Fourteen points in 14 seconds. That’s all it took to flip the momentum in a game that had the host Bremerton Knights thinking upset and the visiting Sequim Wolves — already locked into an Olympic League title — looking to keep momentum heading into the postseason.
A SHS dynamic offense and defense picked up a pair of quick scores to turn a six-point deficit into an eight-point lead in the first half, but it wasn’t until the pesky Knights failed on fourth down with about seven minutes left that the Wolves could breathe easy in a 41-21 win on Oct. 26.
“I don’t think we respected them enough in practice,” Sequim receiver Michael Young, who had a pair of touchdown catches and finished with 136 receiving yards, said.
The Wolves secured an unblemished league record at 6-0, but got an earful from coaches following the game after they struggled to find separation from a Bremerton team that fell out of playoff contention Friday night.
“We’ve got to put everything together, all the little things,” Sequim coach Erik Wiker said.
“For us, we’ve got to take it one play at a time. (We) try to do too much and it’s exploited.”
Early on, Bremerton was doing the little things to fuel a possible upset. Quarterback Abraham Parish capped an 11-play, 81-yard drive with a 27-yard scamper and 6-0 Knights lead.
Bremerton stuffed Sequim’s opening two drives before the Wolves finally broke through. Cowan slipped a pass to Taig Wiker out of the backfield, who ran through the Bremerton defense for 30 yards and a score.
Bremerton fumbled the ensuing kickoff, and on the next play Cowan looped a 29-yard pass to Young, who held on to the ball in the end zone after a hard hit. Sequim led 14-6.
The Wolves took advantage of another Bremerton fumble later in the first half. Cowan and Wiker combined on another screen, this one from 20 yards out and a 21-6 SHS lead with 1:40 in the first half.
Wiker made it 17-6 Sequim with a four-yard score to open the third quarter scoring, but Bremerton responded on the next play from scrimmage, as Parish found Kelo Logova for a 69-yard TD pass, closing the gap to 27-14.
The Knights looked to get within a score as the third quarter waned, but were forced to punt at about midfield — and that’s when Sequim senior Kyler Rollness gave the Wolves a special teams jolt. Picking up the punt after a rugby-style kick, Rollness weaved and dodged 95 yards for a touchdown and a 34-14 lead.
“I saw it bounce and I thought, Oh, I’m taking this all the way,’” Rollness said. “Garrett Hoesel had a great block on the outside.”
Bremerton again closed the gap with about 10 minutes left, taking advantage of a Sequim personal foul penalty; Darick DeJesus carried it in from three yards out to cut the lead to 34-21.
Bremerton forced a Sequim punt with six minutes left, but a Knight receiver dropped a fourth-and-4 pass in the open that gave the ball back. Four plays later, facing a fourth down, Cowan found a streaking Young in the end zone from 18 yards out for the game’s final score.
Cowan finished 19 of 27 for 255 yards, four touchdowns and no interceptions.
Taig Wiker had 52 yards on 14 carries.
Bremerton’s Parishwas 7 of 20 for 200 yards and a score but also had two interceptions — both by Jarrett Allen.
Sequim will take on the Franklin Pierce Cardinals (5-5) at 7 p.m. Friday, Nov. 2, at Silverdale Stadium, in a winner-to-state, loser-out district playoff game.
The Cardinals earned the No. 7 seed to districts after beating Orting last week.
Rollness said a key for Sequim’s postseason success is belief.
“We need to have confidence in ourselves,” Rollness said. “We have not played our best game of the season yet. We can go really far.”
It’s the first time Sequim has stood atop the Olympic League since 2011.
Young said the key to that was Wolves putting in the work before the season’s first snap.
“We’ve had the most guys in the weight room, in seven-on-seven (play) and it shows,” Young said.
Erik Wiker’s Wolves faced Franklin Pierce in his first district tournament game in 2004; the Cardinals, on the strength of a late field goal, won that game, 36-35.
Sequim is 3-10 against Franklin Pierce all-time, dating back to their first meeting in 1979. The schools have not faced each other, however, since that 2004 playoff game.