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Ben Smith reps an all-star football uniform Saturday in Kent. (Deb Smith photo)

One final moment on a sunny high school football field.

A week after playing his final game in a Coupeville uniform, Wolf senior Ben Smith participated Saturday in the annual Cleats vs. Cancer All-Star Football Showcase.

Held at French Field in Kent, the game pitted some of the state’s top players in a charity game, with money raised by ticket sales going to help children battling cancer.

Hanging out with some of his teammates for a day. (Deb Smith photo)

Smith suited up for the North squad, which fell 35-28 to the South.

Win or lose, the Coupeville running back, who is planning to play college football for Culver-Stockton College in Missouri, had a positive experience in Kent.

“I enjoyed it, and I wanted to play for the cause,” Smith said.

The CHS senior was a two-way star for the Wolves during their pandemic-shortened season this spring, helping lead his squad to a 3-2 record, their second-straight winning mark after a 13-year dry spell.

Smith paced the Wolves in rushing yards and total touchdowns, with his biggest sprint to the end zone being the game-decider in a season-opening overtime win over La Conner.

Cracking Concrete in a regular-season win. (Photo by JohnsPhotos.net)

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Sage Downes looks for running room. (Photos by JohnsPhotos.net)

All the action, all the wins.

After a 13-year dry spell, Coupeville High School has now posted back-to-back winning seasons on the gridiron.

Playing through the pandemic, the Wolves finished 3-2 while playing fall sports in the spring, and wanderin’ camera clicker John Fisken was on hand to capture the final moments.

The pics above and below are courtesy him.

To see everything he shot, and possibly buy some mementos for gram and gramps, pop over to:

FB 2021-05-08 vs Concrete – John’s Photos (johnsphotos.net)

 

Alex Jimenez (42) leads the defensive charge.

“We are the law!”

“You might get away from one of us, but not all three of us!”

Ben Smith, tip-toeing through the tulips.

Daylon Houston unleashes his Leg ‘o Doom.

Attack as a pack.

After a 13-year dry spell, a second-straight winning season for Coupeville football.

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Ben Smith rushed for two touchdowns and picked off a pair of passes Saturday as Coupeville football closed its season with a 29-0 win. (Photo by JohnsPhotos.net)

They saved their best offensive show for the finale.

Scoring a season-high four touchdowns Saturday, while also collecting their third shutout on defense, the Coupeville High School football team blasted visiting Concrete 29-0.

The win over their Northwest 2B/1B League foe gave a great sendoff to the team’s four seniors — who scored all the TD’s — while also clinching a second-straight winning season for the Wolf gridiron program.

Finishing 3-2 in a pandemic-shortened season, this year’s CHS squad follows on the heels of the 2019 group, which went 5-4.

While back-to-back campaigns in which they won one more game than they lost doesn’t guarantee any state title banners will be hung any time soon, it is a huge step forward for a program which didn’t have a winning season between 2006-2018.

Wolf coach Marcus Carr, who has been at the helm for three seasons now, paid tribute to seniors Alex Jimenez, Sage Downes, Dakota Eck, and Ben Smith for their contributions to the rebuilding.

“Very happy with the way the guys played this season,” Carr said. “Our seniors shined tonight and they set the tone for us all year.”

Seniors (l to r) Sage Downes, Smith, Dakota Eck, and Alex Jimenez spend the final moments of their prep careers with coach Marcus Carr. (Jackie Saia photo)

That four-pack of 12th graders made an impact right from the start Saturday night.

Playing in front of their home fans for the first time in a month, they forced three-and-out sequences the first two times Concrete touched the ball.

Jimenez came crashing through the line on a fourth-and-four to drag down a ball-carrier short of the line on the opening “drive,” and the mood was set.

While Coupeville’s defense has been strong all season, its offense has taken its sweet time about scoring most games.

Not so against Concrete, as the Wolves busted off a march to the promised land midway through the first quarter.

Freshman quarterback Logan Downes hit Jimenez and Daylon Houston with quicksilver passes, wrapped around a strong run up the middle by Smith.

That loosened up the Concrete defense, and Smith promptly took advantage, bursting through a mass of would-be tacklers, then outrunning the Lions to the end zone on a 20-yard scoring tear.

While the PAT refused to be converted, it didn’t really matter as the Wolves continued to jump all over their foes.

Smith pilfered a Lions pass on the next possession, his first of two picks, which set up a unique scoring play.

Getting one year together on the high school football field, the second and third of Angie Downes three sons made it count, hooking up on a 28-yard touchdown pass.

Logan, the confident young gun, lofted a pass from right to left, the ball dropping out of the sky right onto the fingertips of moderately-old Sage, who strolled in for the score.

Somewhere, Hunter, their now very-old (relatively speaking) older brother, who still holds some Coupeville QB records, probably nodded and said to anyone in ear shot, “You realize I taught them everything about football.”

Houston knocked the extra point through the goalposts, then returned shortly thereafter to do the same again, this time after Smith bolted in for a score from nine yards out early in the second quarter.

Up 20-0 at the halftime break — that time when PA announcer Willie Smith and clock operator Joel Norris go cookie-hunting — the Wolves coasted in from there, relying on a series of big defensive plays to keep Concrete at bay.

Jimenez spent much of the night harassing anyone in a Lions uniform who dared to come close to the ball, the same as Isaiah Bittner and Josh Upchurch, while Sage Downes and Scott Hilborn picked off passes.

Smith snagged his second INT, this one on an eye-popping play where he hauled in the ball with one hand while tip-toeing down the sideline, just barely staying in play.

Tim Ursu busted off a nice run to keep the Concrete defense honest, but it was Eck who tore off a 46-yard run to the end zone in the fourth quarter for the season’s final touchdown.

Before that, Houston showed off the power of his big kicking leg, absolutely crushing a 26-yard field goal.

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After a 7-0 win Saturday, Sage Downes and Coupeville High School football are one victory away from clinching a second-straight winning season. (Photo by JohnsPhotos.net)

They like the suspense, apparently.

Both of the wins this season for the Coupeville High School football team have come courtesy late-game scores and bend-but-don’t-break defensive stands.

Saturday, the Wolves travelled to Bellingham to face off with previously-unbeaten Lummi Nation in a non-conference rumble, and once again found that magic touch.

This time it came when freshman quarterback Logan Downes plunged into the end zone with three minutes left in the fourth quarter, lifting CHS to a nail-biting 7-0 victory.

Now 2-1 during this pandemic-shortened season, Coupeville travels to Forks to face Neah Bay next Saturday, May 1, then closes at home May 8 against Northwest 2B/1B League rival Concrete.

As it headed to Bellingham Saturday, Coupeville was coming off a loss, and facing a rival it’s not familiar with.

Lummi Nation, which entered Saturday at 3-0, is a power in 1B football, with frequent visits to the state playoffs — but the Wolves, who moved from 1A to 2B this school year, don’t traditionally play the Blackhawks.

Much like in their season-opening 6-0 win over La Conner, Saturday’s contest was a hard-fought battle between teams unwilling to be scored upon.

“Bring the thunder and the lightning, boys!” (Deb Smith photos)

“Another outstanding game from our defense,” said CHS coach Marcus Carr after watching Tim Ursu and Scott Hilborn each pick off a pair of passes.

Coupeville also forced a four-and-out on Lummi’s final drive to seal the win.

Nowhere to run, nowhere to hide when Dakota Eck (12) comes looking for you.

The Wolves had their chances early, with senior running back Ben Smith busting off a run which covered almost 40 yards before he was brought down.

But turnovers blunted several of Coupeville’s drives, and things didn’t fully click until late in the game.

Faking a handoff to Smith, Logan Downes, the youngest of Ralph and Angie’s three sons, kept the ball and scooted in from the left side for what would turn out to be the game-winning score.

Daylon Houston tacked on the PAT and that was that for any number changes on the scoreboard.

Ben Smith runs to daylight. 

With two games left to play, Coupeville needs one win to clinch a second-straight winning season after a dry spell which stretched from 2006-2018.

As the CHS bus rumbled back to Whidbey, Carr enjoyed the moment, while already looking ahead, at least a little bit, to Neah Bay and Concrete.

“Offensively we played a lot better,” he said. “We are continuing to get better every game.”

“On to Neah Bay!”

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Ben Smith rumbles for yardage. (Photo by JohnsPhotos.net)

Ben Smith is ready to rumble with the big boys.

The Coupeville High School senior has been nominated to play in the Cleats vs. Cancer Paul G. Allen Championship Football Showcase May 16.

The event, which brings together senior gridiron stars from across the state, is held at French Field in Kent, WA.

Smith, who rushed for 104 yards and the game-winning touchdown in overtime in Coupeville’s season-opening 6-0 win over La Conner this past Saturday, was tabbed as a running back for the North squad.

Cleats vs. Cancer, started by former Washington State University running back Derek Sparks, is both a showcase and a way to give back in the fight against cancer.

Each player is asked to sell 10 tickets (at $10 a pop), and you can help by jumping over to:

All-Star Game – Ticket – Cleats vs. Cancer | High School Football Showcase

When buying a ticket, type in Benjiman Smith as the player, so Coupeville’s supernova gets proper credit.

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