By Geno Ludwig/The Independent Staff
Leaving the ball three yards short of the goal line at the beginning of the second quarter of last Friday night’s game proved fatal for Chewelah, costing the Cougars their first football loss. Newport closed the door into the end zone on fourth down, denying Chewelah the touchdown it needed for its third consecutive win. Instead, the visiting Grizzlies spoiled Cougar Homecoming by taking home a 13-6 league victory.
Coach Levi Hogan was pleased with his team’s competitiveness, but he was not satisfied with its offensive execution.
“We have a lot of small things to correct,” Coach Hogan told his team. “We left a lot of points on the field Friday. I counted five plays where we were one person’s job away from scoring.”
The loss ended Chewelah’s two-game winning streak, dropping them to 1-1 in league play, 2-1 overall for the season. The Cougars now reside in the middle of the current league leaderboard. They will host Freeman (3-0) this Friday night at Snyder Field with kickoff time set at 7 p.m.
The Scotties steamrolled Medical Lake 51-0 last weekend and are undefeated in three outings.
Chewelah scored first last Friday night, taking a 6-0 lead, but Newport answered with two touchdowns later in the game.
The Cougars stopped Newport’s first possession on downs when the Grizzly fake punt failed to gain the needed four yards, and Chewelah took the ball at midfield. Two carries by Dom Coleman gave Chewelah a first down on the Newport 29-yard line. A 12-yard gain by Jensen Holloway moved the ball to the 17-yard line for another first down.
Coleman bulled his way up the middle for 10 yards and a first down at the seven-yard line. From there, Elan Krausz ran an option keeper to just short of the goal line, followed by his thrust through the middle for the touchdown. The Chewelah extra-point attempt failed, but the Cougars had a 6-0 lead with 4:33 remaining in the opening quarter.
Chewelah should have scored on its following possession.
It would have given the Cougars a two-touchdown lead. However, the drive failed to produce points when it stalled on the Newport three-yard line. Holloway’s punt return gave Chewelah good field position at the 50-yard line. Two carries by Coleman up the middle and a four-yard option keeper by Krausz gave the Cougars a first down on the Grizzly 35- yard stripe. Payton Danly sprinted around the Newport’s left flank on a 25-yard advance for a first down at the Grizzly 10-yard line. Now within the red zone, Holloway packed an option pitch for four yards and Coleman went up the middle for three more yards. This left Chewelah at the three-yard line. When a third down pass fell incomplete, the Cougars decided to run the ball on fourth down, but Newport was waiting with a welcoming committee. The run failed to reach the goal line, and the turnover on downs gave the Grizzlies possession on their three-yard line.
Chewelah’s failure to score on this possession was the turning point of the game. The Cougars never scored again. Chewelah had problems executing the pitch decision off the triple-option all evening, resulting in a pair of fumbles, one of which was lost to Newport. The first one occurred in the opening quarter, but it did no damage. The second one, on the other hand, happened at the Cougar 43-yard line, and the Grizzlies used it as a launching pad for their first touchdown.
Finding running room on the outside, Newport scored six plays later and kicked the extra-point to take over the lead 7-6 with 2:54 remaining in the first half.
Chewelah had the ball one more time prior to halftime. Starting at their own 30-yard line, the Cougars got an 18-yard run from Coleman and a 12-yard pitch to Kaden Mackowiak, they had a first down on the Newport 35-yard line. Four plays later, however, they turned the ball over on downs and went into halftime trailing 7-6.
Homecoming halftimes are fun for families, friends, and fans, but they are toxic for Cougar coaches. With key players participating in the activities, it is impossible to impart instructions to them for the second half of the game.
Vital changes and adjustments made by the coaching staff do not reach all of the players. Fine-tuning needed to stop Newport at the corners could not get hammered out in the absence of kings, princes, and escorts.
Chewelah did not score after halftime.
Unfortunately, Newport did, and widened its lead to 13-6. The four Cougar possessions ended in two punts, a turnover on downs, and a pass interception.
One Cougar drive did get into Grizzly territory and had the potential to score points. Starting at their own 35-yardline, they had a good start. Coleman had two carries for 11 yards to the 46-yard line. Holloway carried a pitch for 11 yards, and Krausz added another 11 yards on an option keeper, resulting in a first down on the Newport 30-yard line.
Four plays later, however, Chewelah gave up the ball on downs.
Newport held on through the final three minutes of the game to protect its lead and celebrate a 13-6 league win. Coleman led the Cougar offense with 18 carries for 99 yards. Holloway had 5 carries for 36 yards, Danly had 2 carries for 26 yards, Krausz had 7 carries for 22 yards, Mackowiak had 4 carries for 18 yards, and Nolan Hanson carried the ball twice for 10 yards. Altogether, Chewelah had 37 carries for 211 yards, averaging 5.7 yards per carry.
The Cougars did not complete a pass. They were 0-for- 10 through the air with one throw being intercepted. Ouch! Mackowiak topped the Cougar defense with 10 tackles. Holloway had 8, Isaac Hall and Conner Krouse had 7 each, Owen Baldwin had 6, Dakota Kroiss and Coleman had 5 apiece, and Robbie Hopkins had 4.
Altogether, the Cougar defense surrendered 253 yards to the Grizzlies, 206 on the ground and 47 through the air. Next on the schedule for Chewelah is Freeman. The undefeated Scotties bring a 3-0 record to Snyder Field with shutout wins over Timberlake, 32-0, Bonners Ferry, 41-0, and Medical Lake, 51-0.
NEWPORT 13, CHEWELAH 6
Newport 0 7 0 6-13
Chewelah 6 0 0 0-6
C- Coleman 1 run (run failed)
N- Pancho 3 run (Hill kick)
N- Pancho 17 run (kick failed)
Local Football Scores
Newport 13, Chewelah 6
Freeman 51, Medical Lake 0
Lakeside 45, Riverside 21
Deer Park 42, Colville 16
Hunters 82, Entiat 46
Wellpinit 34, Northport 12
Kettle Falls 29, Springdale 6
Local Football Standings
Freeman 3-0 (1-0 league)
Deer Park 2-1 (1-0)
Newport 2-1 (1-0)
Lakeside 2-1 (1-0)
Chewelah 2-1 (1-1)
Colville 1-2 (0-1)
Medical Lake 0-3 (0-1)
Riverside 0-3 (0-2)