POULSBO — Missing a host of starters on both sides of the ball, Sequim’s Wolves kept the score close with the reigning Olympic League champions for a half.
But junior quarterback Colton Bower paced a patient Viking offense with three touchdown passes — each to senior tight end Aiden Fitsemons — in a 28-0 North Kitsap victory Saturday afternoon in Poulsbo.
Bower added an interception on the defensive side to help North Kitsap (2-0) shut out the Wolves (1-1).
“The difference was definitely personnel,” Sequim head coach Erik Wiker said.
The Wolves were missing most of their offensive and defensive linemen, and lost linebacker/running back Isaiah Cowan to an ankle injury early on. Backup quarterback Kobe Applegate started in place of senior signal-caller Taig Wiker for a second consecutive week.
“We had some team issues,” Erik Wiker said.
Sequim had two chances to find the end zone slip through their collective fingers in the first half, one at the game’s outset and the other just before halftime.
Sequim pounced on a Viking fumble on the second play from scrimmage but saw a scoring drive deep in NK territory quelled after running back Walker Ward fumbled.
Later in the half, down 14-0, Sequim again recovered a Viking fumble — this time on a punt return — at the North Kitsap 5-yard line. But the Vikings’ defense held firm to preserve the shutout.
That opened the door for Bower, who without much of a pass-rush threat, nettled the Wolves’ defense for three quarters. He finished 16-of-20 for 206 and no interceptions.
When he wasn’t finding open receivers, Bower gouged the Sequim defense for 73 yards on seven carries.
“He’s a really good athlete; he busted some plays,” Erik Wiker said. “He’s a really good player.”
Bower connected with Fitsemons for a 24-yard strike to open the scoring at 1:12 left in the first quarter.
After Sequim punter Garrett Hoesel pinned the Vikings deep on the ensuing drive, Bower led a 13-play drive in response, capped by his own 1-yard plunge.
Bower and Fitsemons opened the second half with a score, this time from five yards out, for a 21-0 North Kitsap lead.
Bower picked off an Applegate pass on the next drive, and three plays later four Fitsemons for a 14-yard score and 28-0 lead.
Wiker praised the efforts of a Sequim defense that held Viking running backs to just eight yards on 18 carries.
“We actually did really well (against the run),” he said. “They guys who played, they played hard.”
Ward led Sequim with 83 yards rushing on 21 carries, giving the senior tailback 280 yards in the season’s first two games.
Applegate finished 5-of-13 for 40 yards. Freshman quarterback Lars Wiker was 3-of-6 for 34 yards and an interception in relief of Applegate.
Hoesel and Michael Young each had interceptions for the Wolves.
Since 2016 North Kitsap has won the Olympic League title except in 2018, when Sequim edged the Vikings for the top spot. Last season, the Vikings edged the Wolves 16-8.
Sequim hosts South Kitsap at 6 p.m. Friday.
Home game attendance is limited; family members and fans can catch livestream broadcasts of Sequim High football games on youtube at www.tinyurl.com/SHSfootball2021.
North Kitsap 28, Sequim 0
Sequim 0 0 0 0 — 0
NK 7 7 14 0 — 28
NK — Fitsemons 24 pass from Bower (Gore kick)
NK — Bower 1 run (Gore kick)
NK — Fitsemons 5 pass from Bower (Gore kick)
NK — Fitsemons 14 pass from Bower (Gore kick)
S — Applegate 5-13, 40 yards, 1 int; Wiker 3-6, 34 yards, 1 INT.
N — Bower 16-20, 206 yards, 3 TDs; Soria 2-5, 33 yards, 2 INTs.
S — Ward 21-83; Peterson 6-19; Hoesel 1-10; Wiker 2-3; Young 2-3; Cowan 1-0; Applegate 5-(-12).
N — Bower 7-73, TD; Heath 11-7; Gore 1-3; Walsh 1-1; #31 5-(-3).
S — Ward 3-17; Young 2-23; Peterson 1-15; Cowan 1-2; Hoesel 1-7.
N — King 5-84; Gore 5-68; Fitsemons 5-62, 3 TDs; Oppliger 1-19; #8 1-14; #4 1-11; Castillo 1-0.