Wolves lose to Sultan; playoffs next | Football
By JIM WALLER
Whidbey News Times Sports editor
October 29, 2012 · 8:31 AM
Looking to extend its season, the Coupeville football team opens the playoffs against Meridian at Blaine at 6 p.m. Tuesday, Oct. 30.
The Wolves finished the regular season with a 34-8 loss at Sultan Friday, Oct. 26.
Tuesday, Coupeville (2-7) faces Meridian (5-4) for two quarters. The winner of that mini-game then plays Blaine (6-3) at 7:30 for another two-quarter game. That winner earns the No. 3 seed from District 1 into the tri-district playoffs Friday or Saturday.
The Wolves will face a stiff challenge. Both Meridian and Blaine of the Northwest Conference qualified for the playoffs ahead of two other NWC teams, Lynden Christian and Nooksack Valley, who defeated Coupeville handily during the regular season.
Coach Tony Maggio said, "We will give it our best shot; we have nothing to lose."
In the loss to Sultan, Maggio said the Turks' team speed caused plenty of trouble for the Wolves. In particular, Coupeville had trouble containing Sultan quarterback Antonio Rivas, who scored on runs of 34 and 51 yards.
"He runs like a deer," Maggio said.
The game began well for the Wolves. "I thought we were ready," Maggio said. "We stoned them in their first possession."
Sultan made a few adjustments and its running game began to click. After leading 7-0 in the first quarter, the Turks erupted for three second-quarter scores to take a 27-0 lead into the break.
The Wolves struggled on offense, Maggio said, as Coupeville failed to pick up a flood of Sultan blitzes.
The Wolves were also hurt by poor execution, particularly with fumbled snaps during the constant down pour.
"That's not excuse," Maggio said, "because Sultan played in the same weather."
The injury bugaboo continued to haunt Coupeville, losing a number of players including starters running back Bryce Fleming, defensive back Korbin Korzan and linebacker Danny Savalza.
In the third quarter, the Wolves switched from their primary offensive set, the winged T, and went to the spread, moving running back Jake Tumblin to quarterback, a position he played last year.
The Coupeville offense perked up and Tumblin scored on a 41-yard run and finished with 120 yards on 23 carries. He completed two of 12 passes and passed to Josh Bayne for the two-point conversion.
Tumblin also paced the defense, recording three solo tackles, five assists and forcing a fumble.
Caleb Valco had one solo tackle and 10 assists.
Contact Whidbey News Times Sports editor Jim Waller at email@example.com or 360-675-6611 ext. 5060.