The Shoemaker Grey Wolves celebrated homecoming by hosting the Copperas Cove Bulldawgs at Leo Buckley Stadium on Friday.
The Grey Wolves nearly spoiled homecoming for crosstown rival Elllison last week but fell 25-20 in the end.
Shoemaker entered the game with a ground-and-pound strategy to control the clock and the pace of the game.
However, defense ruled the day, but the Grey Wolves could not capture their first win of the season, falling to the Bullawgs 26-12.
The Grey Wolves opened the contest on defense and were stout in the early going while forcing two punts and a turnover on downs.
Wide receiver Telly Sparks returned the Bulldawgs’ first punt to the Copperas Cove 45-yard line but the drive ended with a missed field goal.
Shoemaker’s second drive resulted in another missed field goal, forcing
the defense back onto the field.
The Bulldawgs’ offense remained in check, and the Grey Wolves’ defensive unit stepped up with more big plays, including an interception, a safety and a fumble recovery.
Shoemaker picked up the first score of the game with 5 minutes, 19 seconds remaining in the second quarter as linebacker Leonard Pennick was held in the Copperas Cove end zone for a safety.
Leading 2-0, the Grey Wolves received the kickoff and took over at their own 47-yard line but fumbled away the possession.
On Copperas Cove’s ensuing possession, quarterback Jaylen Smith was sacked on consecutive plays by linebacker Joseph Lowe, fumbling on the second play.
The loose football was scooped up by Shoemaker defender Mi’ldris Guy and returned 50 yards for a touchdown.
The stout Grey Wolves defense had produced both scores and pushed the home team to a 9-0 lead.
Copperas Cove’s offense used the final 2:25 remaining in the half to march 58 yards for their first score of the night. Cove runningback Tim Edwards punched it in from 1 yard out to shrink the deficit to two points with 13 seconds left in the half.
The ensuing kickoff was eventful as Shoemaker fumbled on the return and Justin Velesky recovered for the Dawgs. Fortunately for the Wolves, the 26-yard field goal attempt by Copperas Cove was short and wide right as time expired, leaving the score at 9-7.
Shoemaker used its first possession of the second half to drive 70 yards to score another three points on a Vance Brown kick. Midway through the third quarter, the Wolves led 12-7.
The explosive Copperas Cove offense found its groove and their first lead on a 45 yard pass from Smith to Bryce Banes to go up 13-7 after the two-point conversion was no good.
Unable to get things going, Shoemaker’s offense continued to stall while Copperas Cove scored another third-quarter touchdown and once more in the fourth quarter to seal the victory 26-12 victory.
Next week, Shoemaker will visit Harker Heights.