SEQUIM — The Sequim Wolves enjoyed a dominant night in their homecoming game against the Kingston Buccaneers, overcoming a Bucs touchdown on the first play from scrimmage to take full control of the game en route to a 44-14 win over their visitors.
The Wolves were handed an early setback when Kyler Cor-Yarr got around the right side with two blockers in front of him and ran 67 yards for a touchdown on the first play of the game after the kickoff.
Wolves head coach Erik Wiker said that his defense read the play a little wrong and reacted to it in a way that left them playing catchup. The Buccaneers would add a two-point conversion to force the Wolves to get their offense in gear early.
Unfortunately, it would take Sequim a couple of drives before they could get going. Backup sophomore quarterback Kobe Applegate admitted after the game that he had some nerves early in the game, and it showed in the form of a few errant passes and missed reads on run/pass option plays.
Applegate was starting because of the injury to Taig Wiker last week against North Mason, and admitted that the moment got to him a little.
“I had to take some time to settle down, but everyone around me did a great job of getting me there,” Applegate said after the game. “It was a great experience.”
Wiker said after the game that he simplified the playcalling a little bit after the Wolves’ first drive ended in a turnover on downs to let Applegate ease into the game a little more, handing the ball off to junior running back Walker Ward more often.
Ward goes off
Ward responded with a huge game, rushing for 181 yards on 26 carries and scoring touchdowns of 6, 3, and 2 yards in the second quarter and regularly pushing through the pile to pick up extra yards after contact play after play. Thanks in large part to Ward, the Wolves went into halftime with a 22-8 lead despite entering the second quarter still down 8-0.
“My line opened up great holes for me all night,” Ward said after the game. “I just had to keep my pads low and keep moving. They made it easy.” Ward said that he’d been working on making his cuts through the hole and into the second level of the defense, and that was on display when his cuts caused Kingston defenders to miss tackles six or seven times.
The passing game opened up more for the Wolves in the second half, with Michael Young coming up with two long catch-and-run receptions to set up scoring opportunities. He would follow up his first long catch with a nine-yard TD run on an end-around in the Wolves’ first possession of the second half, then added two touchdown receptions, cementing one of the biggest games of his career with 6 catches for 87 yards and four carries for 19 yards on top of his three touchdowns.
Ward and Young combined for 287 of the Wolves’ impressive 379 yards of total offense on the night, and impressive night overall from two of the team’s leaders among skill position players.
The Buccaneers would add a late touchdown on a long Tyler Marquez run to make the final score 44-14, but that score came against a defensive unit that mostly comprised of backups and junior varsity players at that point in the game.
Wiker credited his defense for toughening up after their early setback and making sure the offense had time to get going. “Coach (Jerry) Mote coached them up really well this week, and they responded well,” Wiker said after the game. “It was a bit of a different offense than they’re used to, but they broke it all down really well.”
Young talked about the team’s defensive performance as well, having to step into a new role at safety with Taig Wiker sidelined. “It was a lot different up there instead of where I usually am (at cornerback),” Young said. “But we worked hard to make sure it worked, and we kept it clean.” Young said he had to call the action a little bit more for the defense than he’s used to, but he enjoyed the challenge of it.
Wiker also gave Kingston credit after the game, saying that the scoreline didn’t show the quality of the Wolves’ opponents. “(Kingston) are a team that are a lot better than they were a year ago,” he said. “They’ve got some great players with a system that makes sense for them, and they’re well coached in it. We were just on it tonight.”
The Wolves host league-leading Olympic on Oct. 11. Olympic boast a 4-0 record in league play and are 5-1 overall this season, with the Trojans’ lone loss this season coming to a very good 3A team in Central Kitsap. Since then, Olympic haven’t scored less than 38 points in a game, including a 48-14 win over Port Angeles last week.
Sequim 44, Kingston 14
Kingston 8 0 0 6 — 14
Sequim 0 22 22 0 — 44
K—Cor-Yarr 67 run (Sitting Dog run)
S—Ward 5 run (Ward run)
S—Warn 1 run (Young run)
S—Ward 1 run (kick failed)
S—Young 5 run (pass failed)
S—Young 3 pass from Applegate (Young run)
S—Young 5 pass from Applegate (Young run)
K—Marquez 50 run (pass failed)
Rushing—Sequim: Ward 26-181, Fitzgerald 4-34, Young 4-19, Laurence 5-25, Jennings 3-6, Applegate 1-(-7), Mote 1(-1).
Passing—Sequim: Applegate 10-19-122, 2TD, INT.
Receiving—Sequim: Young 6-87, Hosesel 2-26, Nestor 2-9.