Posts Tagged ‘Vashon Island’

Sean Toomey-Stout had three interceptions Friday, taking one back 65 yards for a touchdown, as Coupeville throttled Vashon 27-8. (Photos by JohnsPhotos.net)

Coupeville’s line, seen here in an earlier game, played strongly in the win.

For seven long minutes, things looked sort of bleak.

And then, in the matter of a few seconds, the entire script got flipped and what could have been a Friday the 13th horror show became a very-satisfying romp.

Dominant on defense and opportunistic on offense, the Coupeville High School football squad bounced back from an early deficit Friday to whack host Vashon Island 27-8.

The win, fueled by four interceptions and several inspired scoring plays, evens the Wolves record at 1-1 on the season.

It also gives Coupeville’s seniors a sweep of Vashon, as the Class of 2020 went 4-0 against the Pirates, outscoring their fellow islanders 145-47 over that stretch.

In the early going Friday, though, the only team to crack the scoring barrier was Vashon.

And not because it did anything special, but because the Wolves couldn’t get into gear.

While the Coupeville defense forced a three-and-out on the opening possession, with Andrew Martin body-slamming a Pirate runner halfway through the turf on one play, the Wolf offense promptly stalled out.

The first three plays CHS ran resulted in a loss of four yards, an incomplete pass, and a loss of eight yards.

Then, things went from sorta bad to stinky cheese awful, as a snap on fourth down sailed past Wolf quarterback Dawson Houston, resulting in a safety and a quick ‘n easy two points for Vashon.

That triggered the fog horn from Hell that the Pirates fire off to signal when they score, setting up the disturbing possibility the night would be full of the nerve-shredding wail.

But when the football gods give, they often quickly take.

And thus the night turned in a few plays, shutting down the fog horn almost for good, while sending a ripple of electricity through the Wolf faithful who had made the two-boat trek to get from Whidbey to the far outposts of the world.

On Vashon’s ensuing possession, Coupeville defenders Gavin Knoblich and Ben Smith both came up with nice stops for losses, forcing the Pirates to go to the punt formation.

At which point the Vashon long snapper aired the ball out.

Like really, really, really aired it out, skipping it 30 yards past his punter, who took off running, barely getting to the madly-skipping ball before a wave of Wolves rolled right over the top of his prone body.

Handed a gift, Coupeville cashed it in, and quickly.

Freshman Scott Hilborn, making his high school football debut, accepted a hand-off from Houston, cut back, spun on a dime, then bolted through a pack of hapless Pirates, shredding them for a 30-yard bolt to the end zone.

So, that’s one high school carry, and one high school touchdown. Perhaps his nickname shall be “Instant Offense.”

While the Wolves missed on a two-point conversion pass, they had the lead, and it would be one they would never relinquish.

Chalk a big assist up to the defense, which again came up big.

Martin and Gavin St Onge blew up running plays, then Hilborn, trying to do everything all in one night, snuffed out Vashon’s next drive by picking the Pirate QB on a fourth-down heave inside the 20-yard line.

Up high in the stands, proud dad Steve Hilborn, a master of remaining low-key in the heat of competition, nodded.


Ever so slightly.

And it was like another man ripping off all his clothes and running around the track screaming at the top of his lungs.

With his defense clicking, Houston took control of the Wolf offense and everything started working.

Mixing runs from Martin and Smith, plus a few nifty scrambles by the QB himself, with precision passes that started on Houston’s fingers and ended in Knoblich’s waiting hands, Coupeville slammed the pedal through the metal.

Houston and Knoblich combined for back-to-back touchdowns through the air, the first from 11 yards out, the second from four yards away, wrapped around an interception from Sean Toomey-Stout, and the rout was on.

A two-point conversion run from Houston, in which his line reared up and smacked Vashon’s defense backwards as a unit, made it 14-2.

After Knoblich’s second scoring catch, on which he out-jumped his defender to get to the ball, the Wolves knocked down their first PAT of the season.

It came on a booming kick by freshman Daylon Houston, off a hold by older brother Dawson, a senior, and ended with the two siblings pounding on each other in glee as they returned to the sideline.

“See, they can get along!” said mom Alia with a huge smile.

While the first half was full of offensive highlights, the second was more of a slug-fest, with both defenses clamping down and just a single touchdown coming for either side.

Vashon finally gave its lonely fog horn a chance to step back into the spotlight when Pirate QB William Weber dropped a really pretty 29-yard scoring bomb into the hands of Jack Cunningham.

But, before the last dying gasp of the horn had faded, Coupeville drove a final stake through the heart of the Pirates, blocking the PAT.

Half the line bent on the play, with St Onge coming in from the outside to land on the ball as it tried, unsuccessfully, to leave the ground.

Coupeville had a couple of strong offensive plays in the second half, with Martin running over would-be tacklers, and Smith slashing through open holes for yardage.

Its best play was a 31-yard throw-and-catch in which Dawson Houston nailed Gavin Straub as he ran a route down the far sideline, followed by “G3” rambling over and around would-be tacklers until enough Vashon players finally arrived on scene to gang-tackle him.

But, while it moved the chains after halftime, the Wolf offense couldn’t crack the goal line in the second half.

Not a problem, however.

Toomey-Stout, who suffered a season-ending injury at Vashon as a sophomore, capped his final game against the Pirates by picking off two more passes in the fourth quarter, giving him three for the game.

Pick #3 came when he sprinted from deep in the backfield, launched himself airborne and hauled in a dying duck of a throw as it plummeted to Earth in front of him.

He looked like a center-fielder on a baseball diamond, and a darn good one at that, robbing a batter of a hit.

But while pick #1 was technically perfect, and pick #3 was a dazzler, pick #2 was “The Torpedo” blowing up the whole stadium and laughing as it came down around him.

Vashon was driving and Weber thought he had an open man and … BAM!!!

Toomey-Stout interrupted the flight of the ball, speared it, then went on one of the wilder pick-six runs in recent memory.

Zigging back and forth, he brought the ball back 65 yards, while running about 130, slipping tackles not once, not twice, but 237 times as he caused the Coupeville coaches to collectively lose their freakin’ minds on the sideline.

There were multiple times when he should have been down, multiple times when he seemingly had nowhere to run, nowhere to hide, and yet kept on churning, kept on pulling off miracle escapes.

It was a modern-day renaissance man painting a masterpiece and using the gridiron as his canvas.

If there was any justice, the Vashon crew would have fired off the fog horn in salute, even though Toomey-Stout doesn’t wear a Pirate uniform.

They didn’t, but, in the end, it doesn’t really matter.

“The Torpedo” and crew will happily accept the victory, with or without a fog horn salute, and move on the next challenge.

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Gavin Knoblich recovered a fumble and laid down some licks as Coupeville’s defense dominated Friday in a 13-0 win. (Photo by JohnsPhotos.net)

Nothing broke through Coupeville’s defense Friday night, not the rain, and certainly not Vashon Island.

Well, maybe the deer, but we’ll talk about them later in the story. First to the highlights.

Laying a lickin’ on the visiting Pirates, with big plays from stars and support crew alike, the Wolf football team stuffed Vashon 13-0 in a driving rain storm.

The win, coming in both the first home game for new coach Marcus Carr, and the first varsity gridiron contest played in front of the school’s snazzy new covered grandstand, lifts CHS to 2-0 on the season.

The Wolves got there by essentially punching Vashon in the face, then kneeing the Pirates in the groin once they crashed to the wet turf.


Now, I’m not saying Coupeville played unfairly or dirty. Cause it didn’t.

The Wolves picked up just a handful of penalties, and the worst call, for “spearing” on a play where the ref lost his seeing-eye dog in the drizzle, was flat-out bogus.

I’m just saying, on this night, Coupeville honored the spirit of every Wolf who bit his mouth guard in half and went out and whacked someone.

This was for ’90s icon Nick Sellgren. For modern-day beast Wiley Hesselgrave. For Robert “Fat” Engle and the guys who played wearing leather helmets with no face guards in the 1920’s.

Every Wolf lined someone up, hit ’em and let the spit fly where it would on this night.

You knew Sean “The Torpedo” Toomey-Stout would go airborne at some point, launching and obliterating everyone in his path.

That’s a given.

And you knew Alex Turner would rise up, rip a dude’s head off his neck (metaphorically), then dance away into the night.

That’s also a given.

But did you expect Ben Smith to bring down a receiver by knocking him backward, then spinning out his foot, “Karate Kid“-style, to complete the take-down tackle … an act completed as Smith himself landed on his back?

Or, for freshman Miles “Turducken” Davidson to come flying in through an open hole, pop the QB just as he released the ball, and force a wobbly pass that was promptly picked off by Andrew Martin?

After releasing the battered Vashon QB from his grasp, and possibly whispering “aspirin, you’re going to need a lot of it tomorrow, buddy,” Davidson flapped off the field, doing his best turkey dance.

The nickname?

It starts with a tight uniform, then a coach with a sense of humor, who responds to a request for a replacement jersey with “Why? I like it. We’ll call you Turducken … three layers of boy stuffed into one jersey.”

Now, Davidson has embraced the nickname, earning his feathers on a play which caused papa Michael to rattle the bleachers with a proud bellow loud enough to trigger a tsunami warning 50 miles down the coast.

Coupeville’s defense was overpowering, from Ryan Labrador and Dane Lucero blowing up runners behind the line, to freshman cornerback Xavier Murdy breaking up anything thrown his way.

Tack on picks from Toomey-Stout and Martin and fumble recoveries by Gavin Knoblich and Turner, and Vashon likely finished the game with less than 100 yards of offense.

Like a lot, lot less.

Which was great, because Coupeville’s offense, while much more effective at picking up chunks of yardage, had some issues getting the ball in the end zone.

On the opening drive of the game, the Wolves came out and immediately moved down the field with authority, momentarily raising the idea that they would pile up points all night.

But it wasn’t to be.

After a nice kick-off return from Toomey-Stout, Coupeville QB Dawson Houston hooked up with Shane Losey on a picture-perfect 30-yard bomb down the sideline.

Toss in another pass, which was snagged and flipped back on a pitch to “The Torpedo,” and CHS was knocking on the door.

But a pass over the middle on fourth and goal from the seven-yard line narrowly missed its target, and Coupeville’s best scoring opportunity until late in the third quarter evaporated.

The Wolves had the ball five more times in the first half, but couldn’t fully get into gear.

Toomey-Stout brought the fans to their feet when he lobbed a pass that bounced off of Losey’s back and right into the waiting hands of Knoblich on the final play of the half, but, while it provided oohs and ahs, no points came along for the ride.

Coupeville looked like it had broken through on its first possession in the third quarter, only to have a Toomey-Stout touchdown run called back on a holding penalty.

Enter Chris Battaglia, a rugged senior who missed week one and immediately made up for it with hard-nosed running in week two.

Dragging Vashon tacklers behind him, he battered through the defense, crashing into the end zone on a five-yard smash-mouth run up the gut with four-and-a-half minutes to play in the quarter.

While the Wolves were unable to pull off a two-point conversion run, the 6-0 lead would be enough.

Not that they didn’t try and add to it.

A fumble at the one-yard line on the next possession kept the game close, but Coupeville’s defense got nastier as the rain turned fiercer.

The Wolves forced three of their four turnovers in the fourth quarter, a stretch where the Pirates picked up positive yardage on just ONE play in 12 minutes.

Holding the ball on their own 44-yard line with 1:04 to play, and still just up 6-0, the Wolves looked to the sodden heavens for a sign.

It came from the bushes instead, as three deer, a mom and two babies, suddenly ambled across the field, stopping play.

A moment later, a fourth saucy invader appeared and sauntered across the wet grass, stopping for a nibble or three, not giving a dang at all about Friday Night Lights.

The deer had barely vanished into the mist, with Knoblich in hot pursuit, when Toomey-Stout turned out the lights.

Taking a hand-off from Houston, the speed demon junior tore down the right sideline, running over several Vashon defenders, shedding several others, than hitting open air and flipping on the jets in his shoes.

Toomey-Stout’s 56-yard run to touchdown heaven, his third scoring jaunt in two games, seemed likely to be the exclamation point on the night.

Except, Murdy, making his high school debut, promptly mashed the crud out of the ball on the PAT kick, launching it through the rain to splash down somewhere up around Oak Harbor.

Not only did it perfectly split the uprights, but the sonic boom it caused as it went by almost blew over those same uprights.

Cue the oohs and ahs, and a few strains of “Good God, Almighty!!!” from the normally seen-it-all group of coaches and former Wolf stars camped in the new press box.

The X-Man arriveth, and he brings with him Turducken and the boys, an undefeated squad who made Vashon’s tears flow like the rain.

The legend grows.

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Welcome to districts, the final step on the way to the state tourney. (Kelly Crownover photos)

Coupeville packed lightly.

Wolf players wait to take the field.

Payback is sweet.

Avenging an early-season loss on the road, the Coupeville High School softball squad opened the West Central District 3 playoffs Friday afternoon with a bang, knocking off Vashon Island 5-3.

The win lifts the Wolves to 12-7 and propels them into the district title game at 6 PM Friday against Bellevue Christian, which shredded Klahowya 11-2.

Coupeville now has two shots to advance to state for the first time since 2014.

Beat BC, which knocked them out of districts last season, and CHS claims its first-ever district title in softball and are Eastern Washington-bound.

If they fall to the Vikings, the Wolves return to action Saturday in Lacey, playing the survivor of Klahowya vs. Vashon for 2nd place and the district’s other berth to state.

Friday’s opener was a reversal of fortune for Coupeville, which dropped its final three regular-season games, all to 2A schools.

After giving up two runs in the top of the first, the Wolves played lights-out from there, controlling every facet of the game.

Coupeville got a run back in the bottom of the first, with Lauren Rose whacking a lead-off single, before coming round to score when Vashon had trouble on a hard chopper by Katrina McGranahan.

By contrast, the Wolves defense was on fire, with junior catcher Sarah Wright having an especially strong game.

She gunned down a pair of Pirate runners on the move, with the first coming to close out the top of the second.

A two-out double gave Vashon a glimmer of hope, but Wright came up throwing heat after pretending she had committed a passed ball.

The throw landed in Chelsea Prescott’s glove, the tag came slapping down and rally squelched before it could really begin.

While the Wolves stranded a runner of their own in the second, squandering a double from Hope Lodell, they broke through in the third.

Rose got things started with a lead-off single, skipped to second, then third, on back-to-back passed balls, and scooted home on an RBI ground-out from Scout Smith.

That knotted the game at 2-2, and then the big bats went to work.

McGranahan lashed a single, Wright launched an RBI double, the first of her twin two-baggers, and Prescott crushed a long sac fly.

Vashon managed to escape, stranding a pair of Wolf runners, but the damage was done at 4-2.

McGranahan was throwing pure smoke from the pitcher’s circle, whiffing eight on the day, and her defense was spot-on.

Rose gobbled up everything that came her way at short, Veronica Crownover was a rock at first and outfielders Emma Mathusek and Lodell chased down anything in the air.

The teams exchanged runs in the fifth, with Prescott delivering her second RBI of her playoff debut after Wright narrowly missed a home run, settling for a double.

Then the Wolf catcher put a final stamp on the game.

Following a questionable lead-off walk in the top of the seventh, Wright came up firing and pegged a laser strike to Crownover to catch the straying Pirate.

The field ump originally called her safe, but after a protest from Coupeville’s bench, the plate ump corrected the call and took the last bit of air out of Vashon’s sails.

Coupeville finished with 10 hits, led by Lodell, who collected a double and a pair of singles.

Wright added two doubles, Rose two singles, and Scout Smith, Mathusek and Katrina McGranahan rounded out the attack with a base-knock apiece.

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Senior hurler Katrina McGranahan will carry the softball into the pitcher’s circle for Coupeville at districts this weekend. (Photo by JohnsPhotos.net)

Two wins from Richland.

That’s where the Coupeville High School softball team finds itself, as it preps for this weekend’s four-team, double-elimination district tourney.

Capture two victories without taking two losses, and the Wolves punch their ticket to the state tourney, earning a trip back to Eastern Washington.

The last time CHS softball went to the big dance was 2014, in David King’s final season as coach.

Now, after coming within a single strike of getting there last season, the Wolves are back to make another run under Kevin McGranahan, and with a little better set-up than a year ago.

Then, they faced a loser-out game in the first round, had to play game two mere seconds after game one finished and were on the diamond for four games in less than 24 hours.

This time around, Coupeville is guaranteed two games (and a decent break in the middle) Friday, and will only play one game, if any, Saturday.

A look at all the pertinent details:


The bracket:



The location:

Lacey-Thurston County Regional Athletic Complex
8345 Steilacoom Road SE
Lacey, WA



Admission prices:

Adults and students w/o ASB — $8
Students (with ASB) — $5
Elementary (under 12) — $4
Senior citizens (62+) — $5
Preschool (with parent) — free


Team capsules:



Season record: 11-7

League finish: #1 in Olympic League

Run differential: 169-108

Record vs. district tourney foes: 3-1 (3-0 vs Klahowya, 0-1 vs Vashon)

Coach: Kevin McGranahan

Mascot: Wolves

Last trip to state: 2014

Best finish at state: 3rd in 2002



Season record: 15-5

League finish: #1 in Nisqually League

Run differential: 189-95

Record vs. district tourney foes: 3-1 (all vs Vashon)

Coach: Ryan Kelly

Mascot: Vikings

Last trip to state: 2017

Best finish at state: 3rd in 2016



Season record: 10-6

League finish: #2 in Olympic League

Run differential: 111-73

Record vs. district tourney foes: 1-3 (0-3 vs Coupeville, 1-0 vs Vashon)

Coach: Jodie Gagnon

Mascot: Eagles

Last trip to state: 2004

Best finish at state: Never placed; won one game in 2003 tourney



Season record: 8-10

League finish: #2 in Nisqually League

Run differential: 131-145

Record vs. district tourney foes: 2-4 (1-3 vs BC, 1-0 vs Coupeville, 0-1 vs Klahowya)

Coach: Heather Jurs

Mascot: Pirates

Last trip to state: 1991 (slow-pitch)

Best finish at state: Lost both games they played in ’91

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   After a loss to Vashon Tuesday, Coupeville High School soccer coach Kyle Nelson and his players have their backs to the wall. (Photo by JohnsPhotos.net)

Time to dig deep and find a miracle.

After absorbing an 8-4 loss to Vashon Island Tuesday, the Coupeville High School boys soccer squad finds itself in a tough spot.

The district playoff loss, which came on a neutral field at Mt. Tahoma High School, drops the Wolves to 7-8-2.

It also drops them into a loser-out game Thursday, one which presents a daunting task.

CHS has to travel 96 miles (one-way) to Orting High School, doesn’t play until 8 PM and faces Klahowya, a team the Wolf booters have never beaten in 10 previous games.

The Eagles are in the loser-out game because they were nipped Tuesday in a penalty kick shootout after ending regulation and overtime tied 3-3 with Charles Wright Academy.

Vashon and CWA play in the front-end of a doubleheader at Orting Thursday, with the winner advancing to state.

The loser of that game returns to Orting Saturday to face the survivor of the Thursday late game in a battle for District 3’s second slot to state.

For it to be Coupeville, the Wolves will have to do something no 1A Olympic League team has done in four years, upend Klahowya, which is 13-4-1 this year.

KSS has outscored CHS 47-5 over their 10 meetings, though the Wolves played the Eagles almost to a standstill in a 3-2 loss this season.

The Wolves fell behind early against Vashon, surrendering a pair of goals in the early moments of the game and trailing 6-1 at the half.

Sophomore Aram Leyva got Coupeville on the board with his 13th goal of the season, off an assist from William Nelson, and the Wolves were much sharper offensively after the break.

“We had a good halftime talk and came to life in the second half,” said CHS coach Kyle Nelson.

CHS “won” that 40-minute span 3-2, with Derek Leyva adding to his Wolf boys single-season scoring record.

He punched in a hat trick in one half, with his three goals lifting him to 24 on the year. That leaves him just shy of the school record of 27, set by Mia Littlejohn.


UPDATE: Game moved from 8 PM at Orting High School to 5 PM at Silverdale Stadium. Moves saves Coupeville 86 miles of round-trip bus travel.

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