 top ten in both categories. If San Diego sticks to their winning formula and the defense shuts down Morgan the Tide will end their season with a winning record for the first time in franchise history and better their chances at making the post season.
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