As the final seconds ticked off the scoreboard Friday night and the Alice Coyotes began celebrating their 48-27 win, Kyle Atwood caught a glimpse of the of the 10-gallon Gatorade water can headed his way.

Every head coach knows what that’s about, but the thought of an ice-water bath on a brisk South Texas night makes everyone shy. However, there was no getting away from defensive tackle Pablo Salinas and his fellow lineman. They caught up with the first-year Alice head coach and gave him a celebratory dousing.

Maybe a little cliche, but it was a most fitting end to a memorable night for the Coyote football program. See with the win over Corpus Christi Moody in the 30-5A InterZone playoff game, the Coyotes ended a four-year playoff drought. And, like all droughts, this one ended with water.

And afterward, Atwood did even mind the ice-water bath too much. Despite the initial shock, the dousing meant his program had successfully completed what it set out to do when he arrived here back in late April — reach the state playoffs.

“There’s no better feeling than the feeling of ice-cold water running down your back knowing that we’ve obtained a goal that we set a long time ago,” Atwood said.

“It’s extremely rewarding to me, but I just feel blessed and extremely happy for these kids. These guys that are seniors… we’ve got 33 of them and they’ve been through three athletic directors and head coaches and there hasn’t been a whole lot of stability for them.“

Alice’s absence from the state playoffs only spans a could of years, but it’s seemingly an eternity for a program which for years was a postseason mainstay. Getting back to the state playoffs was something Atwood the program talked about as soon as he arrived.

“I really wanted to develop a great relationship with those guys and I think I have. It’s really emotional to achieve something that we’ve been talking since Day 1,” Atwood said. “Hats off to those guys because they showed up every single day and worked hard to reach that goal this year.”

Alice now sets its sights on Floresville, which was second in 29-5A. Their bi-district match up is at 8 p.m. Friday at Memorial Stadium.

Atwood had two playoff seasons at Grape Creek, but his teams never won a playoff game,  That could change with this Alice team, which has shown off a capable offense and a quick and aggressive defense.

“We’re excited about the playoffs,” he said. “You know, Alice hasn’t been to the playoffs for a couple of years, but we’ve been talking about it, and we can’t be happy with just getting to the playoffs. We’re a good enough football team that we can play a little bit in the playoffs, so we need to go and work next week to do that and hopefully continue to play on.”