SFU loses close match to Wolves

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Clan can’t hold lead, lose by a field goal

 

By Bryan Scott
Photos by Adam Ovenell-Carter

The Simon Fraser University football team was at home on Terry Fox Field to battle the Western Oregon University Wolves. In their first meeting of the season, the Wolves pulled out a final quarter touchdown to win the game 20–16. The Clan did not want to have the same result on home field.

The Clan started with the ball. They produced nine plays and got down to the Wolves’ 43-yard line. On the 10th play, Clan quarterback Trey Wheeler was intercepted by a Wolves defender, who took it down to the Clan’s 13-yard line. This was not the start they were looking for. Their defense held strong, but the Wolves converted on 4th down and punched in the one-yard touchdown to take the lead 7–0 early on.

The Clan regrouped, starting at their own three-yard line, they marched down the field. Wheeler had key receptions to Lamar Durant (19 yards), Jamal Kett (29 yards) and Bobby Pospischil (17 yards). The Clan could not get any further than the Wolves’ five-yard line, and decided to take the field goal. The attempt soared wide right from 22 yards out; this proved costly later.

In the second quarter, Wolves quarterback Trey Shimabukuro fumbled the ball in his own zone. It was recovered by Clan defensive lineman Dylan Roper. Wheeler and the offense took over at the Wolves’ 36-yard line. They were backed up to the 50 after a personal foul, but this did not hinder the Clan. They managed to make it down to the red zone, finishing the drive with a 5-yard pass from Wheeler to Durant, tying the game at sevens. On the next possession, the stingy Clan defense forced another fumble, which was recovered by linebacker Eric Murphy, but the offense could not convert this time around. The Clan added a field goal from 26 yards out by Tiernan Docherty, giving the Clan a 10–7 lead. The Wolves attempted a 60-yard field goal to end the half, but it was out of the kicker’s range, keeping the Clan up at halftime.

The Clan got pinned deep in their own end in the third quarter, which lead to a great field position for the Wolves. They kicked a field goal on their next possession to tie the game at 10–10. The Clan responded, and yet again it was the defense who got it started. Casey Chin forced another fumble by Shimabukuro, this time Adam Berger picked up the ball, giving the Clan possession at the Wolves’ 35-yard line. It took them four plays to score. Durant got his second touchdown of the game on a 15-yard catch from Wheeler.

Not to be outdone, the Wolves used a dynamic offense to march down the field starting from their own 17-yard line. Wolves running back Kenneth Hayes rushed for 43 yards on the drive, and finished it off with a 25-yard touchdown jaunt. With the game tied, and time running down in the third quarter, the Wolves booted it back to the Clan. Unfortunately, Clan returner Alex Iezzi fumbled the ball at his own 28-yard line, leading to a recovery by the Wolves. The defense was able to prevent a touchdown, but the Wolves kicked a 35–yard field goal to start the fourth quarter, giving them their first lead since early in the game. Special teams were the downfall of the Clan in this game. Over the next few possession they had two punts blocked, but the defense came up clutch, keeping the game close, including an interception by Berger.

Midway through the fourth quarter the Clan, on their own 13, started the drive that would make or break the game. Backup quarterback Ryan Blum tossed a pass to Durant for 35 yards, then Wheeler passed another to Durant for 28. Pospischil got the Clan down to the one-yard line, and on fourth down, the pressure was on. The Clan decided to go for the tie by kicking a 18-yard field goal. It was not meant to be. The Wolves blocked the field goal and recovered the ball. The Clan lost a tough one, 20–17.

Wheeler finished the day 27 for 50 with two touchdown passes and 283 yards. He only had the one interception on the day. The Clan receiving core was led by Pospischil who had 11 receptions for 102 yards and Durant, who had six receptions for 110 yards and two touchdowns. Running back Bo palmer had a quiet day, rushing for 64 yards on 18 carries.

With the loss, the Clan fall to 2–5 in the conference and 3–5 overall. They took on the Dixie State Red Storm on Saturday; this game will be covered in the next edition of the Peak.