SPORTS: Sequim reserves set to step up for injured starters in state football playoffs

POULSBO — Same time, same place, almost completely different teams.

Sure, a few key players, including both starting quarterbacks, return from last year’s 34-32 classic between Sequim and Burlington-Edison in the first round of the Class 2A state football playoffs.

After that, however, are a whole bunch of new faces for 2A’s sixth- and 10th-ranked squads, which meet Saturday night at 6 p.m. at North Kitsap High School.

“We’re two totally different teams,” said Sequim head coach Erik Wiker, who guided the No. 6 Wolves (9-1 overall) to their fifth straight state trip this fall.

“We’re definitely different in what we run compared to last year, and I think they are quite a bit different too.”

Sequim is actually quite a bit different from the team it fielded last week.

Four starters from that game likely won’t suit up for the Wolves on Saturday.

Among the losses are junior Frank Catelli (TE/DE), junior Tyler Forshaw (WR/DB), senior Preston McFarlen (OL/LB) and senior Chris Dahl (OL/DL).

Tough district game

All suffered injuries in what turned out to be a costly 42-22 victory over Washington in Saturday’s preliminary playoff.

Starting receiver/defensive back Nick Ramirez is also still on the mend after missing last week’s game.

“That’s like the right side of our offensive line, our tight end and our two Z [wide receivers],” Wiker said.

“We’ll just coach up the guys that are there and try to get our best fit and do what we can to win the game.

“We can’t get frustrated and feel bad about it. It’s like what we preach to the kids: No matter what adversity you have, you’ve got to do your best.”

Sequim won’t be left completely bare.

The Wolves still have their prolific passer in quarterback Drew Rickerson, who has completed 64 percent of his passes for 1,973 yards, 21 touchdowns and 10 interceptions this fall.

Leading rusher Isaac Yamamoto (135 carries, 1,127 yards and 16 TDs) and receiver Joey Hall (44 receptions, 865 yards, 10 TDs) will also play.

“I don’t think we’re going to try and change too much,” Wiker said. “We’re just going to plug those [new] guys in and get it done.”

And they’ll have to match points with a prolific Burlington offense that ended a three-game losing streak with a 43-12 demolition of Cascade League power Lakewood last Friday.

The No. 10 Tigers’ wishbone offense relies on the run game.

The two-headed rushing attack of Cody Larson (137 carries, 835 yards) and Tyler Tarabochia (69-493, 3TDs) have been the main backs most of the season.

Quarterback Dylan Boe has also been efficient for the Tigers when called upon as well.

The same player who threw for 198 yards and two touchdowns against the Wolves in last year’s loss, Boe completed 50.7 percent of his passes (69-136) for 1098 yards, 14 touchdowns and two interceptions this season.

All that being said, Wiker would be more than comfortable making the Tigers throw the ball.

“We definitely have to stop the run,” Wiker said. “If we stop the run and make them pass we’ll be in good shape.”

Maybe then, the Wolves will get the same result.

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