Big game, big crowd, big SHS win
Spotlight on Sports
It was the most hyped up high school football game that I can remember on the Olympic Peninsula and I've been around these parts since 1948.
It was the Sequim Wolves and the Port Angeles Roughriders for the Olympic League gridiron championship, as well as seeds No. 1 and No. 2 into the post-season state playoffs.
The game was at Civic Field in Port Angeles with a grandstand built to seat about 2,800 if one snuggled close to the fans sitting on either side. Officials from "Rider High" put extra bleachers on the east side of the field to seat 600 or so Sequim fans and way more than that who tried to sit down. More roamed the roped-off sideline.
Port Angeles officials put the crowd at more than 4,200. The weather was perfect for football, a little crisp, and the field was in pretty good shape for the epic battle.
Fans started two lines outside the field at 5 p.m. Gates didn't open until 5:30 p.m. Sequim fans showed up in droves and took up every parking space between Washington and Ennis streets and that's five blocks. I think there were probably 1,200 or so Sequim rooters lining the east side of the field.
The Sequim squad was experienced at these kind of games, having played into the post-season every year, and they were undaunted by the huge crowd. The Riders had won only one game in two years coming into this season and had posted eight straight wins, but the guys in green uniforms were in their first big tilt in many moons.
Sequim's sure-handed, speedy backs and receivers dominated and the Wolves took a 41-0 win. I salute them on their Olympic League championship. It was a complete win - offense, defense and special teams - that limited the Rider offense to 160 tough yards.
The Wolves chewed up the Riders. Drew Rickerson's three scoring tosses and two running touchdowns highlighted the offense, and Frank Catelli led a smothering Sequim defense.
The Wolves had even more weapons on offense, as Joey Hall caught a 40-yard pass for six points, Isaac Yamamoto ran in one score and Michael Ballard came in and got a touchdown.
Sequim had 22 first downs to just eight for the home team. Sequim forced seven P.A. punts.
A lot of other numbers decided the outcome, and I'd like to take you back to the game and go I-T-N (Inside The Numbers).
_ 15 - After holding the Riders after the opening kickoff, Sequim took over on the 28-yard line. Rickerson hit Tyler Forshaw with the infamous Sequim screen pass. (P.A. had worked all week on that play but could not duplicate the blocking of Sequim and the speed of Forshaw).
Forshaw went 46 yards in front of the Sequim crowd and finally was pulled down from behind at the P.A. 28. Officials dubbed the tackle a horse-collar tackle: 15 yards were added to the end of the pass play, which put the ball at the 12, and Catelli got loose for an easy touchdown pass.
Two plays, 72 yards in just 20 seconds. The stunned Riders never really recovered.
_ 58 - Port Angeles forced Sequim to punt on its next possession. Rickerson booted the ball high and the Riders let it bounce. The ball was downed by alert Sequim players at the P.A. 1-yard line. It was a 58-yard boot and the Riders could only get out to their 30-yard line before punting.
_ 28 - In the second period, Sequim went 58 yards in five plays. Facing a third-and-long, Catelli got loose for a 28-yard run on Sequim's short yardage formation. Rickerson then scored from the l7-yard line.
_ 8 - Hall intercepted a Rider pass with 7:39 to go in the period. Sequim faced a fourth and 1 at the 44. Again, from the tight formation, senior Chase Bigger hit a hole and went 8 yards for a first down. Looking at the stat sheet, I think that was his first carry of the season. Another weapon.
_ 27, 33 - Those were catch yardages for hard-working Yamamoto. He caught passes to set up scores, including Hall's 40-yard outstretched grab that made it 27-0 at halftime.
_ 1 - Only one time did Sequim allow Port Angeles to get close to scoring but the defense held on fourth down and 8 at the 8-yard line at the start of the fourth period, and that was the old ball game.
Now the for-real play begins. Port Angeles will take lessons learned against the Wolves and try to beat Sumner at 4 p.m. Saturday at Viking Stadium in Poulsbo.
The Wolves won their first round last year and are favored to beat Washington when they take on the Patriots at 7 p.m. in an all-Olympic Peninsula doubleheader.
If the Wolves continue to play like they did against the Riders, and credit coach Erik Wiker's staff for getting them ready for P.A., getting beyond the first and second round of the 2A playoffs looks like money in the bank.
Columns by KONP 1450 AM sports announcer Scooter Chapman appear weekly in the Sequim Gazette. He can be reached via
e-mail at firstname.lastname@example.org.
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