Wolfpack's big lead disintegrates, drops matchup with Eagle River
The West Valley Wolfpack entered week four of the high school football season searching for their first win of the season, inviting the Eagle River Wolves to for a matchup under the Friday Night Lights.
Despite the strong first half, the Wolfpack's offense fizzled, ultimately dropping the game 36-30.
Everything was going the Wolfpack's way in the first half. They literally could not start the game any better, as running back Justin Cummings broke out for two huge touchdowns on the first two plays from scrimmage. The first carry, he he reversed fields and dashed down the sideline on his way to a 60-yard score. The very next play call from scrimmage, Cummings takes it 76-yards to the house. Two play calls, two scores, and West Valley saw themselves up 14-0 in the blink of an eye.
The Red and Gold weren't done putting points on the board as Shaun Conwell found Tyriq Nance for a 19-yard score, plus the two point conversion. The Wolves answered with a touchdown late in the first half, but Cummings found the end zone again, this time through the air, and the Wolfpack led 30-8 heading into the locker rooms at half-time.
"It was hard not to be excited about the first half. We got a lot of guys with a lot of talent, we just have to put four quarters together." Wolfpack head coach Norm Davis said after the loss.
That is where the script was flipped. Whatever the Wolves talked about at halftime worked, as Eagle River put together a near-perfect second half. West Valley had no answer for Wolves' running back Timothy Pennington, who scored three straight touchdowns, and all of a sudden it was tied 30-30 in the fourth quarter. Eagle River's game winning score came with 77 seconds left, a 1-yard plunge by quarterback Nathan Guderian, sealing the game altogether. Eagle River scored 28 unanswered points, and left Fairbanks with one of the most incredible comeback victories of the season.
"Losing never feels good, you're competing here for a reason, you never want to lose the game. If we can get it turned around mentally, which I think we can, I am pretty positive about these guys. Every one of these games up until conference is just learning to get better for that conference series and that is what we are looking forward to." Davis said.
After just his first two-touches, West Valley's Running back Justin Cummings piled up 136 yards on the ground. In the second half, he only had six yards and finished with ten rushes, clearly a major difference in how the two halves played out.
West Valley will get another crack at their first win of the season when they hit the road to face the Kenai Kardinals next Saturday at 1 p.m.