A second half rally was almost enough for the Wolves in a non-league loss to the Centralia Tigers.
Sequim (1-1 in Olympic League, 3-2 overall) came from behind 28-14 at halftime on Oct. 3 to score twice in the third quarter and shut down the Tigers’ explosive offense to force overtime.
But a goal line stand at fourth-and-1 came up short in the tiebreaker as Sequim couldn’t find the yardage to stay alive in the 34-28 loss.
The Tigers won the overtime coin toss and scored first on a two-yard run by Javon Brager. The Wolves caught a break as Tiger kicker Riley Christensen missed the extra point. Sequim tried to capitalize, but two back-to-back penalties for illegal procedure and delay of game knocked them back 10 yards.
Quarterback Miguel Moroles countered by connecting with Receiver Bailey Earley for 14 yards to make it third-and-2. Moroles rushed for another two yards bringing up fourth-and-inches.
Running back Chris Whitaker, who had a successful night rushing with 16 carries, close to 90 yards and a touchdown, was stopped at the line of scrimmage.
Sequim head coach Erik Wiker said the overtime penalties were more an issue with execution than a lack of energy.
“That was the bitter part of the sweet ending,” he said. “They played a really good half against a good team. They stepped up and had tons of good plays. At the end, it was an issue with a little bit of execution.”
The Tigers struck first after taking it from Sequim on downs in their first possession.
Centralia running back Gavin Kerner tipped himself a pass from quarterback Joe Aliff to run 65 yards and the score. But Sequim finished the quarter on top.
The first score came when Moroles threw a 38-yard touchdown pass to Bailey Earley along the right sideline.
A Tigers’ personal foul pushed Sequim up field on their next possession during a Moroles’ run. He and Whitaker amped up their rushing attack capping off the quarter with a Whitaker five-yard TD run.
The second quarter was all Tigers, though. Kerner scored his second touchdown of the night with a rush from 37 yards out followed a few minutes later by a 33 yard touchdown run by Brager.
The Tigers finished the quarter up two scores after a double reversal where Receiver Nolan Wasson passed to Running Back Jacob Monohan for a 22-yard touchdown.
Sequim wide receiver Dylan Lott and Moroles helped Sequim cut the Tigers’ lead down to 28-21 with a 19-yard touchdown and an Adrian Espinoza kick.
Sequim kept momentum and looked primed to score again, but Wasson intercepted a Moroles pass on the Tigers’ two-yard line. Minutes later, Wolves cornerback Kane Stoddard intercepted an Aliff pass on the Tigers’ 10 yard line.
This led to Sequim running back Ethan Richmond to score from nine yards out and Espinoza to kick another extra point to tie the game at 28-28.
After the touchdown, Sequim tried to surprise the Tigers with an onside kick but it went out of bounds.
Joe Finch replaced Aliff at quarterback for the Tigers; Aliff finished 3-for-11 and one interception.
But the Tigers relied more on its running attack. Centralia would eventually work the ball all the way to Sequim’s five-yard line but on fourth-and-five, Finch couldn’t complete a pass to Wasson.
Both teams traded possessions with three-and-outs before the scoreboard went dark due to technical difficulties with less than four minutes to play.
Sequim pushed on but had a deep pass called back for having an illegal man down field. The play would have put them in the red zone.
After the game, Wiker told his players he’s tired of seeing glimpses of them playing great.
“It’s just you want ing to play with heart and energy,” he said. “Realize that you’re close to being a great team. Quit being that close.”
Wiker said he liked how the team stepped up to injuries to players like linebackers Brandon Stamper and Mark Feeney leading players like Brenden Lauritzen to play out of position.
Wiker said the Wolves’ response throughout the game was positive including their second half surge.
“They weren’t making excuses from the beginning,” he said.
Moroles finished with nearly 200 all-purpose yards and Kerner had nearly 150.
Sequim takes on North Mason for its homecoming game on Friday, Oct. 10 starting at 7 p.m.
The Bulldogs (2-1 in league, 3-2 overall) are coming off a 50-8 defeat at the hands of the No. 7-ranked North Kitsap Vikings on Oct. 3.
Last year, North Mason topped Sequim 69-46 in the highest-scoring game in the history of Sequim football.
Olympic League week 5
standings (2A division)
Team Lg. Over.
North Kitsap 2-0 5-0
Olympic 2-0 3-2
North Mason 2-1 3-2
Sequim 1-1 3-2
Kingston 1-2 1-4
Port Angeles 1-2 3-2
Bremerton 0-3 2-3
Week five scores:
Centralia 34, at Sequim 28 (OT)
at North Kitsap 50, at North Mason 8
Olympic 32, at Port Angeles 19
at Kingston 31, Bremerton 0
Matchup: North Mason at Sequim (SHS Homecoming)
When: 7 p.m., Friday, Oct. 10
Where: Sequim High School stadium, Fir Street
Series (all-time): Sequim 23, North Mason 9 (one tie)