LAFAYETTE--One year has made quite the significant difference for the Monarch football team.
After going just 2-8 last season, the Coyotes stunned the defending 4A state champions and currently sixth ranked Windsor Wizards Thursday night, winning 17-10 and improving to 4-3 on the year.
It was a defensive slugfest for most of the night, but Monarch capitalized on a few turnovers and special teams miscues by Windsor to pull out the close victory.
Early on, it appeared that No. 6 Windsor would be way too much too handle for Monarch.
Senior Quarterback Brad Peeples led the Wizards down the field in the first quarter, closing the drive with a one-yard sneak for a touchdown to make it 7-0.
However, just a short while later, Windsor fumbled a punt and Monarch's Jackson Beck recovered to give the Coyotes terrific field position.
That set up a chip shot field goal from Trevor Elser to cut the deficit to 7-3.
In the second quarter, the Coyotes offense finally got moving, as Quarterback Stone Macintyre led his team down the field before Zach Bastres punched in a short touchdown.
After a successful two-point conversion, Monarch led 11-7.
The Coyotes would keep the lead for good.
Kicker Julia Broghammer of Windsor added a field goal just before the break to make it 11-10 at halftime.
But, those would be the last points of the night for Windsor.
Monarch's suffocating defense shut out the favored Wizards for the entire second half.
That unit was led by Landon Sibley, who was all over the field making plays for the Coyotes.
The biggest of those came in the fourth quarter, when he burst through the line to block and recover a Windsor punt.
On the very next play, Monarch's Alex Bradfield burst through the Windsor defense for a 41-yard touchdown run that gave the Coyotes a seven point lead.
Windsor had one final chance to avoid the upset, driving deep into Monarch territory with just a few minutes remaining.
But, once again, the Monarch defense came through.
This time, it was Easton Hall who sacked the quarterback and forced a fumble. Justin Powers fell on the ball and the game was essentially over.
With the win, Monarch has already doubled its win total from last season.