Sequim quarterback Drew Rickerson connected with receiver Joey Hall for three touchdown passes and running back Isaac Yamamoto ran for 162 yards and two scores as the Wolves rolled to a 49-20 romp over the North Mason Bulldogs Friday night at Bulldog Stadium.
The Wolves struck quickly after taking the opening kickoff with a pair of 19-yard Yamamoto runs setting up a 22-yard Rickerson-to-Hall scoring strike just 43 seconds into the contest. The duo connected again from 18 yards as Sequim led 15-0 with 4:13 left in the first quarter.
As quickly as the Wolves took a two TD advantage, North Mason's Tevin Williams got the Bulldogs back into the fray. The elusive senior bobbled the ensuing kickoff at his own 15 before accelerating through the pack on the left sideline and raced 85 yards for a touchdown, cutting the Wolves' lead to 15-7.
"Somebody broke down somewhere," Sequim coach Erik Wiker said. "I think what happened is he bobbled it a bit, then everybody relaxed for a second, then he turned it on. He's a fast kid, he's a good runner and he can see seams."
Sequim countered the big Bulldog play with one of its own when Frank Catelli ripped the ball away from North Mason's Kameron Crosswhite and took the pigskin 25 yards to pay dirt and a 22-7 Wolves advantage with 7:24 left in the first half.
On North Mason's next possession, the Wolves sacked quarterback Charlie Becker on an ill-fated fourth-down conversion attempt at the Bulldogs' 32.
Sequim took to the air again with Rickerson finding Hall over the middle for the third time on a 32-yard TD pass, boosting the lead to 29-7.
The Rickerson-Hall connection
Wiker lauded Hall's receiving success against North Mason. "He (Joey) has worked really hard in practice on all the little things. He's the best at getting them flat-footed and then taking off and he's open."
Hall caught nine passes for 188 yards and three scores.
Wiker also talked about quarterback Rickerson's understanding of the Sequim offense. "I call plays that he totally reads and I don't know who it's going to. He understands it really well; he's a great field general with nice touch and he's calm under pressure. He can make a mistake, but still go back out there and perform at a high level."
Rickerson completed 13-of-18 passes for 214 yards, three touchdowns and was intercepted three times, including two by the athletic Tevin Williams.
North Mason got its only sustained drive of the first half - a 12-play, 53-yard march over three minutes and 30 seconds - scoring on Tommy Renne's one-yard plunge with 1:43 before intermission, cutting the deficit to 29-14.
Second half romp
It was all Sequim after halftime, as the Wolves' quick-paced offensive tempo wore out the Bulldogs. The Wolves went up 34-7 on Rickerson's 55-yard quarterback keeper with 6:26 left in the third quarter._"Speed and tempo are definitely our friends," Wiker said. "You can't practice it that fast. We know going into halftime that they've (the opponent) played a full game. When they come out for the third quarter, they've got a bit of energy like it's an overtime situation, but after that (the defenders) are coming off to the sidelines with their hands on their knees."
Yamamoto scored his two TDs in the final period - from 25 and eight yards - to increase the Sequim bulge to 49-14.
North Mason quarterback Charlie Becker connected with Josh Hoiser for a 15-yard touchdown pass as the game clock expired for the Bulldogs final points.
Wiker said Friday's game was just another in a series of championship games for his squad.
"My theory is ... we always start the playoffs early with these guys (North Mason) and we talk about playoff seeding and league championships," he said. "If our kids go into this as a league championship game, they understand that ... and they know next week it's the same thing."
Sequim faces another strong test Thursday night with a visit to Kingston (3-2) at Buccaneer Field, while North Mason travels to Port Angeles Friday.
The Wolves are 3-0 all-time against the young Buccaneers. Last season, Sequim topped Kingston 49-6.
KONP Radio will broadcast Thursday's Sequim-Kingston game on AM 1450, FM 102.1 and online at www.konp.com beginning with pre-game coverage at 6:30 and the kickoff at 7 p.m. Along with announcer Dan Kari of KONP, former Sequim coach Phil Langston provides the game analysis.
Team Lg. Over.
Port Angeles 3-0 5-0
Sequim 3-0 4-1
Kingston 2-1 3-2
North Mason 2-1 3-2
Bremerton 1-2 2-3
North Kitsap 1-2 1-4
Klahowya 0-3 0-5
Olympic 0-3 0-5
Dan Kari is the Sequim play-by-play announcer for KONP 1450. Reach him at email@example.com.