EAST BREMERTON — The Trojans led at halftime, but a bizarre sequence allowed Sequim to grab the momentum and put itself in the driver’s seat for an Olympic League championship.
Olympic had opened up a 9-7 halftime lead on a 12-yard touchdown run by Darelle White and a 27-yard field goal by Josh Kennedy. The defense had been bending but hadn’t broken. Starting with the ball in the third quarter, they marched to the 15-yard line, but the field goal opportunity bounced off the upright.
Sequim then drove 79 yards when running back Taig Wiker lost control of the football at the 1-yard line. White recovered and returned it all the way to midfield. But once the ball was spotted, an official ended up ruling that Wiker had been down before he fumbled. This appeared to be the correct call, but the lateness of it raised questions from the Olympic sideline since once the knee is down, a play is typically blown dead.
The Wolves kept the ball and Riley Cowan dove in from one yard away to give his team a 13-9 lead.
After getting stopped on fourth down, Sequim went right back to the end zone as Wiker scored on a two-yard run. In just a few minutes time, the Trojans went from leading the Olympic League’s top team to down more than two scores.
“That was a big game-changer, obviously they were about to score,” head coach Sal Quitevis said. “That was a big play for us. It was a momentum-changer.”
Sequim continued to wear down Olympic. Wiker carried the ball 35 times for 268 yards, and both he and his offensive line never seemed to tire out during the game. The Trojans had a few offensive flourishes but only hit one big play all evening, a 38-yard pass from Zeke Gillick to Adam Johnson that set up White’s touchdown.
“When we had a shot to get the momentum to us, we didn’t execute correctly,” Quitevis said. “It was a tough game.”
Each team’s quarterback threw an interception on their opening drive. Johnson picked off Cowan on the first play of the game and Wiker stepped in front of a Gillick pass as the Trojans drove into the red zone. The potential wild shootout between these two teams never materialized as the rain held steady during the first half, grounding the passing attack on both sides.
Gillick completed 16-of-28 passes for 171 yards and two interceptions. Cowan posted similar numbers — 11-of-21 for 117 yards, one touchdown and two picks. Malcolm Dewalt led the Trojans with 145 yards from scrimmage — 92 rushing on 15 carries and five receptions for 53 yards.
The loss hasn’t sunk the Trojans’ playoff chances, but the road is now a little tougher. It’s difficult to project forward due to the unpredictable nature of the league this year, but the Oct. 19 matchup with Bremerton could end up being a de facto elimination game if North Mason and Port Angeles end the year with three league victories each, which would put the three teams into a tiebreaker scenario.
“We had the potential league champs here, it was a big opportunity missed,” Quitevis said.
Sequim 28, Olympic 9
SQ 0 7 14 7 — 28
Oly 0 9 0 0 — 9
Oly — White 12 run (kick failed).
SQ — Rollness 9 pass from Cowan (Cowan kick).
Oly — Kennedy 27 field goal.
SQ — Cowan 1 run (2-pt failed)
SQ — Wiker 2 run (Wiker run)
SQ — Wiker 19 run (Cowan kick)
Rushing — Oly: Dewalt 15-92, Gillick 6-40, White 3-21, TD; Feistner 4-7, Bailey 1-3. SQ: Wiker 35-268, 2 TDs; Cowan 9-15, TD; Whitney 1-(-4).
Passing — Oly: Gillick 16-28-171, 2 INT. Cowan 11-21-117, TD, 2 INT.
Receiving — Oly: Johnson 5-64, Dewalt 5-53, Andrews 3-31, White 2-18, Feistner 1-5. SQ: Rollness 4-42, TD; Young 4-42, Wiker 1-24, Grasser, 1-5, Nestor 1-2.
— Mark Krulish is a reporter for Kitsap News Group. He can be reached at email@example.com. Follow him on Twitter @MKrulishKDN.