CORPUS CHRISTI — The Alice Coyotes needed a game like this.

Just a week removed from a devastating loss to Corpus Christi Ray and on the eve of the final stretch of the season which will determine their playoff fate, the Coyotes needed a solid performance and a convincing win.

They got it thanks to a punishing defense, a renewed passing game and a second-half rally which led to a 34-3 victory Friday night against the winless Corpus Christi Miller Bucs.

The win puts the Coyotes at 1-1 in the North Zone standings with three games left before the final week which determines the district’s postseason teams. Alice has three games remaining before that final week. The Coyotes are hosting games against Gregory-Portland Friday and the Calallen Wildcats a week later. They then have a road-game against Tuloso-Midway. Because the top three teams from each zone advance to the District 30-5A play-in games, the Coyotes need to win at least two of the next three to earn a spot.

They certainly looked the part Friday night, especially in the second half.

The Coyotes were sluggish in the first half. They got on the scoreboard in the first minute of the second quarter after a big pick up on a pass to Isaac Hernandez n to the Miller 3-yard line. Alejandro Cancino took it in for a three-yard score.

Alice scored again in the second quarter. Again, it was a pass to R.J. Galvan which set up a two-yard plunge by Andres Barrios.

Saul Garcia kicked a 35-yard field goal with five seconds left to play to give the Bucs their only points of the night.

The Coyotes came out for the second half with a fast tempo, which quickly put the Bucs on their heels. Barrios, who split time at the quarterback position with Trey Jaramillo, led a drive in the first minutes of the third quarter with passes to Alex Gonzalez, Jaramillo and Galvan. He then capped off the drive with a 19-yard pass to Jaramillo.

Barrios later scored on a one-yard drive after a fumble caused by a sack by Manuel Garcia and a fumble recovery by R.J. Rosales deep on Miller’s end of the field.

Barrios scored again on a 13-yard pass to Galvan. It was his most efficient night of the season. Barrios ended the game completing 11 of 19 passes for 211 yards. He had two rushing scores and threw two touchdown passes. Jaramillo completed two of four passes for 19 yards.

Galvan had four catches for 108 yards and Jaramillo had three for 50. Gonzalez had three receptions for 36 yards and Isaac Hernandez had two catches for 29 yards.