Jack Welch knows he will get Ellison’s best shot. He always does.

Despite beating the Eagles eight consecutive times entering tonight’s game at Hood Stadium, Copperas Cove’s head coach does not feel safe. He believes some teams, especially those residing from Killeen Independent School District, circle the Bulldawgs on their schedule.

While Welch owns an impressive career record against KISD schools, he feels the neighboring rivals, including the Eagles, are constantly looking to prove a point against his program.

“I think Ellison is very similar to Killeen, and (everyone) saw what happened to us when we played Killeen,” Welch said, referring to his 47-38 loss to the Kangaroos last month. “Killeen upset us, and I think Ellison considers us their Super Bowl. … Most of the Killeen schools do because we’re here next door to them.”

So far, Copperas Cove is 1-1 against KISD schools, bouncing back from its first loss to Killeen since 1995 to beat Shoemaker 63-41 the following week. Although Ellison has lost 27 games in a row, Welch refuses to overlook the Eagles.

“They’ve got a lot of talent, they’re playing very tenacious football right now, and they’re right on the verge of going over the top,” he said. “We can’t allow this to happen in this ballgame.”

If recent history is any indication, it will not.

Since 2008, the Bulldawgs are 5-0 with only one outcome decided by fewer than 25 points. Copperas Cove (4-3, 2-2 District 8-5A) outscored the Eagles 203-31 in the other four.

With the Bulldawgs already sitting in a precarious position, losing half its district games, another defeat could be disastrous for the program’s chances at a 10th consecutive postseason appearance. On the other hand, Ellison (0-7, 0-4) has virtually nothing to lose coming off its worst loss of the season.

Temple beat the Eagles 63-15 last week, but received a strong showing from Hayward Clay, who caught a pair of touchdowns, including a 51-yarder in the first quarter. It was not enough, though, as Ellison’s offense continues to sputter, producing a mere 243.9 yards per game.

Even enduring heavy rains and slippery conditions, Copperas Cove accounted for 417 total yards during last week’s 41-14 victory against Belton, and the total was more than 100 yards shy of their season average.

“The second half of the Belton game, the rain was coming down, it was cold, and I think both teams were just trying to get out of there with no injuries because the game was pretty much in hand the first half,” Welch said, “but overall I was very well pleased.”

With senior receiver Phillip Baptiste catching four passes for 90 yards and a touchdown and running for another score, the Bulldawgs led 34-7 heading into halftime, which was extended by 30 minutes due to lightning in the area.

Copperas Cove also had a pair of short rushing touchdown runs from Shaq Fluelen and another from quarterback Manny Harris, who was held below 300 passing yards for the first time this season, in the first half.

Defensively, the Bulldawgs recovered a pair of fumbles, intercepted a pass and forced the Tigers to punt three times.

The downside for Welch was the abnormal amount of penalties called during the game. A total of 22 flags were thrown with Copperas Cove receiving 11 penalties for 146 yards.

“The bottom line is we’re using the same (officials) chapter for all our district games,” Welch said. “How can you from one game to the next have that many differences in penalties? Because we’re playing the same way. So, if you’re getting more holding calls in one game than you are in another and you’re using the same chapter, then different people call it different ways.”

Contact Clay Whittington at clayw@kdhnews.com

(2) comments


Welch is right though. KISD schools do circle the date with Cove. Not because we consider it our Super Bowl though. We circle it because we want to beat the classless Dawgs who seem to forget that it wasn't that long ago when Cove was everyone's Homecoming and routinely got beat 54-0 while going winless every year.
It's a shame that while he has built a proven winner, Welch hasn't been able to demonstrate a bit of modesty, humblenes or class that true champions exhibit.


Coach Welch, as well as the whole Cove program has no class and his own words prove it.
To claim Cove is Ellison's Super Bowl is conscending to Ellison. I can't believe an educator who talk this way.
It's a given that Cove's recent success is better than Ellison's, But to rub their nose in it just classless and that is exactly what Welch is doing with his Super Bowl comment.
Trust me when I tell you Ellison's "Super Bowl", if they had one, is KILLEEN. It's a rivalry born in 1979 and still means more to those two schools today than any game against Cove.
Cove is going to get Ellison's best shot because those young men are trying to get the program's first win in 2 1/2 years. They believe. They are going to win a game in near future. They have no pressure in this game. No one expects them to win. Cove on the other hand cannot afford to lose this game,not only because they don't want to be known as the team that finally lost to Ellison, but also because of Cove's precarious playoff situation. A third district loss pushes them to the brink.

Welcome to the discussion.

Keep it Clean. Please avoid obscene, vulgar, lewd, racist or sexually-oriented language.
Don't Threaten. Threats of harming another person will not be tolerated.
Be Truthful. Don't knowingly lie about anyone or anything.
Be Nice. No racism, sexism or any sort of -ism that is degrading to another person.
Be Proactive. Use the 'Report' link on each comment to let us know of abusive posts.
Share with Us. We'd love to hear eyewitness accounts, the history behind an article.