Sequim's Wolves were so hyped for their biggest rivals they couldn't hold onto the ball.
Unfortunately for Port Angeles' Roughriders, Sequim managed to calm their nerves and run away with a 42-7 win Friday night.
Travis Decker ran for more than 100 yards in the first quarter while quarterback Drew Rickerson threw four touchdown passes - three in the third quarter alone - in what may be Sequim's biggest rout of their cross-peninsula rivals ever.
"Jitters, that's what is was for me," said Rickerson, the junior signal-caller who missed his first four passes - but finished 10-of-15 for 220 yards.
The Wolves had four dropped passes and two fumbles as they held an 8-0 lead going into the second quarter. Port Angeles looked to gain all the momentum when Sequim linebacker Clancy Catelli picked off an errant Roughrider throw and ran for 60 yards and a score. With a minute left in the half, Sequim got the ball back and Rickerson found John Textor for a 59-yard touchdown throw and 22-0 halftime lead.
Catelli added two touchdown catches and a blocked punt in the second half to complete the blowout.
"As impressive as the offense is, the defense is even more (impressive)," Sequim coach Erik Wiker said. "It's a good win for the community and it's bragging rights all year."
The win gives Wiker a 4-2 record against Port Angeles since the two schools revived the rivalry in 2004.
Nerves give Sequim
From the first play of scrimmage, this Sequim-Port Angeles game looked like the mismatch it did on paper.
But following Decker's 67-yard run from scrimmage, few things went right for the Wolves' offense. Two plays following the big run, Sequim fumbled the ball away on the 4-yard-line. After a Port Angeles three-downs-and-out, Sequim receivers dropped a pair of passes and the Wolves turned it over on downs.
The Roughriders couldn't manage a first-quarter drive, though, and Sequim finally capitalized with a five-minute, 11-play drive punctuated by Decker's 12-yard jaunt into the end zone. Sequim led 8-0 after one quarter.
The teams traded possessions with both teams hunkering down to stop the running attacks. Port Angeles looked to take advantage of a Sequim fumble on a punt, but two plays later, Clancy Catelli stepped in front of a Cody Adamich pass and raced 60 yards for the score and 16-0 Sequim lead.
The Wolves' defense held the Roughriders to another three-and-out and on the next play Rickerson found John Textor on a curl underneath the Port Angeles secondary; the long, lanky receiver simply outran the entire Roughrider defense to the end zone, giving Sequim a 22-0 halftime lead.
The Wolves didn't let up in the second half. After holding Port Angeles' offense to another three-and-out, Rickerson found Textor on a curl route that the senior receiver took 54 yards for his second long touchdown and a 28-0 Sequim advantage.
Catelli, a linebacker and tight end, put on a show from there, taking a short pass from Rickerson on Sequim's next possession 45 yards for another Wolves score.
The 6-foot 2-inch senior then blocked a Port Angeles punt on the next Roughrider possession and caught Rickerson's fourth touchdown, a five-yard strike, just four plays later for a 42-0 Sequim lead.
Keenen Walker engineered Port Angeles' only scoring drive of the night, a 10-play, 85-yard drive capped by the sophomore quarterback's one-yard plunge.
Cougars on tap
The Wolves play their first road game of the season when they travel to Puyallup to take on Cascade Christian.
The Cougars (2-0) are coming off a 34-15 win at Eatonville and beat Fife 28-20 to open the 2009 campaign.
Cascade Christian, a 1A school, gave the Wolves a hard-fought game in Sequim last season before falling 17-14. The Cougars were ranked in the top five in their classification at the time and went on to the state 1A championship game, where they lost 10-9 to Cashmere.
Despite the smaller-school status, Wiker said he expects good competition from Cascade.
"They have a good program," Wiker said. "They're very well coached. They're going to come out and play hard."
Reach Michael Dashiell at firstname.lastname@example.org.