Football: Wolves suffer unlikely loss

The only statistic that really counts is the final score.

That’s fine with the Sultan football team as it picked up an unlikely 25-19 win at Coupeville Friday, Sept. 24.

The Wolves dominated the game and the stat sheet, but Sultan (1-1, 1-3) picked up the big “W” for its first win of the season.

Coupeville piled up 424 yards of total offense while limiting the Turks to 165, but mistakes and an untimely defensive breakdown proved to be the difference.

The Wolves led 19-6 with three minutes left in the third quarter and appeared to be in control. However, Sultan scored twice before the end of the period – one coming after the Wolves fumbled at their own 10 yard line – to trim the margin to one, 19-18, heading into the final quarter.

That one point seemed to be enough when the sputtering Sultan offense took over possession with 57 second left in the game and 70 yards from the end zone. Inexplicably, an offense that had generated about 100 yards up to this point raced down the field in five plays to score the game winner with 10 seconds left. Turk quarterback Isaac Fleshman-Cooper hit Theo VandenEkart with a 22-yard pass to seal the deal.

The loss ruined a gold-letter performance by Coupeville quarterback Ian Smith. The senior completed 24 of 43 passes for 360 yards and three touchdowns and one interception.

His 13-yard toss to Dalton Engle started the scoring in the first quarter; Kole Kellison kicked the extra point.

Sultan added a touchdown in the second period but missed the PAT kick, and the Wolves led 7-6 at the half.

Smith threw two more scoring passes in the third quarter. He connected with Mitch Pelroy for a 42-yard touchdown, then teamed up with Brandt Bodamer for a 72-yard strike to put Coupeville up 19-6.

Pelroy was the Wolves’ leading rusher with 46 yards on just two carries.

For most of the game the Coupeville defense was dominant; it allowed zero passing yards in the first half and just three rushing yards in the fourth quarter.

Coupeville coach Jay Silver said it was the “most one-sided” loss he has coached in when the dominating team failed to win.

Silver said mental mistakes and other miscues foiled the Wolves. Besides fumbling the ball at their own 10 yard line, all but gift wrapping a score for the Turks, the Wolves also fumbled the ball into the end zone from the Sultan 1 yard line at the end of a 59-yard pass play for a touch back.

Coupeville (0-3, 1-3) goes to Granite Falls (0-2, 1-3) Friday, Oct. 1, at 7 p.m.

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