Sports

Football: NK's Vikings wear down Wolves

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For the second consecutive season, North Kitsap found a way to give Olympic League champ Sequim the boot. On Friday night, Vikings senior Kyler Gracey — or, more specifically, Gracey's left foot — did much of the damage.

Gracey's second field goal of the night broke a 17-17 tie and spurred a 23-point North Kitsap outburst in the fourth quarter, giving the Vikings (2-2) a key 40-17 victory in Sequim.

North Kitsap senior quarterback A.J. Milyard threw for 192 yards and two touchdowns, and added a comeback-killing interception for a touchdown with five minutes left that put NK up, 33-17.

Sequim's Jack Wiker had 113 yards passing and ran for another 112 yards, but untimely penalties, a stout North Kitsap defense and Gracey's kicking skills wore down the Wolves (0-2 in Olympic League play, 0-4 overall).

"We didn't execute like we could," Sequim coach Erik Wiker said. "(North Kitsap) has some good playmakers."

That includes burly running back Kyle North, who managed 85 yards and a touchdown on the ground, and receiver J.T. Nettleton, who had a 35-yard touchdown catch in the second quarter.

Still, the Wolves stayed in the contest throughout, thanks to shutting down the Vikings on third down (NK was 0-for-6 for the game) and putting together three scoring drives.

Back-and-forth

Sequim opened the contest with a 10-play, 80-yard drive capped by a Wiker-to-Christian Miles 20-yard hookup.

North Kitsap responded right away, turning a short field (they started at their own 45-yard-line) into a score as Milyard found Mitch Adams from six yards out.

The teams traded possessions until Viking Matt Fisher picked off a Wiker throw that led to a Gracey 41-yard field goal.

Sequim responded with a scoring drive highlighted by Wiker's 26-yard scamper. Lopaka Yasumura took it in from one yard away from a 14-10 Sequim lead midway through the second quarter.

With three minutes until halftime, North Kitsap went ahead when Milyard found North out of the backfield and the NK sophomore rumbled 35 yards for a touchdown; the Vikings led, 17-14.

Sequim managed to put together one final drive and Mitch Koonz connected on a 33-yard field goal as time expired to tie the game at 17 apiece. It would be Sequim's final score of the night.

Both teams had chances in the third quarter but were thwarted by turnovers; Miles stopped a Viking drive with an interception near the goal line, but a bad snap killed Sequim's next drive deep into North Kitsap territory.

The Vikings finally broke through in the fourth quarter on Gracey's field goal and three Wolves penalties led to a Sequim punt. North scored from 22 yards out to put NK up 27-17, and that put Sequim in quick-score mode. That, coach Wiker said, changed the game greatly.

With Sequim driving, Milyard picked off a Jack Wiker pass near the 30-yard-line and scored, effectively ending the comeback.

T.J. Jensen added a touchdown run with 90 seconds remaining to cap the scoring.

Erik Wiker said the Wolves have several starters out — some to injuries, others to academic requirements — but should have most of them back in the coming two weeks.

"I'm super proud of the team. They're getting better all the time," he said.

Showdown in Silverdale

It's a familiar foe in week five as Sequim travels to Silverdale to take on Olympic.

The Trojans (1-1 in league, 1-3 overall) are coming off a 29-7 home win against Port Angeles.

Olympic nearly won in week two but fell to Yelm 49-48, and dropped a 20-14 decision at Kingston in week three.

Senior running back Ben Long and Randy Grier lead the team in rushing; Long had 173 yards and two scores against Port Angeles. Zach Thornton is the Trojan quarterback, but Olympic is a predominantly run-oriented squad.

Last season, Sequim beat Olympic on the road, 35-8.

The Trojans haven't beaten the Wolves since 1990.

Reach Michael Dashiell at miked@sequimgazette.com.
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