LaConner spoils homecoming

With 30-mile-per-hour gusts racing across Mickey Clark Field Friday night, there was no question developing a running game would be crucial to Coupeville picking up a homecoming win.

Unfortunately for the Wolves, that proved a difficult task, as they dropped their sixth consecutive contest and second straight league game, 25-6, to LaConner.

“We knew with this wind the most physical team was going to win and they were really physical up front,” Coupeville head coach Ron Bagby said.

Showing just how physical they were, the Braves out-rushed the Wolves 259 to 47.

Things, however, didn’t start out so negative for Coupeville. Using the gusts to their advantage, they jumped out to the initial lead. After forcing La Conner to punt into the wind from their own 13-yard line, the Wolves received excellent field position on the 30. On their sixth play from scrimmage, sophomore running back J.J. Marti took a pitch around the left side and broke free for a 17-yard touchdown with 1:07 on the first quarter clock.

“We did a good job,” Bagby said. “We went down, scored and felt pretty good.”

The snap was fumbled on the P.A.T., leaving Coupeville a 6-0 lead.

With the wind such a large factor, Bagby knew it was important to use it to their advantage as much as possible. As the first quarter clock ticked down to six seconds and with the Braves in a third and long situation, he screamed for his team to call a timeout. Unable to hear their coach’s request, the Wolves let the clock expire.

Not getting the timeout proved costly for Coupeville as La Conner switched sides of the field.

“That was crucial, it would have kept the wind in our favor,” Bagby said.

With the wind at their backs, the Braves marched down the field with ease to the Coupeville 5-yard line. Junior quarterback Luke Keel, who earlier had a 59-yard touchdown called back on a hold, slid between defenders and across the goal line with 8:12 left in the half. The touchdown and extra point gave La Conner a 7-6 lead.

On their next possession the Wolves, who generally like to spread the offense and throw, were not able to move the ball at all. Sophomore quarterback Mike Bagby was 3-for-5 passing on the night for a total of 17-yards.

“If the wind wasn’t blowing maybe we could have done some different things,” coach Bagby said. “We lost a lot of our offense that way.”

After a three-and-out possession, they had to punt the ball back to La Conner. Less than a minute after getting the ball back, the Braves worked their way into the end zone one more time on a 1-yard run from Jake Roth. The touchdown gave La Conner a 13-6 lead going into the locker room.

The Wolves, who were receiving the ball with the wind at their backs, got a bad break to start the the second half. The squib kick deflected off one of the Coupeville front-men right back to the Braves. Although La Conner didn’t score, they ate up over five minutes on their possession. Coupeville was unable to put a productive offensive drive together with the wind advantage, providing for a scoreless third quarter by both teams.

“We thought we were going to get the ball and have the wind at our backs, but we never really got a chance to do anything,” Bagby said.

In the fourth quarter LaConner took advantage of the wind, punching in two more scores on the ground by Roth.

The loss dropped Coupeville to 1-6 overall and 0-2 in league. Their quest for a second victory won’t get any easier, as they have to face 2002 state champion and the number-one ranked team in the state, Archbishop Murphy on the road at 1 p.m., this Saturday.

Although it may be a tough task Bagby accepts the challenge with open arms.

“I love these kind of games,” he said. “We’re going to do some things and we’re going to have some fun. We put our pants on the same way they do, we’ll be alright.”

The Wolves round out their league play at sixth ranked Orcas Island Saturday, Nov. 1 and return home for their final game against Friday Harbor, Friday, Nov. 7.

La Conner 25, Coupeville 6

La Conner 0 13 0 12—25

Coupeville 6 0 0 0— 6

Coupeville-Marti 17-yard run (kick failed); La Conner-Keel 5-yard run (Osterhof kick); La conner-Roth 3-yard run (kick failed); La Conner-Roth 1-yard run (kick failed); La Conner- Roth 14-yard run (kick failed)

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