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Andrew Martin, destroyer of worlds. (Photos by JohnsPhotos.net)

One giant walking, talking bruise with an undying love for IHop pancakes.

Some football players try and do things with finesse, try and run away from their rivals, try to keep their uniforms clean.

Andrew Martin was never, ever one of those players.

“Hambone” is what you get if you build a time machine, go back to the ’50s, grab the guy who’s covered in mud and grass chunks, the guy everyone else is trying not to be hit by, then bring that dude back to modern times.

In other words, a new-school player with an old-school mind set.

Martin rarely dodged, always choosing to run right through fools instead, whether he was playing offense or defense for the Coupeville High School football team.

Hand him the ball, and the human battering ram often ran over the top of his own blockers, surging into the crowd, tearing off chunks of yardage (and sometimes ripping off opponent’s arms and legs in the process).

Martin bulldozes a would-be tackler.

Even in the open field, with no one in front of him, Martin sometimes pivoted backwards, seemingly just so he could feel the thwack one more time as he obliterated a would-be tackler.

He got in the end zone a fair amount of times, especially in big games, but all his best runs, all the plays which linger after his prep career has ended, involved slo-mo destruction.

The same was true on the defensive side of the ball, where Martin recorded tackles at a much more impressive pace than stat guys often recorded.

Rumbling from his linebacker position, or anywhere Wolf coaches plugged him into to as they employed various schemes, he was a wall of bricks.

Few got past him, no one got through him, and virtually everyone who wandered through Martin’s air space paid for it with a deep, aching burn down in their nether regions the next day.

He was a wrecker, a rumbler, a glorious throwback to a time when football players knew only one way to play the game — all-out, aggressive, and loaded for bear on every play.

Martin rose to the occasion, never more than on the night last fall when CHS football sealed the deal on its first winning season in 13 years.

Playing against 2A Anacortes, the Wolf senior rumbled for all three Coupeville touchdowns during a 27-carry, 137-yard swan song in front of his home fans.

Want to marinate in the moment one more time? Pop over to:

https://coupevillesports.com/2019/10/25/long-time-coming/

During Martin’s final season, I travelled to the team’s road games with Andy’s parents, and saw a different side to him than I might otherwise have.

After the Friday Night Lights had dimmed, after the roar of the crowd had receded, Andy would hobble back to the car, the effects of his playing style evident in how he moved, and in his good-natured description of all his various aches, pains, and injuries.

Yet, he never stopped moving forward. On the field, and in life.

Whether he was arguing for why he deserved post-game KFC, even if the nearest chicken outlet was way off the highway, breaking down every play from the game just ended, or trash-talking (in private) an opposing team player who tried (and failed) to intimidate him, Andy was a quality traveling companion.

I respect his game, appreciate the passion and grit he played with, and always found him to be quietly hilarious.

“Rest easy, little guy. Daddy will get you to the end zone and won’t let those bad men touch you.”

Off the field, the youngest member of the Martin clan was a strong student, and a talented member of the CHS band.

He also had some quality moments for the Wolf track and field squad, and could have been a beast on the basketball court like dad Jonathan, if he hadn’t needed downtime to heal his myriad football injuries.

But Andy made his mark on the gridiron, and jammed into the back of a car on the way home from games in some far-flung outpost, and that’s more than enough.

Today, his exploits, his fire, the way he lived, breathed, and (sometimes) suffered for football carry him into the Coupeville Sports Hall o’ Fame.

After this, you’ll find him, along with older brother Jacob, hanging out at the top of the blog, up under the Legends tab.

Bring him some KFC, sit back, and let him tell you in vivid detail what REALLY happened down there on the field, under the dog pile, away from the eyes of the ref.

Can’t write about it all, maybe, but it still makes for a heck of a story.

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   Sean Toomey-Stout celebrated his 16th birthday Friday with a 45-yard touchdown catch and run. (Photo by JohnsPhotos.net)

The Olympic/Nisqually League football conference took a shot to the chin Friday night.

Well, actually it was more like seven shots.

Wrapping up non-league play, seven of the eight teams in the conference absorbed losses, including Cascade Christian, which entered the night ranked #4 in 1A.

The only one to escape the carnage was Bellevue Christian, and that’s only because its game against Chelan is a Saturday affair.

So, when Coupeville fell 55-14 at seventh-ranked Nooksack Valley, victim of future D-1 college quarterback Casey Bauman, the Wolves were in good company.

Port Townsend was blasted by Mount Baker (48-7), Vashon Island was decimated by Concrete (66-0), Chimacum was annihilated by Forks (52-7) and Charles Wright was stuffed by Rochester (21-7).

The only close games came with Cascade Christian being upset by Meridian (34-29) and Klahowya being nipped by Granite Falls (27-22).

The good news for all involved is the seven-game league schedule kicks off next Friday, Sept. 22, which means we’ll see four winners guaranteed.

If Coupeville, now 2-1 on the season, is looking for even better news, it is this — it likely won’t face anyone as dangerous as Bauman the rest of the way.

Any Wolf fans wondering why Montana State has signed the 6-foot-6 gunslinger to a scholarship had that promptly answered on a night when the pungent smell of manure from nearby fields hung heavy over the Pioneers home turf.

Bauman was handed the ball six times in the first half Friday, and he turned that into six Nooksack touchdowns.

After opening with a pair of scoring runs, a one-yard zig and a 14-yard zag, he began using his cannon-like arm, showing off precise targeting, impeccable timing and remarkable Zen-like composure.

His four scoring strikes through the air, three which went to favorite receiver Austin O’Bryan, covered 15, 34, 72 and 27 yards and featured not a single noticeable wobble.

There were moments the Wolf defense, having busted through Nooksack’s beefy line (think multiple versions of Billy Bob from Varsity Blues), made Bauman move a bit.

Heck, they even brought him down once, with Tyler McCalmont and Julian Welling sandwiching him on a sack.

But the rest of the night Bauman glided, side-stepping Wolf rushers, never seeming to break a sweat as he waited for the defense to give him an opening, a brief crack — which he then promptly exploited with laser-like throws.

At one point he casually reached out, put his hand on an approaching Coupeville defender’s helmet and gently stiff-armed the Wolf to the ground with a flick of his wrist, basically looking like a large cat toying with a pesky ball of yarn.

Then promptly ripped off a gorgeous aerial bomb which dropped like a feather at the last second, nestling into his receiver’s hands for another score.

In short, Bauman was as silky as the Raspberry Sweet Cream Cheese Crepes I had at IHop on the way home.

The first, and only time, Coupeville stopped him for good came on the opening drive of the third quarter — Bauman’s final series — when a botched pitch at the Wolf two-yard line resulted in a fumble and Nooksack’s only turnover on the night.

The Wolves had little hope of a comeback at that point, having trailed 20-0 after one quarter and 49-7 at the half, but they did pick up a few highlights of their own before the game was done.

CHS quarterback Hunter Downes tossed a pair of touchdowns, connecting with birthday boy Sean Toomey-Stout on a 45-yard catch-and-run and Hunter Smith on an 85-yard hookup.

It was Smith’s fourth receiving touchdown of the season — he’s caught at least one in each game this season — and the 17th of his career. That ties him with Chad Gale for the school’s career record.

Downes, who spent a fair amount of time scrambling for his life, was resilient, staying on his feet 99.8% of the game and putting up what should be close to 200 yards through the air.

The two TD tosses gives him eight through the first three games.

Toomey-Stout, who leads Coupeville in tackles from his spot in the defensive backfield, made an impression on the sizable Nooksack crowd, repeatedly flying from side to side to bring down Pioneer ball-handlers.

While the Wolves didn’t score until their seventh possession, finally breaking into the end zone with 1:29 left in the first half, they did move the ball on the Nooksack defense and had just one turnover. That came on a bobbled snap on a punt attempt.

Chris Battaglia pounded away for yardage on the ground, picking up 55 yards in the first half (unofficially), with runs of 18 and 12 yards.

Downes also slid a 12-yard pass into Matt Hilborn’s hands and Smith brought back a first-half kickoff 30+ yards, just barely missing a chance to take it to the house.

With the game winding down, the Wolves mixed things up a bit, with Dawson Houston and Shane Losey getting snaps under center and young guns like Gavin Straub and Jean Lund-Olsen earning their most substantial playing time of the season on defense.

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