The Sequim Wolves enjoyed a dominant night in their homecoming game against Kingston on Oct. 4, overcoming a Buccaneer touchdown on the first play from scrimmage to take control of the game en route to a 44-14 win.
Walker Ward racked up 181 yards on 26 carries and scored three touchdowns — all in the second quarter — as Sequim (2-1 in league play, 4-1 overall) ran roughshod over their visitors.
The Wolves got an early setback when Buc Kyler Cor-Yarr got around the right side with two blockers in front and ran 67 yards for a touchdown.
Wolves head coach Erik Wiker said that his defense read the play a little wrong and reacted to it in a way that left them playing catchup.
Unfortunately for Sequim, it would take the home squad a couple of drives before they could get the offense going. Backup sophomore quarterback Kobe Applegate admitted after the game that he had some nerves early in the game, and it showed in the form of a few errant passes and missed reads on run/pass option plays.
Applegate, starting because of an injury to Taig Wiker last week against North Mason, admitted that the moment got to him a little bit.
“I had to take some time to settle down, but everyone around me did a great job of getting me there,” Applegate said after the game. “It was a great experience.”
Coach Wiker said after the game that he simplified the play-calling a little bit after the Wolves’ first drive ended in a turnover on downs to let Applegate ease into the game a little more, handing the ball off to Ward, a junior running back, more often.
Ward responded with a huge game, regularly pushing through the pile to pick up extra yards after contact play after play. Thanks in large part to Ward, the Wolves went into halftime with a 22-8 lead.
“My line opened up great holes for me all night,” Ward said after the game.
“I just had to keep my pads low and keep moving. They made it easy.”
Ward said that he’d been working on making his cuts through the hole and into the second level of the defense, and that was on display when his cuts caused Kingston defenders to miss tackles six or seven times.
The passing game opened up more for the Wolves in the second half, with Michael Young coming up with two long catch-and-run receptions to set up scoring opportunities. He followed up his first long catch with a 9-yard scoring run on an end-around in the Wolves’ first possession of the second half.
Young added two touchdown receptions, cementing one of the biggest games of his career with six catches for 87 yards and four carries for 19 yards to go with his three touchdowns.
Ward and Young combined for 287 of the Wolves’ 379 yards of total offense on the night.
The Buccaneers added a late touchdown on a long Tyler Marquez run to make the final score 44-14; that score came against a defensive unit comprised mostly of backups and junior varsity players.
Wiker credited his defense for toughening up after their early setback and making sure the offense had time to get going.
“Coach (Jerry) Mote coached them up really well this week, and they responded well,” Wiker said. “It was a bit of a different offense than they’re used to, but they broke it all down really well.”
Young talked about the team’s defensive performance as well, having to step into a new role at safety with Taig Wiker sidelined.
“It was a lot different up there instead of where I usually am (at cornerback),” Young said. “But we worked hard to make sure it worked, and we kept it clean.”
Young said he had to call the action a little bit more for the defense than he’s used to, but he enjoyed the challenge of it.
Wiker also gave Kingston credit after the game, saying that the scoreline didn’t show the quality of the Wolves’ opponents.
“(Kingston is) a team that are a lot better than they were a year ago,” he said.
“They’ve got some great players with a system that makes sense for them, and they’re well coached in it. We were just on it tonight.”
The Wolves host league-leading Olympic on Oct. 11. Olympic boast a 4-0 record in league play and are 5-1 overall this season, with the Trojans’ lone loss this season coming to a good 3A team in Central Kitsap. Since then, Olympic hasn’t scored less than 38 points in a game, including a 48-14 win over Port Angeles last week.
Sequim then travels to Port Angeles for the annual Rainshadow Rumble, pairing the two cross-peninsula rivals.
The Wolves close the regular season with home games against Hoquiam (Oct. 25) and Bremerton (Nov. 1).