Sports

Wolves lose weird one | Football

It was an odd one.

The football game was entertaining, full of unusual plays and quirky developments, but it was also definitely painful to Coupeville as the Wolves fell 33-28 at Sultan Friday, Sept. 23.

Down 14-0 in the first quarter, Coupeville rallied to take the lead only to have the Turks score in the final minute to break the Wolves’ hearts. The loss was Coupeville’s third straight after a nonleague win; Sultan is 1-1 in the Cascade Conference, 2-2 overall.

Coupeville scored four touchdowns in the game but only one in typical fashion.

Mitch Pelroy twice returned kickoffs 85 yards for scores, and Brandt Bodamer scooped up a fumble and raced 33 yards for a touchdown.  Two of the scores came in the second quarter when the Coupeville offense ran only three plays to Sultan’s 25.

Sultan opened the game with a 70-yard pass play and then scored on a nine-yard run.

A Coupeville fumble gave the Turks a short field and Sultan scored again to lead 14-0 with just over eight minutes left in the opening quarter.

Pelroy, who has made a habit of returning kicks for scores, raced for the first of his two kick off TDs to make it 14-6.

Coupeville scored its only conventional touchdown on its next series when Pelroy sprinted in from 22 yards out. A Dalton Engle run on the PAT tied the game.

Sultan answered with a 24-yard field goal to lead 17-14 at the quarter.

The Wolves took their first lead when Bodamer snatched up an errant lateral and took it home for six with 8:10 left in the half.

The Turks came right back and marched in for a score with 4:05 left in the second quarter for a 24-20 lead that lasted 13 seconds thanks to Pelroy’s second 85-yard kick off return.

Jake Tumblin passed to Bodamer for the extra points, and Coupeville led 28-24 at the half.

That would be it for the scoring until the Turks’ game-winner in the final seconds, although both teams had opportunities throughout the second half.

Sultan fumbled on the first play of the second half and Coupeville recovered at the 24, only to fumble the ball back at the Sultan 11.

The Wolves had an opportunity to get good field position when they forced the Turks to punt from there, but a holding penalty on the punt gave the ball back to Sultan who then marched out of danger.

Early in the fourth period, Sultan punted from its own 16. The punter lined the boot off one his lineman and Coupeville took over at the 10. Given a golden chance, Coupeville failed to score and turned the ball over on downs.

On the next series, a Turk receiver made a nice grab for a first down on a pass that was tipped twice on a third-and-long play, but then fumbled and the Wolves recovered at the Turk 27.

Once again, Coupeville failed to take advantage. Two holding penalties and one personal foul penalty later, it was fourth-and-46.

Sultan muffed the punt but avoided disaster my recovering the ball. The Coupeville defense held and it was three-and-out for Sultan.

The Wolves committed two delay of game penalties and couldn’t convert a first down to run out the clock. The punt went for a touchback and Sultan took over on its 20 with 2:15 left.

The Turks struck quickly with a 72-yard pass play, but the receiver fumbled at the end of the run and Coupeville recovered at the nine to dodge a major bullet.

Not for long. On the first play after recovering the fumble, a bad shot-gun snapped rolled into the end zone and quarterback Tumblin kicked the ball out of the back of the end zone to keep Sultan from recovering and scoring a touchdown.

Tumblin’s boot preserved Coupeville’s lead but it was a safety and Sultan received two points. Coupeville now led 28-26. The kick was also illegal and Coupeville was penalized on the ensuing kickoff and had to kick from the 10 instead of the 20.

After the kick off, the Turks had the ball at the Coupeville 48 with 1:52 left. A 20-yard pass and 26-yard run helped put the ball in the end zone with 45 seconds left.

Ahead 33-28, Sultan was not going to give Pelroy another chance and chose to attempt an onside kick. Coupeville recovered at the Sultan 48.

In a game of the improbable, it appeared another miracle play might happen. On the game’s final play from midfield, a Coupeville receiver got behind the Sultan defense and was open at the goal line, but Tumblin’s pass was a tad short and Sultan escaped with the win.

Coupeville coach Jay Silver, noting all of the twists and turns of the game, said, “It was a fun game to coach; it didn’t lack for excitement.”

He added, “We played hard. It was a very physical game. We lost the third-down battle. They (Sultan) were just able to get enough yards a few times to get first downs to keep drives alive. We couldn’t.”

Silver said it wasn’t just his players who made mistakes: “I didn’t call a good game at times. I’m a young coach, and I made some errors.”

Coupeville hosts Granite Falls (0-2, 0-4) Friday, Sept. 30, at 7 p.m.

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