Wolves can't quite climb out of first-half hole

"Coupeville High School's football team played two-games-in-one last Friday in its non-league, season-opener in Port Townsend.The first was played in the first half, when the Wolves spotted Port Townsend 25 points and then couldn't score in two visits to the red zone.In the second game, or second half, the Wolves shut down the Redskins' offense, moved the ball and answered with eight points of their own. But it was too little and too late to avoid a 25-8 loss.Still, there were reasons for optimism, said Coupeville defensive coordinator Tom Roehl.We went into the game with a line that had never seen varsity experience and we accomplished some goals of improving. Roehl said. I was real pleased with the passing game. Both (quarterbacks) Noah (Roehl) and Jacob (Henderson) did a good job. The passes were there, but some of the receivers had trouble holding on to the ball.The Wolves' running game was hampered in the first half due to the absence of senior running back Ian Barron, who voluntarily sat out the first half, except for special teams, for missing a practice earlier in the week.But the offensive backfield got a boost from the running and catching talents of Dan McDonald, who plays tailback and halfback.In addition, wide receiver and kicker Dustin VanVelkinburgh was a standout, Roehl said.When Barron returned to his running back slot in the second half, he accounted for the Wolves' only touchdown, off a 10-yard pass from Roehl.Roehl then connected with tight end Joe Kelly for a two-point conversion.Coach Roehl said one of the bright spots in the loss was the play of defensive end Zac Swankie. In our defensive scheme, there's lots of pressure on our defensive ends to pressure, contain and stop, and Zac did an excellent job in all three categories, Roehl said. He was outstanding. They were forced to run away from him.Freshman defensive tackle Mike McCarty was another nice surprise, the coach added.On offense, the Wolves benefitted from solid performances on the line of scrimmage by Jim Meek at center, Tanner Petry at right guard and junior Rob Fasolo at left guard. We had great protection from the interior line, the coach said.Up until Friday, the new interior line posed more questions than answers for the Wolves, as the team lost most of it senior starting linemen to graduation.But some of the rookies and new linemen show promise, Roehl said. On offense, we had some questions going in and we're pleased with some of the answers, Roehl said. The Wolves will need some of those answers this Friday at 7:30 p.m., when Coupeville hosts Kings.They'll be be a real challenge, Roehl said. They were undefeated in the regular season last year. "

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