Football: Epic comeback falls short

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Biggest Sequim comeback ever … almost.


On a night where the Wolves honored American military veterans, Sequim rebounded from a 34-point halftime deficit to put Bremerton’s Knights on their collective heels.


But Sequim’s last-gasp drive in the game’s waning moments fell short on the Knights’ 14-yard-line and Bremerton escaped with a 41-35 win in both teams’ Olympic League opener.


“We think, ‘Stop ’em and score,’” Sequim coach Erik WIker said, explaining his team’s second-half comeback.


“In the first half, there were a lot of bad bounces, but we helped (Bremerton), too.”


Two critical turnovers and a botched punt in the first half led to Bremerton scores, but the Wolves (0-3) came out on fire in the second half, scoring on four consecutive possessions.


SHS quarterback Miguel Moroles, donning a jersey honoring his father – Lawrence Moroles, U.S. Coast Guard commander master chief in Port Angeles – ran for three touchdowns and threw for another to lead the charge.


“We just came out with some intensity,” Moroles said. “They (coaches) just wanted us to bounce back.”


And bounce back they did. Outfitted in special camouflage uniforms, the Wolves closed Bremerton’s led to 34-28 with 11:27 remaining after Moroles scampered into the end zone from 15 yards out.


The Knights got a critical score – their only one of the second half – when running back Calvin Cardwell scored from 10 yards out to put Bremerton up 41-28. The Knights’ junior quarterback Connor Mahoney converted a crucial fourth down on the scoring drive that momentarily stymied Sequim’s momentum.


Sequim turned the ball over on downs on the following possession, but recovered a Cardwell fumble and then got a Moroles-to-Josiah Anastasi 25-yard TD pass play on fourth down, trimming the Knights’ lead to 41-35.


Sequim recovered the ensuing onside kick with about a minute to play and Sequim had the ball on the Knights’ 19-yard-line with 52 seconds left. That’s where Bremerton’s defense stiffened, forcing a fourth-and-6. With time ticking away, the Knights chased Moroles out of the pocket and out of bounds, forcing a turnover on downs that effectively ended the game.


Staying positive

Wiker said he saw plenty of good things Sequim can take from the game, despite the loss.


“I think more than anything else, we know what’s possible with these kids,” WIker said. “I think they believe they can do some things.”


Offensive lineman/linebacker Austin Sampson said he saw plenty to be positive about as well.


“We all needed to step it up (in the second half),” Sampson said. “We played with heart. It was putting our skills, putting it all together.”


Moroles offered similar sentiments.


“I think we can compete with anybody,” he said. “We really showed how far we’ve come.”


Moroles, a junior, finished with 145 passing yards and another 115 on the ground. Senior running back Adam Knapman, representing veterans Chris Van Der Horn (U.S. Army) and Pat Shea (Air Force), added 84 yards and a score on the ground.


Sequim out-gained Bremerton in total yards (344 to 228) and first downs (20 to 14). The Knights also piled up more penalties, with 14 for 152 yards; Sequim committed 11 infractions for 115 yards lost.


Looking ahead

Sequim takes on North Kitsap’s Vikings in Poulsbo on Sept. 27, the Wolves’ first away game of the season.


In 2012, North Kitsap knocked off Sequim, 40-17.


Last week, North Kitsap (1-2) edged Klahowya’s Eagles in Poulsbo, 34-29.


Military honors

Sequim High football players honored those serving the U.S. Armed Forces Friday evening. Below is a list of the veterans they honored, by military branch:


U.S. Air Force: Bob Deegan, Josh Francis, Douglas Hagan, Dick Hughes, Stephen Livingston, Christina Miko, Rick Miko, Sgt. Moseley, Pat Shea, Bill Tulin


U.S. Army: Charles Baumunk, Pasquale Di Pietro, Bill Fairley, Martin Fonseca, L.D. Harold, Jada Jack, Rex Lott (also U.S. Coast Guard), Spencer Marcy, Colleen McAleer, Mike McAleer, William Mello, David Miller, Michael Wayne Pinson, Col. Presnell, Bob Snyder, Chris Van Der Horn, Michael Walsh (also National Guard), Kyle Welch, Daniel Yoder


U.S. Coast Guard: Sean Lott, Lawrence Moroles, Michael Sterrett


U.S. Marine Corps: James Balkwill, Izaak E. Berg, Duncan McKiernan, Vince Riccobene, Marcus Richmond


U.S. Navy: Earl Carpenter (also U.S. Coast Guard), Robert Dashiell, Chris Ditlefsen, Tim Dix, Bill Isenberg, Donald Johnson, Chris Karapostoles, Christopher Minard, Leonard ReVeal, Otis Tolbert


Other: David, Jonathon and Roger Minard
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