If Sequim’s Wolves looked a little unprepared against a 1A powerhouse Friday night, it’s little wonder.
After seeing their first game of the season on Sept. 1 canceled, Sequim opened the 2017 campaign with a 41-6 loss at Montesano on Sept. 8.
The loss saw Sequim fall behind 21-0 after one quarter before tightening up on both sides of the ball.
“Game experience is invaluable,” Sequim head coach Erik Wiker said.
“We have inexperienced players, four starters on defense that are new. We would have gotten a little mojo (from that first game). It’s hard to throw them right into (a game like this).”
Montesano quarterback Trevor Ridgway ran for two touchdowns and threw for two more as the Bulldogs (2-0) remained perfect on the young season.
The Wolves (0-1) struggled from the start, turning the ball over twice in their first three possessions and earning just one first down in the opening frame as they fell behind by three touchdowns.
Sequim’s best stretch came in the second quarter when they kept Montesano out of the end zone on back-to-back possessions that book-ended Sequim’s only score — a 10-play, 53-yard drive capped by Hayden Gresli’s 10-yard rush.
The Wolves looked to grab the game’s momentum after stopping the bulldogs at the their own 16 yard line, but the next drive failed, and Montesano added a score — a Teegan Zillyet eight-yard scamper — just before halftime to go up 27-6 headed into the locker room.
After Montesano opened the second half with an eight-play, 63-yard scoring drive to go up 34-6, Sequim put together its most impressive drive of the game. Cowan went four-for-four for 42 yards and Gresli had two solid runs, but the Wolves fumbled deep in Montesano territory. Nine plays later the Bulldogs were in the end zone again, effectively ending any SHS comeback.
The Wolves were without the services for much of the game of 2016 all-Olympic League MVP Gavin Velarde, who was in and out of the contest with injuries.
“All things considered, we played more solid defense against them (than last season),” Wiker said, noting the 66-34 loss in Sequim that saw SHS tally one offensive touchdown.
“(The early mistakes were) just energy, jitters; just settling down,” he said. “Some of that would have been taken care of last week, but no excuses.”
Wiker said he was impressed with several players who were making their first varsity start, including Nate Despain. The junior led the team with five receptions for 83 yards and helped solidify the secondary, after not having played football since middle school.
Sequim hosts Centralia on Sept. 15 and Bremerton on Sept. 22, the Wolves’ Olympic League opener. Both games kick off at 7 p.m.