PORT TOWNSEND — Chimacum’s football team did the unfathomable.
The Cowboys won their fourth straight do-or-die game, against their archrival to boot, to make the playoffs for the first time since 2005.
Chimacum beat Port Townsend 38-6 at Memorial Field on Friday night to advance to the Class 1A preliminary playoffs next weekend against powerhouse Nooksack Valley.
The Cowboys, who started the year 1-4, concluded the regular season 4-3 in the Nisqually League for third place and 5-4 overall.
Chimacum went into Friday’s game tied for third with Life Christian and Cedar Park Christian, both of whom lost Friday to finish 3-4 in league.
Chimacum coach Shawn Meacham didn’t care who the Cowboys faced in the playoffs as long as they were facing someone, he said Friday after the Port Townsend game and before he knew the Life Christian score.
“We’ll play whomever,” Meacham said while his players and their families and friends whooped it up around him on a dry but cold night.
“Hey, we understand what it takes to win under pressure. We have played four straight playoff games, do-or-die, win or go home.
“We know what it’s like to play under that kind of pressure.”
There’s no mystery why the Cowboys have won four in a row, according to senior running back Daryn Settlemire.
“We really play as a team,” he said. “We have come out every week focused and kept the drive going.”
Friday night romp
The Cowboys left no doubt who was in charge against archrival Port Townsend, leading 13-0 at the end of the first quarter, 19-6 at halftime and scoring 19 unanswered points in the second half despite losing standout player Devin Manix to an injury early in the game.
Daryn Settlemire took up the slack, running for 156 yards on 18 carries and scoring on three touchdown runs, including a 17-yarder in the fourth quarter where he bounced off at least three or four would-be tacklers.
“They couldn’t bring me down,” Settlemire said about that final score. “I just kept going for the end zone.”
Senior wide receiver and kicker Dylan Brown-Bishop caught a touchdown pass, kicked a 25-yard field goal and had three extra points to account for 12 of the 38 points.
Manix also had a touchdown pass before he left with the injury while senior quarterback Mason Moug threw for the two passing scores.
Inexperienced and youthful Port Townsend, meanwhile, finished the season winless at 0-7 in league and 0-9 overall. The Redskins did not win a game for the first time since 1996 when they also went 0-9.
Port Townsend showed flashes of talent and didn’t give up, driving down the field deep in Chimacum territory in the final minutes.
“Hats off to Port Townsend,” Meacham said. “They will be a force to be reckoned with next year. They are tough.”
The toughest, senior wide receiver Conakry Coggins — a state-class sprinter — kept going back onto the field despite racking up a bevy of minor injuries.
The speedster also scored Port Townsend’s lone touchdown, an electrifying 59-yard run down the left sidelines in the second quarter.
At one point, Coggins was helped as he limped off the field. A play or two later he was back on the field.
Another time he left holding his right arm. Soon, he was back on the field.
“I didn’t have a choice, I needed to be on the field,” Coggins said as he stood shirtless at the end of the game with his right arm dangling in distress. “I was a large part of the offense.”
Coggins said the Redskins have a lot of freshmen starters and a new line, so his presence was needed.
It was a tough loss for the senior, who lost to the Cowboys for the first time in his career.
“I’ll say the loss hurts a lot but what hurts more is that it’s all over after playing with these guys so long,” he said.
Port Townsend coach Tom Webster was impressed with the Cowboys.
“They are playing at a high level right now,” he said. “Shawn Meacham has done a good job over there. I thought it was a hard-hitting game by both teams.”
On the other side of the field, the Cowboys were celebrating a return to the playoffs after a long absence as well as the first win against the Redskins since 2005.
That team also clinched a postseason berth with a late season win over Port Townsend and eventually made it to state.
“This is great to beat Town,” junior running back Austin McConnell said, who had 56 yards on 14 carries and also caught seven passes for 35 yards.
Added Manix, with his shoulder wrapped up, “Watching from the sidelines, I thought how amazing it is for my team to step up and play hard for the rest of the game,” he said.
“Making the playoffs is a big accomplishment. That was our goal this year and we did it.”
Whether Manix, possibly the most valuable player on the team, will be part of the playoffs is up in the air now.
The team doctor told Manix he probably had a fractured collar bone, the senior said.
“Devin is a big part of this team,” Meacham said. “I think he is an all-league player. He leads by example and as a team captain he is very forceful when he needs to be.
“But we have some people who can run the ball. Daryn Settlemire, Austin McConnell and Trevor Hare can all run the ball well for us.
“It’s a total team effort.”
That team effort ran for 341 yards against Port Townsend on 56 carries.
Chimacum 38, Port Townsend 6
Chimacum 13 6 12 7– 38
Port Townsend 0 6 0 0– 6
C–Devin Manix 17 pass from Mason Moug (Dylan Brown-Bishop kick)
C–Daryn Settlemire 7 run (kick failed)
PT–Conakry Coggins 59 run (kick failed)
C–Brown-Bishop 34 pass from Moug (kick failed)
C–Brown-Bishop 25 FG
C–Preston Anderson defensive safety
C–Daryn Settlemire 19 run (Brown-Bishop kick)
C–Daryn Settlemire 17 run (Brown-Bishop kick)
Rushing– C: Daryn Settlemire 18-156, Manix 8-67, Hare 12-61, McConnell 12-58. PT: Coggins 6-80, Jacob King 4-22.
Passing–C: Moug 6-13-1, 113 yards. PT: Kyle Kelly 5-16-0, 84 yards, King 2-2-0, 48 yards.Receiving–C: McConnell 3-49, Manix 2-29, Brown-Bishop 1-34. PT: Robert Ristick 2-34, Kelly 1-44, Marko Herr 1-41.