Rain Keeps Score Low, Game Close
WOLFE CITY-Though the rain kept coming Friday night, it was worth being in Don Howard Stadium for a game that wasn’t decided until the end.
The Cumby Trojans (District 10-A Division 2) traveled to Wolfe City September 14 to face the Wolfe City Wolves (District 8-A Division 1) for a low-scoring but extremely close game.
Kickoff was at 7:30 at the new Don Howard Stadium, where it was just starting to rain and the temperature was a rather nice 70 degrees. The Wolves wore their home blues with white lettering, and the visiting Trojans were dubbed in white with maroon lettering.
Cumby began the game with a little trickery, kicking out of the onside formation. The Trojans recovered the ball, and would start their drive on the Cumby 46. But the trickery didn’t pay off. A few plays later the Trojans punted it to Wolfe City.
Wolfe City wouldn’t have the ball for long though. The Wolves would fumble, and Cumby would recover the ball.
The Trojans were finally able to drive down the field on their second possession. It was all on the ground for Cumby, with senior running back Colton Speights grabbing 48 yards on the drive and senior quarterback Luke Sartin converting a 4th down attempt. Speights ran in the touchdown on first and goal from 3 yards out, and with 5:45 left in the first quarter, it was 6 to nothing Cumby.
The Wolves wouldn’t perform much better on their second drive, eventually punting the ball back to the Trojans.
The Trojans started with great field position on their third drive. The punt only traveled to the Wolfe City 43. Cumby alternated running backs down the field, with sophomore Nick Folse, sophomore Cody Anderson, and Speights each gaining a few yards, including a 4th and 1 conversion by Speights. Cumby reached the Wolfe City 25, but the Wolves didn’t allow a single yard after that.
The Trojans would attempt a fake field foal pass, but the Wolves had different plans. They broke up the pass, and it was Wolfe City ball on their own 31.
Junior running back Darrell Wooten would get the first carry, and grab the first Wolves first down in the process, going 13 yards. Sophomore quarterback Brandon Fisk connected with junior Malik Gaffney for the next first down, and it looked like the Wolves were really moving.
But then the Wolves shot themselves in the foot. Wooten grabbed just 1 yard rushing on the next play, and then the Wolves had an illegal shift, costing them 5 yards. Fisk connected with Justin Wilkinson for no gain before throwing an incomplete pass. Even the punt was almost a disaster. The rain made the ball slick, and that caused a bad snap. The ball sailed over Gaffney’s head, but he managed to grab it and punt before the Trojans defense reached him. It landed on the Cumby 24.
The penalties continued for the Wolves. Speights ran for 6 yards, and a Wolves defender grabbed his facemask, tacking on 15 yards to the end of the drive. Sartin grabbed a few yards on a quarterback draw, and Anderson and senior running back Brandon Jones also tacked on a few, but the Wolves D would hold again. The Trojans punted, and the ball rolled out the back of the end zone.
Fisk would miss Gaffney on the first play of the next Wolves drove, but then he’d hit Tim Lloyd in stride for a 22-yard gain, and the Trojans added 10 to that by hitting Fisk a little late. Gaffney ran for 2 on the next play, and then threw an incomplete pass before running for 12 yards and the first down.
Fisk would be back at quarterback for the next play, and he immediately threw an interception. But the play was overturned thanks to the second Cumby penalty on the drive. The Cumby defender interfered with the Wolfe City receiver. So instead of it being Cumby ball, it was 1st and 10 on the Cumby 20. The Wolves scored on the next play, a 20 yard pass from Fisk to Gaffney, and after the extra point, it was 7-6 Wolfe City with 3:44 left in the half.
Wolfe City was off-sides on the kick, so the ball was spotted on the Wolves 43. Speights and Anderson ran a few times, and Speights even attempted a half back pass, which he didn’t complete. But on third and 12, Sartin fumbled, and Wolfe City’s Lance Phillips recovered the ball.
Fisk threw two incomplete passes on the next drive, and the Wolves punted it right back. It was a great punt that landed on the Cumby 12.
The Trojans got in just two plays before the clock expired in the first half. At the end of the first half, it was 7-6 Wolfe City over the visiting Cumby Trojans.
The Trojans got the ball to start the second half, and returned the initial kickoff 6 yards to the Cumby 46. But the Trojans again struggled to get anything going, losing 2 yards net on the following drive. They punted, and the ball ended up on the Wolfe City 11 after a running into the kicker penalty.
Wooten would gain 5 yards on the Wolves’ first play in the second half, and then Fisk threw it to Lloyd for another 5. But a holding penalty was called against Wolfe City, and that marched them back to the Wolfe City 6 yard 11, 2nd and 15. Justin Wilkinson got the Wolves back to the original line of scrimmage, and Fisk hit Cody Harbin for the first down.
The Wolves struck again on the next play. Fisk hit Gaffney on a high lob pass for 76 yards and a touchdown. Fisk overthrew his receiver on the 2 point conversion, and the score with 8:06 in the third was 13 to 6 Wolfe City.
Wolfe City muffed the kick back to Cumby and had to re-kick, and Cumby got the ball on their own 48. Speights ran 12 yards for an immediate first down, and Jones tacked on a few yards of his own, including a 15 yard facemask penalty against Wolfe City. But though Cumby grabbed two touchdowns on the drive, they would again be forced to attempt a field goal. They faked it again, and Sartin again overthrew his receiver.
Wolfe City got the ball back on their own 24. Fisk grabbed two consecutive first downs, one on a 15 yard quarterback draw, and the other on a 17 yard connection with Gaffney, but the Wolves had to punt again. And the rain caused yet another bad snap on the punt. Gaffney didn’t have time to punt this one, and instead fell on the ball at the Wolfe City 36, giving the Trojans great field position.
Anderson, Speights, and Sartin ran the Trojans down to the goal line, and Anderson punched it in on 1st and goal. The Wolves blocked the Trojan extra point, and the score was 13 Wolfe City 12 Cumby with 1:05 left in the 3rd.
The Wolves got the ball back on their own 15, and Fisk quickly connected with Harbin for 25 yards. But on the Wolfe City 40 Fisk got sacked for a 9 yard loss, and the Wolves gave it right back, punting it to the Cumby 13.
Speights and the Trojans went 3 and out, and punted the ball right back, though it was an extremely high punt that only went to the Cumby 30.
But again the Wolves couldn’t capitalize. The Trojan defense grabbed another sack, and Fisk threw two straight incomplete passes. The Wolves turned it over on downs on the Cumby 33.
But the Wolves defense also held. They allowed a first down, but then the Trojans turned it over on downs after a Cumby fumble that Sartin recovered and three rushes by Speights and Anderson.
Wooten lost 8 yards on the next play, but then Fisk hit Harbin on another high lob pass for 68 yards, and ran it in himself from 2 yards out. They missed the 2 point conversion again, and the score with 1:49 left in the game was 19 Wolfe City 12 Cumby.
The Trojans responded on their last drive, and it seemed Wolfe City was doing all they could to help Cumby tie the game. Wolfe City contributed their third facemask penalty on the first Cumby play, and backup quarterback Travis Taylor passed to Arsenio Ugalde and Sartin to get the Trojans down to the Wolfe City 20.
But with 45 seconds left in the game, the Wolves defense held again. They sacked Taylor on first down and forced a fumble on 2nd and 12. Wooten recovered the ball for Wolfe City, and with 28 seconds left, Fisk took a knee to end the game.
Final score: Wolfe City 19 Cumby 12
Wolfe City improves to 2-1, Cumby drops to 1-2.
Fisk: 11-20, 253 yards, 2 td
Gaffney: 0-1, 0 yds, 0 td
Sartin: 0-3, 0 yds, 0 td
Taylor: 2-5, 21 yds, 0 td
Speights: 0-1, 0 yds, 0 td
Darrell Wooten: 6 carries, 23 yards
Malik Gaffney: 2 carries, 14 yards
Brandon Fisk: 6 carries, 0 yards, 1 td
Justin Wilkinson: 2 carries, 5 yards
Colton Speights: 18 carries, 84 yards, 1 td
Luke Sartin: 6 carries, 7 yards, 1 fum
Nick Folse: 1 carry, 4 yards
Cody Anderson: 10 carries, 39 yards, 1 td
Brandon Jones: 6 carries, 18 yards
Travis Taylor: 3 carries, 3 yards, 1 td
Malik Gaffney: 5, 123 yards, 2 td
Justin Wilkinson: 1, 0 yards
Tim Lloyd: 1, 22 yards
Cody Harbin: 4, 108 yards
Arsenio Ugalde: 1, 7 yards
Luke Sartin: 1, 14 yards
Wolfe City: 7 for 85
Cumby: 7 for 50
Tim Lloyd (Wolfe City) was hit rather hard in the helmet with a little less than 8 minutes left in the game. He looked ok at first, but eventually had to be helped off the field by Wolves Coach Travis Smith. No word on his status for the next game. Next game for Wolfe City: Carlisle (2-0) ; next game for Cumby: Hawkins (1-2)