Bucs keep their season alive | Football

The Kingston Buccaneers kept their season alive Oct. 30 with one of their highest-scoring games of the season.

KINGSTON — The Kingston Buccaneers kept their season alive Oct. 30 with one of their highest-scoring games of the season.

The Bucs (2-4, 2-7) defeated the Port Angeles Roughriders 23-7 at Buc Field. They are tied for fourth with the Riders and Sequim Wolves.

The Bucs, Riders and Wolves play a three-way tiebreaker set for Nov. 4 at Silverdale Stadium.

A preseason draw gives the Bucs a bye in the tiebreaker, so the Wolves (2-4, 4-5) take on the Roughriders (2-4, 4-5) at 5:30 p.m. in a shortened game of two, eight-minute quarters. The winner advances to play Kingston 20 minutes after the end of the first game, with the winner advancing to play the top seed from the South Puget Sound League on Nov. 7 or Nov. 8 (location TBA).

Sequim or Port Angeles could have secured a playoff spot with a win and, with the others’ loss, eliminated both teams they may face this week. But the Bremerton Knights (1-5, 3-6) and Bucs — the two lowest standing teams in the Olympic League — kept that from happening.

The Bucs bested the Riders by gaining a 9-0 lead by the third quarter. The Bucs outscored the Riders 14-7 in the fourth to secure the win.

The Bucs had 39 plays to the Riders’ 66, but were able to capitalize during their possessions. Kingston’s Garrett Rouser led the team with 10 carries for 89 yards, with a long of 42. He had one touchdown.

Tanner Draper’s single 30-yard reception resulted in a touchdown.

Ryan Lash’s fumble recovery ended in a 33-yard touchdown.

To add to the Bucs’ lead, Ryan Fick scored two point-afters; Alex Worland kicked a 40-yard field goal to tack on three.

The win over the Riders was the second highest score the Bucs have had this season. The Bucs shut out the Bremerton Knights 31-0 on Oct. 3.

While the Bucs were handing the Riders their fourth conference loss, the Wolves and Knights were battling a game that started sloppy.

The Wolves and Knights played a scoreless first quarter that featured two Knights fumbles and a Wolves turnover on downs. In the second quarter, after forcing a Bremerton punt with five minutes until halftime, Sequim fumbled on its own 5-yard line, setting up Calvin Cardwell’s 3-yard plunge with 3:51 left in the half.

Down 7-0, Sequim got the equalizer on their second possession of the second half, when quarterback Miguel Moroles found wide receiver Bailey Earley from 35 yards out. Earley leapt over a Knight defender to help knot the game at 7-7.

Bremerton responded immediately, as Cardwell and Mahoney maneuvered the Knights downfield. On third-down-and-12, Mahoney found an open Ty Haley from 37 yards out for a 14-7 Bremerton lead one minute into the fourth quarter.

After the teams traded punts, Sequim mounted a 10-play drive capped by a Moroles-to-Earley 5-yard fade pass into the end zone with two minutes in regulation. However, Sequim was called for snapping the ball too early on the extra point and SHS kicker Adrian Espinoza’s effort from 22 yards out in a downpour was wide. Bremerton clung to a 14-13 lead.

Bremerton looked to run out the clock, but Sequim’s defense forced a three-and-out. Starting from their own 15-yard line, the Wolves mounted one last comeback, ignited by a Moroles-to-Earley 42-yard pass play. After a penalty and two incompletions, Moroles once again found Earley for another 44 yards. Following a 10-yard Sequim penalty, the Wolves lined up for a 46-yard field goal try. Espinoza slipped on the kick and the attempt fell well short and wide right.

“Really frustrating,” Earley said of the loss. “There were a lot of little things we could have done better.”

Moroles finished 14-of-22 for 204 yards and added 21 yards on the ground. Early had 140 yards on five receptions and Stamper led the Wolves with 56 rushing yards.

Caldwell led all rushers with 166 yards on 24 carries, including a 50-yard scamper on the game’s opening play. Mahoney was 3-of-7 passing.

—Sequim Gazette editor Michael Dashiell contributed to this story.