With a handful of walking wounded haunting its sidelines, the short-handed Coupeville High School football team lost its final game of the season and final chance for a playoff berth 35-0 to Granite Falls Thursday, Oct. 25, at Mickey Clark Field.
Had the Wolves won, they would have been part of a three-way tie for fourth place and the final North Sound Conference berth into the postseason.
Decimated by injuries, Coupeville started the game with only 16 healthy players, then lost starting quarterback Dawson Houston in the first quarter and another two-way player to ejection in the third period.
The Wolves began the season with three wins in four non-league games but slipped to 0-5 in conference play.
Coupeville could have played one more game next week, pairing up with another school that failed to make the playoffs, but coach Marcus Carr said only larger schools in the area were available and he did not want to further jeopardize the health of his already thin squad.
Granite Falls, unable to overcome several penalties and a bad snap, punted in its first possession, then scored on its next five.
After failing to get a first down in three first-quarter possessions, Coupeville moved the ball but couldn’t find the end zone. The Wolves were hurt by two interceptions and 10 penalties, six for personal fouls.
The Tigers finished with 276 yards of offense. Ryan Gese completed eight of 12 passes for 142 yards and two touchdowns. Seth Harris ran for 83 yards and two TDs on 13 carries.
Coupeville had 201 yards of offense. Shane Losey hit four of 15 passes for 42 yards and rushed for 48 on seven carries.
Sean Toomey-Stout ran for 43 yards on 10 carries, caught two passes for 45 yards and completed a halfback pass to Dane Lucero of 19 yards.
“This was a learning experience,” Carr said. “With just 16 guys, we fought as hard as we could.
“This is a good group of guys; I am going to miss the seniors.”
Carr expects good things in the future.
“I got a late start this year,” Carr said, noting he was hired after spring ball. “I will be here all the way through.”
The program needs to improve if the Wolves want to be successful, he added.
“The conference isn’t going to get any easier; we have to step up our game,” he said.
Granite Falls returned an interception to the Coupeville 9-yard line and converted on the next play to get the scoring started in the first quarter.
Drives of 52 and 50 yards led to two more Tiger touchdowns in the second quarter, and Granite Falls led 21-0 at halftime.
The Tigers finished their scoring with drives of 55 yards and 49 yards in the third quarter. The last score came after an interception.
Coupeville drove 67 yards to the Tiger 15-yard line but ran out of time at the end of the half.