Peninsula Daily News
Want more top stories? Sign up here for daily or weekly newsletters with our top news.
Unfortunately, the area players and coaches participating in the game for the West team came up short, as the West fell 27-12 to the East.
Port Townsend quarterback and defensive back Jacob King, tight end and defensive end Skylar Coppenrath were joined by head coach Nick Snyder, who ran the West team, and defensive coordinator Tom Webster.
King finished 1 for 2 for nine yards passing and one interception and rushed once for five yards.
“He was steady on offense, made the one mistake with the interception, but played well on defense,” Snyder said of the Pacific Lutheran University-bound King.
Coppenrath pass rush
Snyder felt Coppenrath, who will attend Oregon but won't play football for the Ducks, should have merited more consideration for the West's defensive MVP award.
“Skylar put great pressure on the quarterback all game long,” Snyder said.
“He was beating his guy upfield, forcing the quarterback out of the pocket and chasing them around whenever he was on the field.”
Neah Bay Class 1B Player of the Year Josiah Greene played defensive back for the West team.
“He made some solid plays out there and did a great job in coverage against their passing attack,” Snyder said.
Despite the loss, Snyder, who served as a defensive coordinator in a 2005 West win against the East, enjoyed being asked to coach.
“The experience of getting together and coaching the best guys in the state, and having them come together as a team was wonderful as a coach,” Snyder said.
“Almost every guy on the team was a team captain for their school so we had tremendous leadership.
“I know they were upset we lost, I'm upset, but it was a great experience.”
Snyder was certain about what caused the defeat for his team.
“It came down to field possession and turnovers,” Snyder said.
“Three interceptions just killed us.”
Things went well offensively early on for the West, which ran a condensed version of Snyder's Pistol offense installed in the three days of practice each team received.
Renton running back Ernie Davis broke free for a 23-yard touchdown run and a 6-0 West lead in the first quarter.
“We had some great linemen,” Snyder said mentioning Charles Wright's Robert Luke, an Ivy League-caliber student who was invited to walk on to the team at Michigan. And Meridian's Spencer Blackburn who will play at Eastern Washington.
Friday Harbor's Nathan Steenkolk scored on a four-yard plunge to make it 12-7 West in the second quarter.
“Our field goal kicker, Andrei Dyson from Cascade Christian, tore his ACL [knee ligament] in soccer so we had to go for two each time,” Snyder said.
“I wasn't able to get the two-point plays installed in practice so we suffered in the kicking game.”
The East scored on a touchdown pass to make it 13-12 at halftime and the score stayed that way until the fourth quarter.
“If we would have had one more day of practice to put in our Jet and Buck series on offense [outside run plays] we would have done better against their second-half adjustments,” Snyder said.
“They took our power play away in the second half and really bottled up the middle.”
JT Phelan of Spokane's East Valley scored his second touchdown with 9:47 to play to make it 20-12.
On the next West offensive play, Mark Morris' Keigan Baker returned an interception 23 yards for the game-clinching touchdown.
“We had more option-type quarterbacks and the East team was given two passing quarterbacks from Tumwater and W.F. West [Chehalis], so it was tough to make a comeback,” Snyder said.
East 27, West 12
West 6 6 0 0— 12
East 0 13 0 14— 27
West — Emie Davis 23 run (pass failed)
East — Brady Widner 40 pass from Andrew Graham (Alonzo Mendoza kick)
West — Nathan Steenkolk 4 run (run failed)
East — JT Phelan 10 pass from Jayden Croft (kick failed)
East — Phelan 6 pass from Graham (Mendoza kick)
RUSHING— West: Jacob King (Port Townsend) 1-5.
PASSING — West: King 1-2-1-9.