The loss bounced the Tracy-based semi-pro team from the first-round of the Pacific Coast Football League playoffs.
Starting quarterback Teddy Anderson led the Wolves to a 12-3 lead in the first half against the Fury. He threw a touchdown to wide receiver C.J. Smith and a second to receiver Dakota Anderson. The Wolves also reached the end zone on Eric Spivey’s interception, but officials called back the score because of a Wolves’ penalty.
The Fury (9-3) denied West Valley (6-6) the chance to run out the clock at the end of the second quarter. Instead, a Hail Mary pass put the Fury in the end zone to cut the Wolves’ lead to 12-10 at halftime.
Wolves co-owner and wide receiver Cliff Brown said that while West Valley held back the Fury in the third quarter, his own team was unable to produce significant offensive gains in the fourth.
“It was a back and forth game with a lot of turnovers,” he said.
The Fury would force a fumble to get in position for a field goal at the start of the fourth, and tallied two more touchdowns — one an interception return — to win 26-12.
“We held them for the entire game, and then their running game started to produce a lot more,” said co-owner Mario De La Rosa.
Team owners said they thought that a 6-6 overall finish is a step forward for the three-year squad, considering the Wolves moved to the tougher PCFL this year. It’s the third league change in as many years.
Rosa said that now the team will focus on building for next year.
Top priority will be to find a new head coach. Ira Ayers quit right before the team’s final regular season game, a 14-6 win over the Richmond War Angels. He reportedly left over a dispute with team owners about the team’s starting roster.
De La Rosa said the issue was who would have final say over the starting roster, with team owners insisting that Anderson, who led the team to a 4-2 record at the start of the season, step back into his role as starting quarterback for the playoffs following a mid-season knee injury.
Backup quarterback Jason Winter, who was then starting, would back into his usual role as wide receiver, but Ayers did not support the decision, De La Rosa said.