The Coupeville High School football team can cross “payback” off its to-do list.
The Wolves crushed La Conner 40-6 Friday, Sept. 8, at Mickey Clark Field, taking some of the sting out of last year’s 53-6 loss to the Braves.
Adding to the pleasure was earning a signature win over one of the area’s top programs. The Braves came into the game ranked seventh in the Associated Press’ 2B state poll, having won four of the past five Northwest 2B/1B League titles and having amassed a 34-9 record over the last four years.
Coupeville coach Jon Atkins said the big win wasn’t a surprise, especially because the Wolves “had a really good week of practice.”
The victory was a “confidence boaster,” Atkins added, leading into this week’s game with another powerhouse, Nooksack Valley.
The high-scoring Pioneers beat a pair of 2A schools in their first two games this season (Blaine, 45-6, and Granite Falls, 56-34) and are ranked ninth in the AP poll.
“It will be a test to see where we are at,” Atkins said.
At 2-0 this season, the Wolves are off to their best start in eight years.
Nooksack Valley and Coupeville will play at 7 p.m. Friday, Sept. 15, in Emerson.
Coupeville 40, La Conner 6
It took only a few seconds for the Wolves to display their dominance.
Cameron Toomey-Stout zigged, zagged and zipped through the Brave defense for a 70-yard touchdown return on the opening kickoff.
On Coupeville’s next possession, Toomey-Stout made another stellar play, this time a diving catch of a Hunter Downes’ pass for a touchdown.
Down 12-0, La Conner scratched to get back into the game, driving to the Coupeville 8-yard line. Hunter Smith erased any momentum the Braves built by intercepting a pass and racing 92 yards for a Coupeville score.
Matt Hilborn kicked his first of four straight PATs, and the Wolves led 19-0 at the end of the first quarter.
Coupeville scored once in the second quarter when Downes threw to Smith for a TD.
The Wolves also had a pick-six by Sean Toomey-Stout whipped out with a penalty.
The Braves scored in the third quarter, but Coupeville responded with a 1-yard TD plunge by Hilborn.
The Wolves finished the scoring when Downes tossed to Cameron Toomey-Stout for another touchdown, his third of the game.
Toomey-Stout finished with six catches and 108 yards. He also had 10 tackles on defense.
Downes joined Toomey-Stout in the spotlight.
The senior quarterback “had the best game of his career,” Atkins said.
Downes put up bigger numbers in other games but “played smart” against La Conner.
“He was making the right play at the right time,” Atkins added. “He is really putting in the time working on what he really needs to do.”
Downes completed 10 of 15 passes for 146 yards, three touchdowns and no interceptions.
Another standout, according to Atkins, was lineman Tyler McClamont, who made his first start.
“He had at least eight pancake blocks,” Atkins said.
McClamont’s line mates also played well.
“We did a good job staying on our run blocks,” Atkins said. “We stayed on assignment and opened up some holes for our running backs.”
Chris Battaglia ran for 59 yards on 11 carries and Sean Toomey-Stout added 51 on nine.
Sean Toomey-Stout led the defense with 12 tackles. Shane Losey and Dane Lucero each recorded 1.5 sacks, and Battaglia and Jake Pease had one each. Lucero and Pease each caused a fumble, and Pease recovered one.