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Football: Riders roll in Rainshadow Rumble
The last time Port Angeles claimed a victory in this cross-peninsula rivalry, many of their current starters were in grade school.
Following Friday night’s 37-21 win at Sequim, many of them stood in awe at the scoreboard before breaking into a roar: “We beat Sequim!”
Backup quarterback Ryan Rodocker threw two touchdown passes and Miki Andrus and Nick Lasorsa each ran for better than 100 yards and a score apiece as the Roughriders topped Sequim for the first time since 2007.
Wolves’ quarterback Miguel Moroles threw for 112 yards and two touchdowns and ran for another 139 yards and a score, but the Rider defense stymied Sequim when it needed to and took advantage of key defensive stops.
“They were able to execute,” Moroles said. “I couldn’t connect with some of my receivers.”
Sequim seemed to have momentum on their side after a Brett Wright interception and Moroles-to-Ian Dennis score than knotted the game at 15-15 at halftime.
But Port Angeles wore Sequim down with a trio of backs — Andrus, Lasorsa and Matt Robbins — and Rodocker picked perfect spots to pass, getting two third-quarter TD throws out of three completions for the game.
“This is our championship game,” a winded Lasorsa said following the final horn. “We had our best week of practice by far. We never got down. (And) our offensive line did great.”
It’s a reversal of fortune for Port Angeles, which had lost the previous five match-ups by an average of 29.4 points.
“They’re down now,” Sequim coach Erik Wiker said of his Wolves. “(But) I’m surprised how resilient these kids are. I’ve been pretty impressed with their work ethic.”
Port Angeles struck first after a scoreless first quarter. Following a Sequim turnover on downs, Andrus had a 37-yard rush to set up P.A.’s first score, a 4-yard scramble by Matt Robbins, for an 8-0 lead. Sequim answered back in just 34 seconds, as Moroles hit Joel Anatasi from nine yards out; a two-point conversion tied the game.
It took the Roughriders one play — a 60-yard breakaway run by Larsorsa — to grab the lead once again at 15-8.
The Riders looked to build that lead just before halftime as Rodocker, making just his second start in place of injured Nate Angevine, spied a receiver in the end zone with two minutes on the first half clock. Sequim’s Wright, however, snagged the pass, and Sequim drove the length of the field on the ensuing drive, highlighted by a Moroles-to-Nate Nelson 53-yard pass play. Facing fourth and 14, Moroles found a streaking Ian Dennis down the middle for a TD pass and 15-15 halftime score.
Third quarter surge
Sequim and Port Angeles traded possessions to start the second half until Andrus set the Riders up with a 68-yard punt return. Three plays later, Rodocker looped a pass to a diving Andrus on third down and the junior receiver snagged it for a 23-15 Port Angeles lead.
The Riders forced a turnover on downs on Sequim’s ensuing possession and Rodocker again surprised the Wolves with a 25-yard TD pass, this one going to Steven Lauderback.
Sequim closed the gap with 7:06 remaining when Moroles scampered in from eight years out; a blocked point-after left P.A. with a 30-21 lead.
The Roughriders sealed it with an Andrus 9-yard scoring run with 3:38 remaining.
Following a post-game talk with players and coaches, Wiker remained upbeat.
“There are a lot more learning opportunities when you’re losing than when you’re winning,” he said.
Sequim takes on North Mason (4-2 in league, 6-2 overall) on Nov. 1. The Bulldogs are coming off a 28-17 win at home against Klahowya.
Last season, North Mason topped Sequim 28-6 in Belfair.
“I think they’re better than last year,” Wiker said. “They’re the biggest surprise (in the league) to me,” along with Bremerton.”
The Wolves have added a 10th game to their 2013 schedule, a non-league contest at Foster (Tukwila), scheduled for a 7 p.m. start on Nov. 8.
The Bulldogs are 2-4 in league play and 2-6 overall and are coming off a 55-6 loss at Hazen on Friday.