Coppell senior Canon Peters was recently moved from cornerback to outside linebacker to fill a gap in the Cowboy defense.
It appears that he is going to remain in his new position for the foreseeable future.
Peters sacked Plano West senior quarterback Greg Draughn to force the Wolves out of field-goal range in the third quarter and had an interception with less than two minutes remaining in the game that allowed the Cowboys to finish off a 31-20 win at Buddy Echols Field.
“I love it,” Peters said. “I think that I’m going to stick with it.”
Peters’ efforts helped Coppell (4-1 overall, 2-0 District 6-6A) to pitch a second-half shutout on defense after the Wolves had jumped out to a 20-14 halftime lead.
Coppell cut into that lead with a Tyler Reid 34-yard field goal with 2:24 remaining in the third quarter, but West had a chance to push it back to a six-point advantage. Like they did the whole game, the Wolves used a combination of power runs and short passes to methodically drive the ball to the Cowboy 9. But, West missed a 29-yard field goal.
It was the same Wolves team that got field goals of 40 and 50 yards from Jesse Velez.
“It was a little frustrating in the second half,” said Tyler Soukup, West head coach. “You feel like you moved the ball. We hurt ourselves with some penalties and certainly turned it over late in the game. Ultimately, in a game like this, it was good people making the big plays, and it was the difference in the game.”
The missed field goal fired up the Cowboys’ sideline. Senior running back Jason Ngwu started the ensuing Coppell drive with four straight runs. Senior quarterback Ryan Walker completed an 8-yard touchdown pass to senior K.J. Liggins with 3:24 left in the fourth quarter to put the Cowboys on top, 24-20.
“We knew that we had to score,” Ngwu said. “We just executed at the end.”
Now trailing for the first time since the final minute of the first half, West looked to author one more scoring drive. The Wolves ran four plays and got one first down on a Dermot White run. On the next play, Peters intercepted Draughn near midfield.
“We knew the pass was coming,” Peters said. “Coach (Mike DeWitt) focused on getting the turnover, getting the ball back. The pass just happened to come my way.”
Ngwu put the finishing touches on the win with an 8-yard run for the Cowboys who matched their win total from all of last season.
Ngwu was the workhorse for Coppell’s offense, touching the ball 24 times for 113 yards.
“I’m proud of the whole team,” DeWitt said. “It certainly wasn’t perfect, but I liked our effort and thought that we fought really hard. I loved the way we finished.”
West got a nice effort in defeat from White, who ran 19 times for 103 yards. The sophomore started in place of senior Tabren Yates, who was injured in the Wolves’ previous game against Lewisville.
For three quarters, the Wolves (3-2, 1-1) played the brand of football that had allowed them to start the season 3-1. West chewed up the clock with long drives and didn’t snap the ball most times until there was less than 10 seconds remaining on the play clock.
The Wolves also feasted on two turnovers by the Cowboys in the first half that led to 10 West points.
An interception by senior Tyler Harrell on the second play of Coppell’s initial series led to a 40-yard field goal for Velez and a 3-0 West lead with 8:21 left in the first quarter.
Velez’s field goal set up a scoring flurry in which the two teams scored points on five straight possessions.
Coppell got two passing touchdowns from Walker in the second quarter to keep the Cowboys afloat. Liggins had a 53-yard reception on the first play of the quarter. Junior Anthony Black slid for a 26-yard touchdown reception.
Walker completed 14-of-20 through the air for 162 yards with three total touchdowns. Liggins caught seven balls for 94 yards with two scores.
But, Coppell still had issues protecting the ball. A fumble recovery by Cole Frederick in the final minute of the second quarter led turned into a 4-yard touchdown pass from Draughn to senior Jabrayden King-Woods.
West led 20-14 at halftime.
“I feel like that we’ve gotten good at executing consistently, both rushing and throwing it,” Soukup said. “We were able to do that in the first half, and I was certainly proud of the guys.”