Wolves win opener

A balanced attack on both offense and defense helped the Coupeville Wolves cruise to a 19-0 victory over Darrington in their first game of the season Saturday night.

“It’s a big deal,” senior co-captain Joe Rojas said. “The feeling is we have a good team this year and it really starts to build on each other when we win the first game.”

Taking snaps for the first time at the varsity level, sophomore quarterback Mike Bagby looked like a veteran on the Wolves’ first march down the field. After throwing his first pass incomplete to senior Casey Mitchell, Bagby’s confidence began to build.

“I was a little nervous to start off,” he said. “I missed a couple, got the jitters out and then I was rolling.”

Bagby completed six of his next eight passes on the opening drive, including an 11-yard touchdown strike to Rojas, who made an amazing catch in the endzone.

“That was a heck of a catch,” Bagby said. “I gave it to him in a decent spot and he pulled it down.”

Running a goal line pass route, Rojas was forced to leap into the air and snag the ball with one hand for the touchdown.

“It was a little deeper than I thought,” Rojas said. “I just kind of rounded it off and he threw it a little bit deeper, so I just jumped and reached up for it and grabbed it.”

The touchdown and extra point by Brian Harada, gave the Wolves a 7-0 lead with 6:54 remaining in the first quarter.

Coupeville continued to move the ball down the field with ease in the second quarter. Sophomore J.J. Marti, who ended the game with 137 yards rushing, broke loose for a seven-yard touchdown scamper with 8:25 left in the first half. The score gave the Wolves a 13-0 lead, which they took into the locker room.

Coupeville head coach Ron Bagby was excited to see the team’s new spread offense working so well.

“It was good to see,” he said. “We put the new offense in and there was some really good things.”

Key to Coupeville’s first half success was not only the production of the offense, but a suffocating defense.

“The defense played tough, we looked real solid” coach Bagby said.

Coupeville forced the Loggers into two first half interceptions by senior Sean O’Neil and Marti, all while holding them to 21 yards rushing.

“Our defensive backs didn’t let people get behind them and our front guys just really controlled the line of scrimmage,” coach Bagby said. “We knew that was going to be one of our strengths.”

The second half was much of the same for the Wolves. Despite tailing off a little bit on offense, Coupeville picked up another score in the third quarter when Bagby connected again with Rojas for a 14-yard touchdown pass.

Bagby ended his first career varsity start going 15-for-29 with 158 yards passing, two touchdowns and one interception. Rojas was the leading receiver with eight catches for 97 yards and two touchdowns. Leading rusher J.J. Marti also had 38 yards receiving, giving him 175 all-purpose yards.

On the defensive side of the ball, Rojas was also the leading tackler for the Wolves at the defensive end position. He had 16 tackles, followed by Mitchell with 15, O’Neil with nine and Marti with eight.

“It was a good start, but we’ve got a lot of work ahead,” coach Bagby said.

Coupeville travels to Sumner Stadium to face a tough opponent in Cascade Christian at 7 p.m., this Saturday, Sept. 13.

“They’re good, they’re fast and they’ll be a real test,” coach Bagby said. “They’ll be one of the top A teams in the state this year.”

The Wolves return to Coupeville for the their next home game at 6 p.m., Friday, Sept. 16 against non-league Life Christian.

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