Coppell starts strong, never looks back in homecoming victory over Wildcats

Odimegwu’s versatility on display with hammer package offense


Tracy Tran

Coppell junior quarterback rushes in for a touchdown during the first quarter against Plano at Buddy Echols Field last night. The Cowboys defeated Plano, 35-13, in their first District 6-6A clash.

Meer Mahfuz, Staff Writer

A light breeze settled through Buddy Echols Field as an impeccable sunset illuminated the sky and a wide foray of students, parents and spectaurs poured into the stands to set the scene for Coppell’s first District 6-6A clash against Plano. 

It would be the Cowboys who punched first in the first quarter and carried that dominance through the rest of the game, defeating Plano, 35-13, last night at Buddy Echols Field. 

Coppell junior running back Ike Odimegwu started off the scoring with a two-yard rush and junior quarterback Jack Fishpaw’s 12-yard rush added in the Coppell’s (2-2, 1-0 in District 6-6A) second touchdown in the first quarter. 

The Wildcats (1-3, 0-1) clawed back early in the second quarter with a 39-yard rush from junior running back Kameron Jones to set up a 32-yard touchdown pass from senior quarterback Grant Garcia to senior wide receiver Michael Dorsey. Both the Cowboys’ defense and the Wildcats’ defense fought to a standstill through the rest of the second quarter. At halftime, the Cowboys led 14-7.  

The Cowboys returned to their scoring ways, using a run hammer package to score senior quarterback Landry Fee. Coppell’s offense profited off a muffed punt reception late in the third quarter to score Odimegwu and take a 21-point lead into the fourth. 

“The line did awesome today,” Fee said. “When I was running the hammer package, they made it wide open for us. The line worked its butts off and it shows how tough we are upfront.”  

Garcia’s 61-yard touchdown pass to Doresy in the beginning of the fourth quarter chipped away at the Cowboys’ lead but a failed two-point conversion and Odimegwu’s 16-yard rush gave Coppell a 22-point lead to close out the game. 

“Our kids were gritty throughout the whole night,” Coppell coach Michael DeWitt said. “Even though we didn’t play perfectly, they showed a lot of resolve, a lot of effort and we did a lot of good things. We were physical on both sides of the ball. We have to keep getting better but I was pleased with our effort.”

Running offense proved to be the key for the Cowboys with its five touchdowns and Odimegwu’s three-touchdown game highlighted a new, short-yardage game plan for Coppell. With Fee playing his first game of the season, and Odimegwu getting more snaps on offense, Coppell added a useful run hammer package to its offensive game plan. 

“It feels like the old days because running back was my first position when I started football,” Odimegwu said. “I have a lot of love for that position and I was so excited to come out here and play running back again.  I tried to look at the plays I was going to run and the holes I was going to hit so I could make the right reads. I love the feeling of scoring and when you love something, you want more of it so I just wanted more touchdowns.”

The Cowboys did struggle with penalties through the game and their defense gave up some big plays. 

“We need to eliminate penalties and the things that took points off the board,” DeWitt said. “We need to do a better job of not getting behind the chains offensively. Defensively, we have to continue to be better in the secondary and we have some young guys back there, playing in new positions but we’re getting there. We certainly have to clean up the explosive plays in the secondary.” 

Last night’s victory marked the annual homecoming game and, according to Odimegwu, will be a tone setter for the rest of the district campaign as well as give the Cowboys encouragement and confidence going forward.

“It’s great to get a win and be 1-0 [in district],” DeWitt said. “It’s great to win at home, it’s great to win on homecoming so I am really happy for our kids.”

The Cowboys travel to John Clark Stadium next week and play Plano West with kickoff at 7 p.m.

“Hopefully we can string a few more [wins] together so we can get ourselves in the drivers’ seat instead of having to worry about things falling in place,” Lee said.

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