Some hard offseason work has paid off for Sequim Wolves who, after a 46-6 pasting of Port Angeles on Oct. 12, laid claim to the Olympic League 2A Division championship
It’s the team’s first league title since a three-peat run from 2009-11.
“I wouldn’t say I’m surprised, but I wouldn’t say I would have predicted it,” Sequim lineman Johnnie Young said of claiming the Olympic League crown.
“We knew we had a really good chance to compete coming into the season. And one thing our coaches stress is taking it week-by-week. So that’s been the motto.”
It also was the fourth straight rivalry win for the Wolves.
“Overall, really good, but that’s how I am, I see the little things we need to improve on more than the good things,” Sequim coach Erik Wiker said. “When a game is over and you win, it’s relief, not ‘Woo-hoo,’ and you move on. I’m trying to woo-hoo it, but league champs, that hasn’t sunk in yet.”
Port Angeles took the opening kick and marched downfield on a crisp, seven-play, 75-yard touchdown drive, capped by a 12-yard TD pass to Anton Kathol from Brenden Roloson-Hines.
The Riders followed up with a three-and-out defensively.
But Sequim’s balance offensively translated to a massive night yardage-wise, leading to 46 unanswered points — 27 of those by halftime.
The Wolves’ running game was massive, totaling 314 yards on 33 carries on the night, and Sequim quarterback Riley Cowan threw for 198 yards and three touchdowns, all in the first half.
He found sophomore Taig Wiker for an 11-yard swing pass, connected with classmate Kyler Rollness on an accurately placed 10-yard score in the corner of the end zone over a taller defender and hit a bulls-eye on his third score, splitting two Riders’ defenders in the end zone on a 25-yard TD to Joey Oliver to make it 27-6 Sequim at halftime.
“It was attitude,” Taig Wiker said of Sequim’s 27-point outburst following the Port Angeles score. “They were full of themselves after that touchdown (but) none of us were down. We just took advantage of them being full of themselves.”
Sequim sophomore lineman Brandon Barnett snagged his first-ever interception with 5:29 in the third quarter to stuff a Roughrider drive.
“It felt like slow motion and my eyes got so big,” Barnett said. “It’s always a lineman’s dream to get an interception. It’s definitely something I’ll always remember.”
Austin Leis led the Riders with 12 carries for 66 yards and Trevor Shumway caught two passes for 41 yards to pace Port Angeles. But it wasn’t enough to keep the Wolves from locking up an Olympic League 2A title with two games remaining on their schedule.
“It (the league title) is awesome; it’s huge,” Taig Wiker said. “It’s a milestone especially for the seniors, our friends. It’s a crazy thing to get a league championship on the wall before the season is over. Just doing it for them as a brotherhood is sweet.”
Sequim’s playoff path is secure: the Wolves will play the South Puget Sound League’s seventh seed in a winner-to-state game Nov. 2 or 3.
Before that, Sequim will visit Hoquiam for a non-league game against the Grizzlies, the ninth-ranked team in Class 1A next week. The Grizzlies knocked off 1A No. 4 Montesano 37-35 Friday.
“They are really good and we can pretend it’s like a playoff game,” Erik Wiker said. “We don’t know them at all, so we will treat it like we have a practice playoff game.”
Sequim hasn’t played Hoquiam since their first state playoff game in 1978 — a game the Grizzlies won, 21-0.
The Wolves finish the regular season on Oct. 26 at Bremerton. Last season, Bremerton knocked off Sequim 30-22.