Football: Forks, with second-half surge, powers past Sequim

Forks’ football squad surged past Sequim in the second half of the season opener for both teams Friday, breaking open a 14-14 tie by scoring 28 straight points in the third quarter in a 56-28 thumping Friday night.

Senior Spartan quarterback Logan Olson connected with classmate and former neighbor Dalton Kilmer 11 times for 182 yards and touchdown receptions of 48 and 39 yards.

Connor Demorest also caught three balls for 46 yards and his blocks sprung Kilmer for run-after-catch yardage.

“We have two guys out there, one blocking and one catching the ball, and if they only put one guy out there defensively then it should be open,” Olson said.

“Growing up with Dalton he was actually my neighbor, so we’ve played a ton of front-yard football together, little league football, junior high.”

Olson finished 15 of 19 for 243 yards, the two scores and a late interception. He also nabbed a first-half interception from Sequim senior quarterback Kobe Applegate.

“His leadership showed through tonight on both sides of the ball, he made huge plays all over the place,” Forks coach Trevor Highfield said of Olson. “His leadership really is steadying the ship and putting us in good situations. He’s cool, calm and collected constantly. And he’s just having fun out there.”

The squads traded scores in the first half, with Sequim’s Aiden Gockerell scoring on the opening possession of the contest on a 3-yard plunge up the middle.

“The good for us was we really executed getting off the ball in that first quarter and a half,” Sequim coach Erik Wiker said.

“Aiden played well for being a receiver who has never played running back in his life. He ran hard, hit the holes, showed some bounce and was athletic.”

Forks answered when Olson found Kilmer on a corner route for a 48-yard catch-and-run and the Wolves upped their lead when Applegate scampered in from 28 yards out for a 14-6 lead.

Olson scored on a 5-yard keeper of his own and Nate Dahlgren added the two-point conversion to knot the score at 14 at half.

The Spartans secured the lead and the momentum early in the third quarter; Olson capped off a 74-yard drive with a 9-yard keeper as Forks took its first lead at 21-14.

With Sequim driving at midfield on the ensuing possession, Sloan Tumaua laid a hit on a jet sweep by Wolves’ wideout Mason King, forcing a fumble recovered by Forks and keeping King on the turf.

King was attended to by paramedics and got up under his own power before being transported off the field via stretcher.

“Sloan really set the tone on defense making that big hit,” Olson said.

“It was a momentum shift — we were on the sideline taking a knee and then we had a chance to talk and we were excited and we got the score quickly.”

The score was a 39-yard TD pass from Olson to Kilmer to go up 28-14.

Gockerell, who ran for 94 yards in the first half, was injured on the kickoff and Sequim was essentially turned into a one-man offense with Applegate handling most of the running duties.

A strip sack recovered and returned 16 yards by Gunner Rogers upped the Forks lead to 35-14.

Then the fullbacks got going. Nate Dahlgren rolled in from 20 yards out to go up 42-14.

Dalhgren finished with 11 carries for 102 yards.

“The rough part of the game would be that we had multiple players playing out of position, two kids out with COVID, a few players who started practicing late and a lot of players playing their first-ever football game,” Wiker said.

“The mental aspect: Forks played with aggression and emotion and the challenges got to us. It’s hard to bounce back when our experienced football players are inexperienced at their new positions and our other guys haven’t played the game before.”

Tumaua was a battering ram in the fourth quarter, picking up a 108 yards and two TDs on 10 carries, and if the officials had let him continue a run after he lost his helmet there was chance of a third.

“He might be battling Nate for that fullback position running like Larry Czonka with his helmet off,” Highfield said. “But the problem is he’s one of our best offensive linemen. I’m really happy for him and proud of him.”

Highfield said his team made strides.

“We also grew up tonight,” he said. “We are a very, very young team and a lot of our guys got their first varsity action tonight and a lot of those guys were starters. We had game speed for the first time with a lot of the guys.”

“And (playing in front of a full crowd) is a lot for kids, this is the biggest thing that has happened in Forks in a couple of years. The biggest community event. And it might have been a little big for them in the beginning but I think they settled down and played within themselves.”

Class 2B No. 5 Forks (1-0) has its hands full trying to stop do-everything quarterback Jackson Esary next Saturday at No. 1 Kalama.

Sequim (0-1) hosts Class 2A No. 6 Squalicum, 41-14 winners over Lynden Christian to open the season, on Friday, Sept. 10.

at Forks 56, Sequim 28

S 7 7 7 7 — 28

F 6 8 28 14 — 56

Scoring

First quarter

S — Gockerell 3 run (Wagner kick), 7:01

F — Kilmer 48 pass from Olson (kick failed), 1:25

Second quarter

S — Applegate 28 run (Wagner kick), 11:26

F — Olson 5 run (Dahlgren run), 6:34

Third quarter

F — Olson 9 run (Dominguez kick), 9:55

F — Kilmer 39 pass from Olson (Dominguez kick), 6:27

F — Rogers 16 fumble return (Dominguez kick), 4:21

F — Dahlgren 20 run (Dominguez kick), 2:08

S — Applegate 13 run (Wagner kick), 0:02

Fourth Quarter

F — Tumaua 10 run (kick good), NT

S — Moore 7 pass from Applegate (Wagner kick), 6:03

F — Tumaua 4 run (kick good), 2:22

Individual stats

Passing

Sequim: Applegate: 7-16, 106 yards, 2 INT, TD.

Forks: Olson 15-19-243, 2 TD, Int.

Rushing

Sequim: Applegate 26-107, Gockerell 18-90, Jensen 2-6,Wagner 1-(-5); King 3-(7).

Forks: Tumaua 10-108, Dahlgren 11-102, Blanton 2-40, Olson 7-23, Northcutt 1-20.

Receiving

Sequim: Moore 2-59, King 2-29, Jensen 2-10, McCracken 1-8.

Forks: Kilmer 11-182, Demorest 3-46, Rancourt 1-15.

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