By Lee Horton
Peninsula Daily News
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But sometimes, those men get in the way and hinder more than they help, as in New Westminster's 35-20 win over Sequim.
The Hyacks and Wolves were tied 14-14 after a first half in which both teams threw the ball around.
In the second half, New Westminster (located in British Columbia about 15 miles from Vancouver) relied on the size and experience of the players wearing helmets and shoulder pads.
The Hyacks abandoned the passing game in favor of running the ball behind their large offensive line, which has a significant size advantage over Sequim's young defensive line, and features Division I prospect Harper Sherman (6-5, 255 pounds).
“In the second half, we obviously condensed the package a little bit, and we found a couple of bubbles and some weaknesses that we could exploit,” New Westminster head coach Frahan Lalji said after Friday's game.
“And I stopped calling dumb plays.”
Sequim opened the game with a quick 68-yard touchdown drive highlighted by a 42-yard pass from quarterback Miguel Moroles to Brett Wright on the second play from scrimmage that advanced the ball to the Hyacks' 24-yard line.
Adam Knapman finished off the drive with a 5-yard touchdown run.
After New Westminster scored its second touchdown to take a 14-6 lead with 5:07 to play in the first half, Brett Wright returned the ensuing kickoff 86 yards for a touchdown.
“I saw great blocking by everybody, that wasn't just all me, that was everybody,” Wright said.
“I was really stoked to see everybody — we're a young team, and if we can block like that against a high-caliber team, that's a good thing.”
A two-point conversion tied the game at 14-14.
In the second half, the Hyacks rammed the ball up the middle, particularly with fullback Julian Ramirez, who ran the ball 20 times for 151 yards — 132 of those yards coming in the second half.
Angelo Tanjuaquino received 16 carries, finishing with 62 yards and two touchdowns.
As a team, New Westminster ran for 312 yards.
Sequim coach Erik Wiker liked his the effort of his offensive and defensive lines, which were missing a few players, and noted that there wasn't much his lineman could do against the Hyacks' large, veteran lines.
“Good coaching on [New Westminster's] part,” Wiker said.
“They were trying to get fancy and do things, and, you know, outcoach us, and we could coach with them and we did fine.
“And then, once they realized their players were bigger than our players . . . then they stopped coaching and started just running the ball, which was the best coaching decision.”
New Westminster scored 21 consecutive points in the second half to build a commanding 35-14 lead.
Freshman Dylan Lott relieved Moroles at quarterback in the fourth quarter and led Sequim on a 55-yard scoring drive that ended with a 3-yard touchdown pass to Wright.
Both coaches acknowledged that the fact the Hyacks were playing their second game of the season gave them an advantage.
“We took fewer penalties, and some of those little first-game things that they went through, we maybe didn't go through because we had a chance to play last week. So I that made a difference,” Lalji said.
Despite the loss, Wiker was pleased with how his team played, including Moroles, who completed 19 of 41 passes for 243 yards.
“I think he did really well. I think if anything he might have, you know, rushed things towards the end, and he would say that,” Wiker said.
“But there was a reason why he was rushing things — I mean, he was getting a lot of pressure.
“So, I think he handled it well and he took care of himself well, and the team didn't chip on him, and he was a good leader.”
Wright had nine receptions for 116 yards, and showed a knack for big plays.
“Brett's a playmaker. Brett is a playmaker,” Wiker said
“He wants to get things done. It's his senior year, he wants to do stuff.
“He's a talented kid. I think he's going to achieve and do a lot of good things this year.
Along with his kickoff return and long catch, Wright was able to turn short bubble screens into big gains.
“That's just working hard in practice,” Wright said.
“Big plays come when you work hard. That's what I've been doing this year.”
Lalji, who said New Westminster is coming off a few down years after being one of the best teams in British Columbia, was impressed with the Wolves.
“I know that they got a few lineman out, and we kind of took advantage of that a little bit,” he said.
“Because they're going to be good. They're a well-coached team, and know their history here. So, I'm sure that once they get healthy — and they're pretty young — that they'll be back where they're used to being.”
New Westminster (B.C.) 35, Sequim 20
New Westminster 7 7 6 15— 35
Sequim 6 8 0 6— 20
S—Knapman 3 run (run failed)
N—Sommerfeld 35 pass from Robertson (Palmer kick)
N—Robertson 23 run (Palmer kick)
S—Wright 86 kickoff return (Anastasi pass from Moroles)
N—Tanjuaquio 6 run (kick blocked)
N—Tanjuaquio 5 run (Tanjuaquio run)
N—Robertson 1 run (Palmer kick)
S—Wright 3 pass from Lott (pass failed)
Rushing— N: Ramirez 20-151; Tanjuaquio 16-62; Robertson 9-31; Brock 3-35. S: Knapman 9-17.
Passing—N: Robertson 5-11, 97. S: Moroles 19-41, 243; Lott 4-8, 47.
Receiving—S: Wright 9-116; Anastasi 4-30; Henning 2-56.