The Charles Wright Academy football team escaped from the mire of a sloppy game to defeat Coupeville 52-20 Friday, Sept. 22, at Mickey Clark Field.
Alas, poor Mickey is probably a little dizzy after all that spinning in his grave.
Ragged play by both teams contributed to the mess, but the execution of the officiating crew – which ranged from comical to criminal – made it a mucky mess.
The parade of penalties kept the game from gaining any rhythm, upset both sidelines and frustrated the players.
Through it all Charles Wright prevailed, winning the Olympic League opener for both schools.
Coupeville (0-1, 2-2) will try to steady its ship when it travels to Vashon Island for another conference contest at 7 p.m. Friday, Sept. 29. The Pirates, who play Klahowya tonight (Saturday, Sept. 23), are 0-3 this season and have scored only one touchdown this fall while giving up an average of 65 points per game.
Charles Wright 52, Coupeville 20
The Tarriers from Tacoma mixed several major penalties with some missed tackles and missed assignments by the Wolves to go up 13-0.
The Wolves then cleaned up their game and appeared poised to take control.
Coupeville gambled and turned a fake punt on a fourth-and-eight play into a 68-yard touchdown pass from Hunter Downes to Cameron Toomey-Stout.
Charles Wright responded with a long kickoff return to the Coupeville 25-yard line, but on the first play, Hunter Smith picked off a Tarrier pass.
The Wolves, with the help of passes from Downes to Smith for 22 and 14 yards, marched to the Charles Wright 8 and had first-and-goal. The drive, and the game, fizzled from there.
A run and three incomplete passes gave the ball back to the Tarriers, who traveled 95 yards in the half’s final 1:42 to begin a run of 33 straight points.
That drive was aided by personal foul and unsportsman-like conduct penalties on the Wolves.
Charles Wright, which led 19-7 at the half, scored on all three of its possessions in the third quarter. It also intercepted back-to-back passes during the frame, one going for a pick-six, and led 46-7 going into the fourth period.
A 24-yard scramble by Downes and a 20-yard pass to Toomey-Stout helped Coupeville score early in the fourth quarter. Downes punched it in from the 1-yard line after it appeared Smith had scored on the previous play but was marked down just short of the goal line.
The teams then traded touchdowns to finish the scoring.
In Coupeville’s final drive, Matt Hilborn accounted for 53 of the 62 yards on seven carries, including a 12-yard TD run. He also kicked the extra point.
Coupeville coach Jon Atkins, after expressing his concerns about the officiating, praised the play of Smith and Hilborn, who both “played really well” and “kept fighting until the end of the game.” He also liked the play of Kyle Rockwell, who saw his first action of the season.
Smith intercepted two passes in the game, setting a new school career record with the first and breaking Josh Bayne’s mark of 12.