By Pierre LaBossiere
Peninsula Daily News
PORT ANGELES — The Roughriders football squad rallied and had a chance with possession of the ball at midfield with 3 minutes left, but the Kingston defense held when it had to as the Buccaneers went on to win 30-22 Friday at Civic Field.
The Riders’ Daniel Cable had a big game with two touchdowns on runs of 50 yards and 11 yards. He ended up with 86 yards rushing on 12 carries and also had kick returns of 20 yards and 40 yards for 146 total all-purpose yards. The Riders’ Tyler Bowen also had an 11-yard touchdown catch on a pretty pass from Brady Nickerson, starting just his second game for Port Angeles at quarterback.
Nickerson ended up with 91 yards passing.
The Riders bounced back from an ugly road loss last week against North Thurston by giving the Buccaneers all they could handle. In the end, too many big runs by Kingston bruiser Garrett Sitting Dog hurt Port Angeles. Sitting Dog had 150 yards rushing on 25 carries, though the Riders did do a much better job containing the 225-pound back in the second half. He had just 44 yards in that second half.
“We fixed what we had to fix [at halftime],” said coach Tory Mann. “We won the second half.”
It was a clash of completely different offensive styles, with Kingston grinding the clock with runs up the middle. The Bucs only threw two passes all game and one of them was picked off.
Meanwhile, the Riders went wide with runs off the edge by Cable and a lot of passing. Port Angeles threw the ball 25 times and gained 91 yards through the air.
Sitting Dog did much of his damage on the Bucs’ opening two drives, gaining 68 yards on nine carries, all in the first 12 minutes of the game. Mann said he sat five starters in that first quarter because of incidents during the week. He said some of the players “have to learn to commit to the team.”
Kingston ground out a 5 1/2-minute drive to open the game, mostly behind 8- to 10-yard runs by Sitting Dog to take an 8-0 lead.
The Riders responded with a 20-yard kick return by Cable and then a 50-yard run off the left side, again by Cable, to quickly make it 8-6. Port Angeles ran one offensive play in the entire quarter, but it was a good one.
With Kingston up 14-6 in the second quarter, having utterly dominated the time of possession to that point, the Riders rallied with the help of a 40-yard kick return by Cable. Quarterback Brady Nickerson completed three passes on the drive, culminating in an 11-yard touchdown pass on a slant to Tyler Bowen on a throw that somehow got through a plethora of Bucs’ defenders.
Kingston picked up a TD on a 7-yard Sitting Dog run with 20 seconds left in the half to make it 22-14 going into the break.
Kingston got up 30-14 late in the fourth quarter, but Port Angeles rallied thanks to a pair of Buccaneers’ turnovers.
The first came on a fumble recovery by the Riders’ Thomas Arand at the 30-yard line with 6:45 left in the game as Kingston was simply trying to grind out the clock.
The Riders got backed up to a third-and-15, but Cable made two clutch runs off the left edge, going for 11 yards and then 12 yards on a fourth-and-four to pick up a critical first down, keeping Port Angeles’ hopes alive.
Going off the right edge this time, Cable broke a sure tackle in the backfield and kept going for a 7-yard scamper to score, making it 30-20. Bowen somehow caught a pass from Nickerson that seemed to go through the hands of a Kingston defender for a two-point conversion, making it 30-22 and keeping Port Angeles’ hopes very much alive.
Then the Riders came up with another clutch turnover. With 3:10 left in the game, the Buccaneers, who barely passed all game, tried a pass deep downfield on a third-and-nine and it was picked off by Brantlyn Fisler at the Riders’ 46-yard line to put Port Angeles very much in business.
However, the Bucs responded with a huge defensive stand, tackling Cable for a nine-yard loss to make it second-and-19. Kingston then forced three straight incompletions to end the Riders’ final chance. Kingston was able to run out the clock at that point.
Mann thought Drek Bowechop played a good game at linebacker. “I love watching that kid play,” Mann said.
Mann also said Jaziel Livingston played more aggressively than he had in earlier games.
It was Port Angeles’ most competitive game of the year, but Mann was frustrated that it was still a loss.
“I don’t like to lose. I take it very personally,” he said.
The Roughriders (0-3, 0-1) have a tough game next week on the road, taking on 1A powerhouse Montesano (2-0) at 7 p.m. Friday in a nonleague game.
Kingston 30, Port Angeles 22
Kingston 8 14 0 8 — 30
PA 6 8 0 8 — 22
K—Sitting Dog 6 run (Sitting Dog run)
PA—Cable 50 run (PAT failed)
K—Hall 6 run (PAT failed)
PA—Bowen 11 pass from Nickerson (Felton pass from Nickerson)
K—Sitting Dog 7 run (Sitting Dog run)
K—Afton 12 run (Sitting Dog run)
PA—Cable 7 run (Bowen pass from Nickerson)
Rushing—K: Sitting Dog 25-150, Hall 6-24, Afton 8-41, Coe-Yarr 8-16. PA: Cable 12-86.
Passing—K:Coe-Yarr 1-1-10. Marquez 0-1, INT. PA: Nickerson 9-25-91 TD, 2 INTs.