Posts Tagged ‘Kittitas’

Quicksilver Sean Toomey-Stout makes the magic happen Saturday afternoon, leading Coupeville to a 28-0 win in Kittitas. (Photos by JohnsPhotos.net)

Beth Stout (left) and Lisa Toomey marinate in a proud mama (times two) moment. “We’ve raised him well, my dear.”

Back in action, Isaiah Bittner anchors the Wolf line.

Bracing against the Eastern Washington wind, Wolves (left to right) Alex Jimenez, Ben Smith, Kevin Partida, Dawson Houston, Kynel Hart, and Josh Upchurch get ready for action.

Her work done (for the moment, at least), team manager Melanie Navarro catches a brief, well-deserved break.

A pack of die-hard Wolf fans made the trip East for the game.

Deb Smith welcomes the paparazzi to town.

Dakota Eck returns one of his three interceptions.

Give him enough Diet Coke, and you can get a photographer to the other side of the state.

Wanderin’ paparazzi John Fisken plunked himself in the press car with myself and Whidbey News-Times Sport Editor Jim Waller Saturday, and headed off to the wilds of Kittitas.

Once there, with the sweet sounds of vintage AC/DC and Def Leppard songs filling the air (the way the football gods intended it!), our resident camera clicker went to work, and the pics seen above are courtesy him.

To see everything Fisken shot while far from home, and possibly purchase some glossies for grandma, pop over to:


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Senior quarterback Dawson Houston threw for two touchdowns, and ran for two more Saturday as Coupeville pounded Kittitas 28-0. (Photo by JohnsPhotos.net)

Ben Smith slashes through the defense. (Deb Smith photos)

Sean Toomey-Stout, off to the races (and the end zone).

Is it too soon to talk about giving Bennett Richter a pay raise?

The Coupeville High School football program had rung up two shutouts across the last five seasons.

Now, after a 28-0 win Saturday at Kittitas, Richter, the team’s Defensive Coordinator, has dialed up that many goose eggs in just eight days.

The non-conference win in the wilds of Eastern Washington, a game in which the Wolves picked off the host Coyotes three times and forced numerous punts, lifts Coupeville to 3-2.

Having won three of its last four, CHS will turn right around and hit the road again in six days, traveling to Tenino to play a Northwest Christian squad which sits at 0-4 on the season.

As Coupeville seeks its first winning campaign since 2005, the current squad, with two shutouts, has already matched the best performance of any Wolf defense in the past 13 seasons.

The 2013 CHS team shutout Bellevue Christian 32-0 in its opener, then blanked Chimacum 54-0 in the season finale.

Frankly, putting positive goose eggs up on the scoreboard has been rare for the Wolves, with only three other shutouts during the 2006-2018 span.

The 2007 Wolves beat Concrete 34-0, the 2017 team blanked South Whidbey 18-0, and the 2018 squad baffled Vashon Island 13-0.

But now, Richter and his wild men, who were led by a tackle-happy Andrew Martin, a brain-busting Sean Toomey-Stout, and a sticky-fingered Dakota Eck, have piled up eight straight scoreless quarters.

First came a 13-0 win at home against La Conner last Friday, and now a complete shutdown of a school the Wolves had never played before.

Kittitas, which is the three-time defending 2B state champs in basketball, has not been as proficient on the gridiron of late, and they entered Saturday’s afternoon game bearing an eight-game losing skid dating back to September 2018.

The Coyotes set the scene well, though, with a beautiful stadium and one of the best sound systems Wolf fans have come into contact with.

Not only did it emit booming, crystal clear vocals, but it was pumping out tunes like Def Leppard’s “Pour Some Sugar on Me” pre-game, which gets them extra credit from every sports blogger who came of age in the ’80s.

Then the game started and Coupeville immediately started pouring something on Kittitas, but, instead of sweet, sweet sugar, it was more like sweet, sweet pain from the heavens above.

Martin ripped the Coyote line in half on the very first play from scrimmage, scooping up the runner and planting him face-first into the grass with a thud which said, in no uncertain terms, “ANDY IS EATIN’ AT KFC TONIGHT!!”

Whether inspired by the chance to earn some tasty chicken products or not, Martin and his defensive comrades kept on coming, dominating at the line, shutting down the running game, and rarely being stung by the air attack.

Coupeville forced Kittitas into back-to-back punts to open the game, then struck on its second possession.

While the Wolves briefly sputtered out the first time they touched the ball, the second time was sweet perfection.

Ben Smith softened the Coyote defense with an eight-yard run to the outside, then bolted around the left for a massive 35-yard pickup on the very next play.

With Kittitas sucked in, the Wolves promptly went to the air, with quarterback Dawson Houston connecting with Toomey-Stout on a 16-yard pass which came a millimeter away from being the game’s first touchdown.

With the ref ruling “The Torpedo” came down just outside the goal line, Coupeville was denied for maybe half a second, then crashed to pay-dirt on the next play, with Houston keeping the ball and following his line into the end zone.

That set the tone for the rest of the game, during which time the Wolves controlled every aspect of play.

Eck, in his second game back after a brutal preseason injury, continued to show why CHS coaches and players were so excited about getting the speedy junior back on the active list.

A week ago he snagged a fumble against La Conner.

Saturday, Eck hauled in three interceptions, tying Toomey-Stout for this year’s best performance, with both falling just one pick shy of Brian Fakkema’s school single-game record from 2002.

The first of his snags came shortly after Houston’s touchdown ramble, and Eck almost turned it into a pick-six.

Knocked out at the one-yard line by a desperation shove, he handed the ball back to his QB and watched Houston once again stroll into the end zone behind a big push from the Wolf line.

Making it a family affair, lil’ brother Daylon Houston, a freshman with a powerhouse of a leg, nailed the PAT.

After hitting on three kicks through the first four games, he went 4-4 Saturday, and got happily pummeled by his big bro after each one.

Up 14-0, the Wolves continued to clamp down on Kittitas, with Kai Wong and Gabe Shaw rattling the teeth of Coyote runners who they stuffed, while Martin and Toomey-Stout hunted down and destroyed everyone in sight.

Coupeville tacked on two more scores to pad the lead, with Dawson Houston connecting with Toomey-Stout on long pass plays.

The first was a 25-yard bomb into the deep left corner with a hair under seven minutes to play in the second quarter.

Kittitas had two men in the area, but “The Torpedo,” poppin’ his biceps all the way, out-wrestled both defenders, coming down to Earth with sole possession of the ball.

The game’s final score came late in the third quarter, with CHS facing a fourth-and-10 from the Kittitas 19.

Houston spun backwards, Toomey-Stout shot across the middle, their eyes met, and the rest was kismet, as QB dropped the ball onto his receiver’s hands, and Wolf fans started their touchdown dances 0.2 seconds later.

While the touchdowns affected the scoreboard the most, the play which got the most buzz came midway through the third quarter, and from a young player whose legend grows with each play.

Freshman Tim Ursu is 105 pounds of fury unleashed, and he spent the Kittitas game crashing around on both offense (where he had several carries) and defense.

On the play in question, Houston lofted a pass towards the right sideline, a pass which looked like it was going way over Ursu’s head.

Instead, the fab frosh never broke stride, turned at the last second, stretched out to his very limit and hauled in the heave, even though he knew a Kittitas player was about to drill him as the ball carried him out of bounds.

Not only did Ursu hold on to the ball and complete the catch, but the ensuing penalty for a late hit gave Coupeville a first down, kept a drive alive, and induced much fist-pumping and yelling from Wolf coaches.

Timmy is working really hard, and making those catches in practice,” said CHS coach Marcus Carr. “I’m really proud of him and how he’s playing.”

Also big was a defensive stand on the game’s final possession, as the Wolves hunkered down to preserve their shutout.

For the first, and only time in the game, Kittitas got inside the Coupeville 10-yard line, and had third-and-goal from the four-yard line with time running out.

A Coyote team which has only scored 12 points in four games this year desperately wanted to punch the ball in, but Toomey-Stout shed a blocker and decked the incoming ball-carrier for a loss.

Then, on the game’s final play, a Kittitas pass into the end zone fell short, as Eck prevented his man from reaching back to grab it.

Cue the happy dance on the far sideline from Richter, the defensive guru with the scheme and the dream.

And cue excited Wolf lineman Isaiah Bittner, back in the lineup, celebrating with CHS assistant coach Kwamane Bowens, both filled with infectious happiness.

While there were still a few too many penalties for his liking, Coupeville’s head coach walked off the Kittitas field with a bit of a bounce in his step.

“We’re coming around,” Carr said. “We ran the ball really well in the first half, and that opened up the passing, and our whole defense played outstanding.”

Unofficially, Houston connected on seven passes for 120 yards, with Toomey-Stout hauling in five of those lobs for 102 yards and his third and fourth scores of the year.

Ben Smith was the workhorse in the rushing game, piling up 68 yards on 16 carries, while Houston’s pair of 1-yard scoring dives accounted for his second and third touchdowns this season.

The one down note coming out of the game was an injury to Smith, who suffered a likely concussion on a run up the middle in the fourth quarter.

He was taken to a local hospital, but was released and was showing signs of improvement on the trip home.

Still, it’s likely he will have to sit out Coupeville’s next game, even as the Wolves expect to get receiver Gavin Knoblich, who has snagged three touchdowns, back from his own concussion.

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Gavin Knoblich and Coupeville football face several new opponents this fall. (Photo by JohnsPhotos.net)

First things first.

There is one way, and one way only, that Coupeville High School football can make the playoffs this fall.

The Wolves go 9-0 for the first time since 1990, or it’s regular season and done.

When CHS opted to bounce from the North Sound Conference for a season and play an independent schedule, school officials made the decision fully aware it closed off most avenues to the postseason.

That being said, Coupeville football hasn’t posted a winning record since going 6-5 in 2005.

Since then, there’s been a 5-5 finish in 2014 and 12 losing seasons.

So, maybe we won’t worry about the playoffs right now.

The biggest stumbling blocks for the Wolf gridiron program have been a lack of numbers, a lack of big bodies among those players actually on the field, and a whole lot of churn on the coaching staff.

Current CHS head man Marcus Carr is starting his second season and seems deeply committed, with a strong staff working at his side. That’s a definite positive.

Still, Coupeville has had five head coaches in the last decade, since Ron Bagby retired after 26 years at the helm of the program.

Part of the rebuilding process for Carr and school Athletic Director Willie Smith is trying to get the Wolves back on a semi-level playing field, allowing the program to grow.

All indications are that CHS will step down to 2B starting with the 2020-2021 school year, which is when new classification counts take effect.

Until then, taking a year off from league play, skipping King’s and Cedar Park Christian and company while allowing Smith to craft a (hopefully) more-favorable schedule, should help.

Looking at what awaits the Wolves this fall, it’s a schedule with four home games and five on the road.

Four games are against 2B schools, and three versus 1A institutions, plus one game apiece against 2A and 3A foes.

Five of the opponents, including the first four, are against schools Coupeville is familiar with. Then are four match-ups which will offer the Wolves a chance to experience new things.

To get you ready, we offer up a little breakdown of the schedule, game by game:


Friday-Sept. 6 — Port Townsend

Kickoff: 6 PM

Miles to travel: None

Classification: 1A

Coach: Patrick Gaffney

Mascot: RedHawks

2018 record: 4-6

Players on preseason roster: 20

Past history: Coupeville won 28-18 in last year’s season opener in Port Townsend. The teams have played numerous times, most notably when they were both in the Olympic League between 2014-2017.

Fun fact: Port Townsend and Chimacum combined for 130 points in a FOOTBALL game last season, with the RedHawks winning 79-51.


Friday-Sept. 13 — @ Vashon Island

Kickoff: 6 PM

Miles to travel: 73.6 miles

Classification: 1A

Coach: Clay Eastly

Mascot: Pirates

2018 record: 1-9

Players on preseason roster: 21

Past history: Coupeville won 13-0 last year on Whidbey. Wolves have beaten Pirates three straight seasons.

“Fun” fact: Last time Vashon beat CHS came in 2015 … when Pirate running back Bryce Hoisington went off for a state single-game record 573 rushing yards against the Wolves. He also broke the state single-season rushing mark, and, thankfully, has since graduated.


Friday-Sept. 20 — @ Friday Harbor

Kickoff: 6:30 PM

Miles to travel: 48.4

Classification: 2B

Coach: Brock Hauck

Mascot: Wolverines

2018 record: 6-3

Players on preseason roster: 19

Past history: Coupeville lost 17-0 last year on Whidbey. First time the schools clashed in several years, but they have been on and off again rivals over the decades.

Fun fact: Friday Harbor finished in a tie with Concrete for the Northwest League title last season, but lost a mini-playoff game 7-6. With a state playoff berth on the line, the difference turned out to be a heavily-disputed two-point conversion run, with the refs ruling Friday Harbor failed to break the goal line.


Friday-Sept. 27 — La Conner

Kickoff: 7 PM

Miles to travel: None

Classification: 2B

Coach: Peter Voorhees

Mascot: Braves

2018 record: 1-8

Players on preseason roster: 37

Past history: Coupeville won 33-12 at La Conner last year. Wolves have won two straight against one of their oldest rivals.

Fun fact: Has one of the best home-field National Anthem traditions in Washington state. As the singer finishes with “and the home of the brave,” La Conner football players raise their helmets and scream “Braves” in place of the final word.


Saturday-Oct. 5 — @ Kittitas

Kickoff: 3 PM

Miles to travel: 165.3

Classification: 2B

Coach: Dusty Hutchinson

Mascot: Coyotes

2018 record: 1-7

Players on preseason roster: Not available; no roster for last season listed, either.

Past history: Never played (as far as I know).

Fun fact: Won their third-straight boys basketball state title this past winter. Star guard Brock Ravet, who is headed to Gonzaga on a full-ride scholarship, finished his career as the state’s all-time leading scorer.


Friday-Oct. 11 — @ Northwest Christian

Kickoff: 7 PM

Miles to travel: 131.9 (School is in Lacey, but game at Tenino)

Classification: 2B

Coach: Mark Smith

Mascot: Wolverines

2018 record: Didn’t play

Players on preseason roster: Not available

Past history: New football program

Fun facts: Private school may not have a football history, but it’s a powerhouse in cross country, with the girls team winning nine straight state titles between 2006-2014.

School was the Navigators (with an alligator mascot known as … Navi the Gator), but are switching to Wolverines. To which I say, why, and, booooooooo.

Football coach Mark Smith is no newbie. He’s in the state hall of fame for track and field coaches, and won 174 games in 23 years as the football coach at Tacoma Baptist, taking that school to the state title game three times.


Fri-Oct. 18 — South Whidbey

Kickoff: 7 PM

Miles to travel: None

Classification: 1A

Coach: Mark Hodson

Mascot: Falcons

2018 record: 6-4

Players on preseason roster: Not available. Had 36 last season.

Past history: Coupeville lost 48-20 last year in Langley, allowing Falcons to regain possession of The Bucket. Wolves had won four of previous six clashes against their arch-rivals.

Fun fact: South Whidbey, which won just four games between 2014-2016, went the independent schedule route, and it paid off big time.

Playing 2B and Canadian schools, Falcons rebounded with a 7-2 record, then carried that over into 2018, when they joined the new North Sound Conference.


Fri-Oct. 25 — Anacortes

Kickoff: TBA

Miles to travel: None

Classification: 2A

Coach: Chris Hunter

Mascot: Seahawks

2018 record: 0-9

Players on preseason roster: Not available. Had 31 last season.

Past history: Haven’t played football against each other in decades. Used to be a rivalry back when players wore leather helmets.

Fun fact: Anacortes has lost 13 straight games. Seahawks last tasted victory the night of Sept. 29, 2017, when they beat Blaine 36-30.


Fri-Nov. 1 — @ Interlake

Kickoff: 7 PM

Miles to travel: 58.6 (Bellevue)

Classification: 3A

Coach: Shawn Hartline

Mascot: Saints

2018 record: 2-7

Players on preseason roster: 45

Past history: Have never played (as far as I know).

Fun fact: Famous alumni included baseball legend John Olerud, as well as musicians Nancy Wilson (Heart), and Chris DeGarmo (Queensr├┐che).

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