SAN ANTONIO – Saturday’s second game of the 2023 KSAT Pigskin Classic pits the Uvalde Coyotes against the Jefferson Mustangs.
The Coyotes are led by head coach Wade Miller, and are coming off a 5-5 regular season that included a playoff berth out of a tough District 14-4A-1. The Coyotes had finished 2-8 the year before.
Uvalde played through an emotional season following the Robb Elementary School shooting, dedicating their games to the victims, families and local community.
The Coyotes return 13 starters from last year’s squad, including Brodie Carnes, who is entering his third year as the Coyotes starting quarterback.
Carnes will have several young receivers to throw the ball to including sophomores Diego Granados and Josh Verdusco.
But most of Uvalde’s experience lies in the defense which returns seven starters. Linebacker Caden Smith and defensive back E’lijah Carroll are two of team leaders on that side of the ball. Junior Albert De La Garza is expected to have a big season for the secondary.
Coach Miller said his team is excited for the opportunity to play in the KSAT Pigskin Classic and he expects their fans to be loud and proud.
“I think it’s awesome. This is such a great experience for my kids and they’re so fired up, they’re going to love it,” Miller said. “I think they’re excited to be recognized and excited to actually come play in the big time, not just in the Alamodome, but also on TV. That’s a huge deal.”
Uvalde is predicted to make the playoffs, but open their season against a tough Jefferson team, another program looking to take a step forward after a 4-6 regular season.
The four wins under head coach Edward Cardenas were a significant improvement after Jeff went winless, 0-10, in 2022.
Jefferson returns 14 starters, including dual-threat quarterback and Amonte Carter, who rushed for 11 touchdowns last season behind a solid offensive line anchored by Leonardo Guzman and Amari Owens.
Carter also plays defensive back. The defense is also led by defensive back Michael Flores and linebacker Hector Munoz.
The Mustangs finished 3-6 last season in District 14-5A-2 and are looking for their first winning season since 2009. They could take that first step with a win against Uvalde.
“The KSAT Pigskin Classic. It’s an awesome feeling for the kids, the community and we’re excited,” Cardenas said. “You never know when you’re going to get invited to the Alamodome, so we’re just excited. Once you step into (the dome), the electricity just takes over.”
Both coaches also feel this is a good, competitive non-district matchup.
“I think it’s going to be a very even game, two teams that are very similar, (we’re both) going to run the ball a lot, those kind of things, but I think it’ll be a good football game,” Miller said.
“We’re excited, we’ve put a lot of time in that weight room. We’re going downhill and its going to be good, hard-nosed football,” Cardenas said.
The game is scheduled to kickoff on Aug. 26 at 3:30 p.m. from the Alamodome.
About the KSAT Pigskin Classic
The second-annual KSAT Pigskin Classic will kick off Aug. 25 and 26 at San Antonio’s Alamodome and tickets are now on sale.
This year’s KSAT Pigskin Classic is even bigger than last year’s inaugural event, with four high school football games over two fun-filled days to kick off the Texas high school football season.