Colton Bower defends a pass away from Sequim receiver Garrett Hoesel. (Mark Krulish/Kitsap News Group)

Colton Bower defends a pass away from Sequim receiver Garrett Hoesel. (Mark Krulish/Kitsap News Group)

Vikings take down Sequim in Olympic League opener

North Kitsap’s only league loss came against Sequim last season

POULSBO — For the past year and six days, North Kitsap had been looking forward to a rematch with Sequim on its home field.

Last season, the Vikings fell 16-14 to the Wolves up in Sequim on their grass field with a power line running close enough to the goalposts that their hit it with a field goal attempt. Sequim got a rekick and eventually won the game. That loss didn’t sit well with the North Kitsap players or coaches, and there was nothing could be done as Sequim ran the table and won the league.

Quite a few players graduated off of both teams, but the remaining Vikings remember it well.

“We’ve been waiting for this game since the second we lost last year,” said senior defensive back Erik Burchill.

Burchill was one of the stars of the defensive battle that took place Friday night, hauling in four passes for 62 yards on offense and making an interception and five pass breakups on defense as North Kitsap got its revenge, defeating Sequim 16-8.

The defense, buoyed by the return of middle linebacker Cache Holmes — who missed the first half attempt to return from an injury — pitched a shutout in the second half and gave up Sequim’s only touchdown on a short field after a muffed punt. Colton Bower also came up with an interception for the Vikings and Nathan Simms and Blake Shipp both came up with fumble recoveries.

“I think he made a difference in the second half,” said head coach Jeff Weible. “I think he lifted the team’s spirits because they were pretty down not having our emotional leader out there.”

Holmes did not think he was going to play at all in the game, the prospect of which devastated him and he went off down to the school building in order to work on his leg and get it ready to play. He got the all-clear and made a couple of big plays for the defense. Sequim’s only second half points came on a safety.

“This game set the tone for the rest of the season,” Holmes said.

Josh Fisher opened the scoring with a one-yard touchdown run in the first quarter, and the offense had actually gotten off to a decent start. But the unit only showed flashes of its future potential and struggled to move the ball during much of the second half, finishing with 140 yards from scrimmage. Bower completed 9 of 19 passes for 109 yards and rushed for 45 yards.

“We’re just so young and the offense is new to us,” Weible said. “Honestly, I’m struggling with it just trying to find things that work.”

Fortunately, freshman kicker Diego DeLuna came along to save the day, booting three field goals — his last an impressive 40-yard kick — to provide the rest of the scoring.

“He came out for football the first day,” Weible said. “I had never seen him before and he had soccer cleats on.”

It looks like the league is wide open this year with only three playoff spots up for grabs. The Vikings will have to take on a Bremerton team that has impressed thus far, losing a close game to a very good Black Hills squad and then convincingly beating both Wilson and Rochester. But the coaching staff believes they will be ready for the challenge.

“There’s not a football team in the state of Washington that plays harder than we do,” Weible said. “Our execution has to get better to match it.”

North Kitsap 16, Sequim 8

SQ 0 6 2 0 —8

NK 7 6 3 0 — 16

First quarter

North Kitsap — Josh Fisher 1 run (DeLuna kick)

Second quarter

North Kitsap — Diego DeLuna 25 field goal

North Kitsap — DeLuna 30 field goal

Sequim — Joseph Pinnell 20 pass from Taig Wiker (conversion failed)

Third quarter

North Kitsap — DeLuna 40 field goal

Sequim — safety

Individual stats

Passing — North Kitsap: Bower 9-19-101. Sequim: Wiker 14-31-117, TD, 2 INT.

Rushing — North Kitsap: Bower 15-45, Fisher 8-14, TD; Wanzek 4-10. Sequim: Ward 12-64, Wiker 15-19, Hoesel 3-11.

Receiving — North Kitsap: Burchill 4-62, Fitsemons 2-25, Fisher 1-10, Castillo 2-4. Sequim: Hoesel 5-56, Moore 4-21, Pinnell 1-20, TD; Nestor 2-14, Ward 2-7.

More in Sports

WIAA moves winter season to Feb. 1

Virus activities continue to trend upward all across Washington state and COVID-19… Continue reading

Bainbridge High School athletes have been working out on campus since late September, but a sharp rise in positive cases led the district to cancel them for at least two weeks. (Review file photo)
Conditioning sessions end as COVID-19 cases rise

Most Kitsap School Districts have called off student-athlete workouts

WIAA has new return-to-play guidelines based on county benchmarks

New return-to-play guidelines tied to Kitsap County benchmarks rather than the governor’s… Continue reading

No asterisks needed as championships still deserved

COVID-19 has changed many things in the sports world. Major League Baseball… Continue reading

Extracurricular activities will likely be on hold as long as most school districts remain in remote learning. Review file photo
WIAA releases next steps for return to play

There has been a groundswell of support for fall athletes returning to… Continue reading

Virgil Taylor celebrates with his son, David, who served as the bat boy for North Kitsap’s 1988 state championship team. (Contributed photo by the Taylor Family)
N. Kitsap coaching legend dies at age 80

He’s been a fixture at prep baseball, football games

Contributed photo                                Virgil and his wife, DiAnn, who were together for 63 years and married for nearly 58.
N. Kitsap coaching legend dies at age 80

He was a longtime fixture at high school baseball, football games

Bainbridge running back Alex Ledbetter tries to break away from the pile during the Spartans’ 2018 opener against North Kitsap. (File photo)
A look back at some great Week 1 local prep gridiron games

Under normal circumstances, tonight fans would have gathered at high school stadiums… Continue reading

“Strong Like Her” features American powerlifter Megan Gallagher on the cover.
Kitsap native Haley Shapley features strong women in “Strong Like Her”

Says it’s OK to have muscles if you’re female

Cross country was one of the few remaining sports that had a chance to compete this fall until the decision was made to move all fall sports to spring. (Review File Photo)
PREPS: Fall seasons officially pushed to spring 2021

Cross country, boys tennis join girls swim and dive in season 3

Island resident Greg Nance pulls up to the end of Point Monroe Drive near Fay Bainbridge Park during his endurance run around Bainbridge. (Mark Krulish/Kitsap News Group)
With community encouragement, Greg Nance completes his run around Bainbridge Island

For the rare few among us who enjoy putting ourselves through the… Continue reading