Coppell cruises to victory over Wolverines

Defense steals show as productive offense earns win


Angelina Liu

Coppell freshman free safety Weston Polk tackles Plano West senior wide receiver Resse Gunby at John Clark Stadium Oct.1 . Polk decided, at ten years old, that he would forgo baseball and has become a cornerstone in the Cowboys’ defense since promotion to varsity.

Meer Mahfuz, Staff Writer

PLANO – Last night’s game didn’t start off well for Coppell’s offense, having to punt after only four plays. But, it would be the Coppell defense that returned the ball back to the offense a mere six seconds later after forcing Plano West to fumble and Coppell senior safety Isaiah Nichols recovered. 

The Cowboys took advantage of the turnover as junior running back Ike Odimegwu rushed in a touchdown on a one-yard run.  

Despite a productive offense that scored 27 unanswered points for the Cowboys, Coppell’s near-perfect defensive performance dominated, defeating Plano West, 34-7, last night at John Clark Stadium. 

The Wolves (2-3, 0-2 in District 6-6A) were able to respond as Coppell junior quarterback Jack Fishpaw threw a pick-six to Plano West junior linebacker Johnnie Ingram, who returned it for 33 yards to knot the game at 7-7. The following Cowboys’ drive lasted 3:26 as Coppell drove 72 yards on nine plays to score senior quarterback Landry Fee. 

The Cowboys’ defense struck again, forcing the Wolves to punt on their following drive. And with 7:59 left in the second quarter, Coppell scored again as senior kicker Colton Johnson’s 31-yard field goal was good. 

The Cowboys’ defense came calling again, forcing a fumble from Plano West with 4:51 left in the second quarter. This time, Coppell drove for 78 yards on 12 plays in 3:07 as Fee ran in his second touchdown of the night with 1:44 left in the second quarter.

The next 17 second sequence summarized the potential of the Coppell football team as Nichols snagged an interception off of Plano West junior quarterback Andrew Pokorny a mere six seconds after Fee scored. The interception marked Nichols’ first career interception despite being a two-year starter and a stalwart cog in the Coppell defense. 

“[Finally getting that interception] feels great,” Nichols said. “It’s been a long time coming, this is my second year on varsity and it was my first pick of high school. It’s been a long time coming and I’m extremely excited [for what’s next]. [Coppell assistant Karl] Pointer and [Coppell coach Michael] DeWitt had definitely done a good job of preparing me, just teaching me to take it play-by-play, to play slow, to play my game and to not freak out on the field. [They] have been a big factor in my accomplishments.” 

Fishpaw then threw a 58-yard touchdown pass to junior wide receiver Carter Kincaid 11 seconds later to increase the Cowboys’ lead to 31-7. 

The Coppell defense, once again, forced the Wolves to punt with 31 seconds left in the second quarter as the Cowboys took a 24-point lead into half time. 

The Cowboys’ offense slowed off heavily in the second half, only scoring off a 45-yard field goal from Johnson with 1:56 left in the third quarter. On its four drives in the second half, Coppell’s offense was forced to punt, scored the aforementioned field goal on the second, Coppell junior running back Blake Robbins fumbled on the third drive, and senior kicker Nathan Scrock missed a 43-yard field goal on the fourth drive. 

“We have to be able to cause turnovers when the offense can’t score,” Nichols said. “We have to do our job, we are not here to play offense, we are here to do what we can to take it play-by-play, force turnovers and get stops. That’s what we do as a defense, that’s what we are going to continue to do and we are going to have to continue to get better because, the rest of the year, we are going to be going against better and better teams.”   

The play in the second half summarized just how important the Cowboys’ defense was in this contest. In the four Plano West drives of the second half, Coppell forced a punt, Coppell senior linebacker Jack McAdams intercepted Pokorny and returned it for 31 yards during the second drive, forced another punt on the third drive and made a crucial stop on fourth and three. 

The defensive effort, led by Nichols and McAdams, allowed zero points from Plano West and is a summation of just how far the Coppell defense has come since the start of the season. Despite allowing a couple of good runs from Plano West junior running back Suwi Musonda, the Cowboys’ stifling defense played lights-out and had a near perfect game. 

“We are really starting to come together; we didn’t let a single point in, every time they got in the red zone, we stopped them and we really came together as a team to stop the run and to stop the pass, everything’s clicking,” McAdams said. “It’s extremely important for us to continue this defensive effort because the team that wins usually wins the turnover battle. It was near perfect and if we play like that against Lewisville, Marcus or Flower Mound then we have a good chance.”

Fishpaw finished with 256 yards passing, with one touchdown and one interception. Robbins led the running effort with 57 yards running. The run hammer package, led by Fee and Odimegwu, had three touchdowns. Johnson, who stepped up for injured junior kicker Nic Radicic, finished his stellar night with two field goals and four PATs.

“I am really proud of him, he had a great week of practice and he could’ve easily been nervous stepping in because it’s his first start and he had to do all three; he had to kickoff, he had to kick extra points and he had to punt and he did all those really well,” DeWitt said.

The win puts the Cowboys atop of the District 6-6A standings with Lewisville and Hebron. 

“We’re not, by any means, where we want to be but we are certainly getting better every week and this was our best performance thus far and we just need to build on that,” DeWitt said. “Anytime you can get a win in this district, it’s a good thing and we want to build on it. Hopefully, we’ll be 3-0 at the end of next week. We want to win them all and we want to win the whole district.”  

The Cowboys will travel to Marauder Stadium to play Flower Mound Marcus next Friday at 7 p.m.

“We are going to push reset on Monday and go to work,” DeWitt said. “The only game that matters is the one we are playing and that’s how we have to look at it and approach it every week so that’s what we’re going to do.”

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