In a short-lived battle of two teams headed quickly in opposite directions, the heavily favored and battle-tested Sequim Wolves snuffed out any chance of an upset early on in a 47-0 rout against Klahowya in Silverdale Friday night.
The Wolves (2-0 in Nisqually League play, 4-1 overall) outscored the host Eagles 33-0 in the first quarter thanks to four Klahowya turnovers, three of them interceptions by senior Alex Gillis.
Sequim junior quarterback Drew Rickerson threw four touchdown passes to four different receivers and senior Travis Decker added three touchdown runs, the final one a 72-yard scamper on the first play from scrimmage in the second half.
"I'm really proud of our guys; they came out and executed like they should have," Sequim coach Erik Wiker said. "You have to be mentally more tough or focused on a week like this, when you think you have a win already. We ... had our best week of practice. And that's something to be proud of because sometimes that's hard."
Winless Klahowya (0-2, 0-5) was simply no match for the bigger and quicker Wolves, stumbling out of the blocks by trying to run against a stifling defensive line and linebacker corps. When the Eagles found
trying to gain any positive yards past linemen Thomas Gallagher, Roman Turner and Jake Dethlefsen wasn't going anywhere, senior quarterback Nick Duby took to the air. One of Duby's passes fell incomplete; the other four found the hands of Gillis, whose three interceptions in the first eight minutes of play set the tone for an aggressive Sequim defense.
"The quarterback had no way to throw all night," Gillis said, pointing out the pressure by Sequim's defensive linemen. "I've got to give all my props to my (defensive) line - those are my boys."
With just one win in the team's 11-game match-up, Klahowya was a tough match-up back in 2007 when they lost a pair of games to Sequim by seven total points. But this version of the Eagles simply had no answer for the Wolves on either side of the ball
In one sequence, Sequim senior tackle Roman Turner burst through the line and nearly took the handoff away from Eagle backup quarterback Jacob Sheets.
"We have a really good, experienced line," Wiker said, "(but) I expected (Klahowya) to run some plays better."
Fast out of the gate
Sequim's defense stymied the Eagles for much of the first half, stuffing Klahowya on three running plays inside the 10-yard-line on the opening drive. The Wolves took over on the Klahowya 14 and found the end zone two plays later on a Decker 1-yard touchdown run.
Two plays later, Gillis picked off Duby to regain possession for Sequim. The Wolves had a pair of touchdowns called back because of penalties but still managed to find pay dirt as Rickerson's screen to Decker went 17 yards and a 13-0
Sequim regained possession after another Duby-to-Gillis interception and Rickerson found Joel Anastasi from 18 yards out on a third-and-six play, putting the Wolves up 19-0.
Gillis intercepted another Duby throw on Klahowya's next possession. Facing a third-and-22, Rickerson found Gillis across the middle for 57 yards and a first down. Three plays later, Rickerson found tight end Jeremie Oliver for a 1-yard strike and a 26-0 lead.
Sheets replaced Klahowya's Duby and had a dubious start. Fumbling his first play from scrimmage; Oliver recovered the misplay. Decker ran it in from 19 yards out on the very next play, capping the first-quarter score at 33-0.
Sequim forced another Klahowya three-and-out and it took just one play - a Rickerson-to-Clancy Catelli 14-yard pass play - to make it Sequim 40, Klahowya 0.
Less than three minutes into the second quarter, Wiker began emptying his bench, getting playing time for second-and third-string players.
He brought the starters out for one scoring drive in the second half and it lasted exactly one play. Decker took an inside handoff and raced 72 yards for his third rushing touchdown and fourth of the evening, capping the score at 47-0.
With the running clock rule in effect - the game clock runs continuously with one team up at least 45 points and in the second half - Sequim relented in trying to run up the score. Wolves coaches went so far as to call for a field goal in the fourth quarter - on second down (it sailed wide to the left).
Perhaps it was to spare some Eagles fans any more agony; Friday night was Klahowya's homecoming festivities.
In four of Sequim's five games in 2009, the Wolves' first-string defense has allowed zero points three times.
Rickerson now has 903 yards passing, 13 touchdowns and just two interceptions in five games. Decker has 524 yards rushing and eight touchdowns.
Kingston's up next
The Wolves are back home to face Kingston on Friday night.
The Buccaneers (0-2, 0-5) are coming off a 12-0 loss at Washington.
Last season, the Wolves thrashed the second-year Bucs 74-0 in Poulsbo, the fifth of Kingston's nine consecutive losses in a 1-9 season.
In two seasons of existence, Kingston has just one win, but the Bucs have played teams much closer this season.
"They've had three real close games," Wiker said, noting Kingston's lead on Eatonville with about a minute left before losing 31-30 on Sept. 25. "They had a couple of other games that they should-have, could-have won. I think they're going to be a lot better than last year."
Gillis said that Sequim isn't looking past anyone and that the Wolves should be fine if they continue to prepare during the week.
"If we go and if we go in and practice like we did all of this week and put up these points like we have and play defense like we have ... we will definitely not look past any team," Gillis said.
Friday's game starts at
Reach Michael Dashiell at email@example.com.