Multiple Teams · GETTING CLOSER: Wolves played well last week; Fair wants fewer mistakes vs. Cove


Shoemaker took Ellison right down to the wire Friday in its District 8-6A opener at Leo Buckley Stadium, but it simply was not to be for the Grey Wolves.
With the game tied at 21, the Eagles went on a nine-play, 34-yard drive and kicked the game-winning 32-yard field goal with two seconds remaining to capture a 24-21 victory.
Despite giving itself plenty of opportunities to take control and win the ballgame, Shoemaker (0-5, 0-1 8-6A) was unable to do so. It forced three first-half turnovers, but was only able to convert one of those into points on a 4-yard interception return for a touchdown by senior linebacker Nah’Cyem Brooks.
And each time the Wolves seemed to be in position to put points on the board offensively, untimely penalties set them back and kept them out of the end zone and out of field goal range.
Overall, they committed 16 penalties for 129 yards against Ellison (5-0, 1-0).
Those issues have been a common theme for Shoemaker throughout the season, and head coach Johnnie Fair is aiming to put a stop to it.
“We have constantly had drive killers on offense or penalties that extend the opponent’s drives,” Fair said. “We are shooting ourselves in the foot every time we have an opportunity. It was a winnable game, and we are slowly getting there, but it’s just unfortunate when you lose.”
The Wolves are still searching for an offensive identity, but they have continued to create big plays.
Senior running back Mondra Randle had six carries for 77 yards to go along with a 52-yard touchdown run Friday, and wide receiver Tyri’K Barnes, another senior, tallied three receptions for 55 yards to accompany a 41-yard scoring catch.
The hope is they can start putting together long, extensive touchdown drives while continuing to score in explosive fashion.
“I think we’re going to get it there,” Fair said. “I hope it’s this week.”
For its second league contest, Shoemaker will travel to Copperas Cove to take on the host Bulldawgs (2-2, 0-1) on Friday at 7:30 p.m.
Cove is currently on a two-game losing streak, as they lost 48-16 to undefeated Garland Sachse on Sept. 16 and 48-24 on Friday at No. 14-ranked Waco Midway (3-2, 1-0).
Last week, the Wolves made some personnel adjustments to their 3-4 defensive scheme.
They inserted senior Isiah Cathcart at outside linebacker and slid 6-foot-3, 205-pound junior Darrell Crowder inside to defensive end. Crowder rotated at end with 6-4, 220-pound senior Te’Ayveon Hill and 6-1, 260-pound junior Nathalohn Nanai.
Shoemaker also shifted junior William Hooper from cornerback to safety, where he started alongside junior mainstay James Parker.
Each move resulted in positive production for a Wolves defense that was able to hold Ellison under 42 points for the first time all year.
If its defense is able to perform strongly once again against the Dawgs, and if it can avoid ill-timed penalties, Shoemaker could have another opportunity to capture its first win of the season Friday. COURTESY OF KDH 57e617a439687.image