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Big plays sink Wolves
In a season of hard-luck games, Coupevilles 35-21 loss to the undefeated and fifth-ranked Orcas Island Vikings last Saturday just might take the cake.
Despite outgaining Orcas 337 yards to 247 yards in total offense and giving up just 94 yards on the ground, the Wolves dropped a contest due to several big plays that went in the Vikings favor.
"In all honesty the game was a lot closer than it looked, said head coach Ron Bagby about the contest. They scored a touchdown at the end after a long pass when we were stacked at the line playing the run."
The Wolves were able to hold the undefeated Vikings on their first possession, but dropped the ensuing punt on their own one-yard line, giving up an easy score. Orcas then capitalized on two more turnovers, scoring another touchdown after a Coupeville fumble and returning an interception 25 yards for another score. Orcas then tacked on a 45-yard touchdown pass from quarterback Cory Harrington to wide receiver Jordan Gage before halftime.
"We were down at the half and I told the guys 'we're letting them beat us', but this team came back in the second half," said Bagby.
That they did. Behind the 153 yards rushing of junior running back Daniel McDonald and the 161 passing yards of junior quarterback Brad Sherman, Coupeville rallied to close the score to 28-21. Sherman was able to connect on two scoring strikes, including a 66-yarder to Brian Fakkema in the third quarter.
The Wolves had the ball on the Orcas 15-yard line late in the contest with a chance to even the game before a sack and a couple of penalties stopped the drive.
"We were passing at will, we were running at will and we were stopping them on offense, lamented Bagby. We just didn't get the breaks we needed. Big plays - they made them we didn't. Their coaches told me after the game that we were getting to them.
"I thought we played our best all-around game of the season, but you just can't make mistakes against a team like Orcas because they will capitalize on them."
Both Bagby and assistant coach Tom Roehl praised the Wolves line on the offensive and defensive side of the ball.
You have to give credit to our line and our fullback for blocking well, said Bagby. Everyone on defense performed their jobs, we held them down except for those big plays."
Roehl singled out junior defensive tackle Craig Youdarian for credit. Youdarian was credited with seven tackles and won the games sportsmanship award given out by Orcas.
In our (defensive) scheme four or more tackles by a down lineman is impressive, Roehl said.
With the loss the Wolves (1-3 in league, 3-5 overall) were eliminated from the playoff hunt. They will play their final game of the season at 7 p.m. on Thursday at home against the ninth-ranked LaConner Braves (3-1, 7-1). Bagby is confident that his team will give it their best effort.
"Its been a hard-luck season and this week was no different. We were playing for a playoff berth last week and now this week we don't have a chance to make it.
This week is going to be a test - its cold, you're not playing for the playoffs. But (Monday) at practice they came in ready to go - that's been the character of this team all season. (LaConner) is another ranked team and they're tough, but our guys will be playing for pride."
Orcas Island 6 22 0 7 - 35
Coupeville 7 7 7 0 - 21
O - Mitch Commet 3 yard run (kick failed)
C - Daniel McDonald 8 yard run (Dustin VanVelkinburgh kick)
O - Josh Gage 1 yard run (2-point run good)
O - Josh Gage 25 yard interception return (Commet kick)
O - Jordan Gage 45 yard pass from Cory Harrington (Commet kick)
C - J.D. Meyers 7 yard pass from Brad Sherman (VanVelkinburgh kick)
C - Brian Fakkema 66 yard pass from Sherman (VanVelkinburgh kick)
O - Zac Parkerson 1 yard run (Commet kick)