Coppell falls in 2OT in heartbreaking fashion, suffers first district loss

Offense unable to catch Marauders in offensive shootout


Angelina Liu

Coppell junior wide receiver Carter Kincaid dodges Marcus junior defensive back Chance Sautter at Marauder Stadium last night. The Cowboys fell to the Marauders, 39-37, in double overtime.

Meer Mahfuz, Staff Writer

FLOWER MOUND – ‘What happens when an unstoppable force meets an immovable object?’ An age old adage, but an adage that summarizes the matchup between Marcus’s unstoppable offense and Coppell’s immovable desire to win and fight to never give up. 

Despite leading the Marauders at halftime, Coppell fell to Marcus, 39-37, in heartbreaking fashion in double overtime last night at Marauder Stadium.

After Marcus senior running back Gabe Espinoza scored on a nine-yard rush in the second overtime period, the Marauders were required to go for a two-point conversion.

Marcus senior quarterback Jaxxon Warren’s throw deflected off the helmet of Coppell senior safety Isaiah Nichols and popped up into the air, a ball that would eventually end up in the hands of Marcus senior tight end Connor Vaughn.

Coppell knew that, now, it had to score a touchdown and complete a two-point conversion, or else the game would be over. 

On fourth and two on the Marauders’ 17 yard line, Coppell junior quarterback Jack Fishpaw rifled a touchdown pass to sophomore wide receiver Luca Grosoli. On the two-point conversion, however, Fishpaw saw his pocket collapse and was forced to pass in the direction of senior wide receiver Charlie Barker, who was guarded by Marcus junior defensive back Chance Sautter. 

Both players went up to catch the ball but it would be Sautter who came down with it, killing the game with a Marcus victory in the process.

“I feel like I want to throw up because I hate to lose, especially like that,” Coppell senior linebacker Jack McAdams said. “It’s just tough because the ball doesn’t roll your way especially on the two-point conversion that got popped up and they caught it, that’s just straight up luck.”

Even in defeat, Coppell coach Michael DeWitt left Marauder Stadium proud of his team’s effort and thinks the Cowboys will benefit from the tough loss moving forward. 

“Our kids always played hard but, [last night] our kids played really hard, they played with great effort and you can certainly build on that; we will be alright,” DeWitt said.

Despite the Marauders (4-2, 2-1 in District 6-6A)  taking the early 3-0 lead on junior kicker Michael Petro’s 28-yard field goal, Fishpaw answered back with an 11-yard touchdown run in the first quarter. 

The Marauders regained possession on Coppell junior running back Blake Robbins’ fumble and Marcus senior running back Walker Wells capitalized with a 35-yard touchdown run through the heart of Coppell’s defense with 8:47 left in the second quarter. And with 3:59 left in the second quarter, Fishpaw’s 31-yard touchdown pass to junior wide receiver Carter Kincaid regained the Cowboys’ lead.

Despite the offensive productivity through two quarters, a single defensive play by Coppell (3-3, 2-1) would be its most important play of the half. With ten seconds left in the half, the Marauders were second and goal at the Cowboys’ two yard line. And as time expired, the Cowboys’ defense made a sensational goal line stand to prevent Wells from scoring, giving the Coppell a 14-10 lead going into halftime. 

Neither team’s offense could make anything happen in the third quarter but the offensive tension soon boiled over into the fourth quarter, where Coppell and Marcus would combine for four scores in a five-minute span. 

Warren’s 35-yard touchdown pass over the top of the Cowboys’ secondary to junior wide receiver Ashton Cozart gave the Marauders a 17-14 lead. Coppell responded with junior kicker Nic Radicic’s 35-yard field goal to knot it at 17.

With 3:34 left in the fourth quarter, Marcus sophomore quarterback Cole Welliver, a four-star prospect, rifled a 70-yard touchdown pass to Cozart to give the Marauders a 24-17 lead. And with 2:28 left in the fourth quarter, Coppell responded again, this time with Fishpaw’s 76-yard touchdown pass to Barker to knot it at 24.

The Cowboys forced Marcus to punt on its following drive and kneeled as time expired to send the game to overtime. Coppell got the ball first in overtime and senior running back Dylan Nelson scored off a three-yard touchdown run. Wells responded with a one-yard touchdown run to send the game to its second period of overtime, where the Cowboys were unable to keep up with Marcus’s offense.

“It is heartbreaking because our kids played extremely hard, gave a lot of effort and never gave up; it’s just one of those things to be tough to be on this side of,” Coppell offensive coordinator Jay Jones said. “It’s going to be a good learning process because our kids have never played overtime. There were a couple times in this game where we could’ve turned it down and stopped but we never did, we kept clawing our way back so it speaks volumes about our culture.”

Fishpaw ended the night with 285 yards passing, four total touchdowns and an interception. Barker led Coppell’s receivers with three receptions for 112 yards and a touchdown. Cozart led Marcus’s receivers with four receptions for 115 yard and two touchdowns. 

The Cowboys return home and host undefeated Hebron next Friday at Buddy Echols Field, with kickoff at 7 p.m.

“You can’t worry about this game once Monday gets here, it’s all about trying to win against [Hebron] and that’s all we have to think about,” DeWitt said.

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