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Wolves romp in opener
In the land of literary vampires and werewolves, Sequim’s football squad had no need for garlic or silver bullets.
Instead, they simply knocked over, struck down and pushed past an overmatched Forks Spartans squad 58-7 on Friday night.
Quarterbacks Drew Rickerson and Frank Catelli led eight razor-sharp scoring drives in Sequim’s opening nine possessions as the Wolves outgained Forks in first-half total yards, 278-9.
Any chance the Wolves’ nearly new starting offensive line might struggle was obliterated in the first 24 minutes.
“Zero questions about the line,” said a grinning Preston McFarlen, the Wolves’ lone returning starter who helped the purple-and-gold rack up better than 10 yards per rush in the first half.
“(Our linemen) did an awesome job for everyone tonight,” said Sequim running back Isaac Yamamoto, who broke free for a 42-yard score in the second quarter.
Thoughts of a season-opening letdown — one Sequim fans may consider when thinking about the last time Sequim was in Twilight land, losing at Forks 19-0 in 2008 — were quickly dispelled in a dominant display of offensive firepower and defensive stinginess in a 58-0 first half.
No letdown in Forks
“We mentioned (that 2008 game),” Sequim coach Erik Wiker said. “We’re a new team, they’re a new team. It’s a great lesson.”
As in, don’t let an assumed lesser opponent get traction. On Sequim’s opening drive, the Wolves showed they’d look much more like the team that clobbered the Spartans 51-0 last season. Sequim drove 80 yards in three-and-a-half minutes as Rickerson connected with receivers on five-of-seven attempts for 50 yards. Sequim converted two fourth-and-short plays on the drive thanks to Catelli, who secured a first down on a Wildcat formation-like rush, then caught a Rickerson pass for 8 yards for another fourth-down conversion.
One play later, Rickerson found Joey Hall for a 17-yard touchdown pass in the back of the end zone, as Sequim took an 8-0 lead.
The Wolves quickly made it 16-0 after a Forks three-and-out, as Rickerson scampered from 15 yards out.
Sequim’s defense blocked a Forks punt less than 90 seconds later, and Catelli raced in from 16 yards out to put Sequim ahead 22-0, the final score of the first quarter.
The Wolves added five more scoring drives in the second quarter — a 5-yard, Rickerson-to-Hall pass; a Catelli 28-yard option through the heart of Forks’ defense; a Catelli-to-Nick Ramirez 16-yard pass play; Yamamoto’s 42-yard sprint; and a Jack Wiker 1-yard plunge, his first varsity score — while the defense was defiantly unforgiving. The Spartans managed just 9 yards in 28 offensive plays, didn’t complete a pass and were 0-for-9 on third down.
Brian Santman broke up the shutout on Forks’ first drive of the second half with a 10-yard run.
Rickerson finished 10-of-14 for 93 yards and two touchdowns.
Meridian up next
Despite being a smaller school, the 1A Meridian Trojans pose a good, early test for Sequim in the Wolves’ home opener, set for a 5 p.m. start on Saturday, Sept. 11.
“We’re going to challenge our kids that it’s like a playoff game,” Wiker said.
Meridian is one of the top small schools in the powerful Northwest Conference and is coming off a 42-12 win at Mount Baker.
“They’re like Cascade Christian,” McFarlen said, recalling another top 1A school that gave Sequim its lone regular-season loss in 2009.
“They’ll want to come out and hit,” he said.
“We need to work hard this week,” Yamamoto added. “It’s going to be a good test.”
Reach Michael Dashiell at firstname.lastname@example.org.