Welcome back, wolf pack.
Sequim’s seventh-ranked football squad made good on its preseason promise to return to the state playoffs, clobbering the Washington Patriots 42-22 in Poulsbo Saturday night.
Sequim (9-1) gets a familiar foe in the 2A playoff first round, as the Wolves take on the Burlington-Edison Tigers at 6 p.m. Saturday, Nov. 13, at North Kitsap High School in Poulsbo.
Sequim edged Burlington-Edison in last year’s first round, 34-32, for the Wolves’ first state tournament win in school history.
It didn’t take long for Sequim to realize their fifth-consecutive state tournament appearance, as the Wolves rocked Washington for 42 first-half points despite some windy, wet weather.
Frank Catelli scored two first-quarter touchdowns in a 10-second span and Isaac Yamamoto added three second-quarter touchdown runs as the Wolves cruised.
“Washington was very athletic and big,” Sequim coach Erik Wiker said. “I was glad we shut them down early.”
Yamamoto finished with 173 rushing yards.
“The key to winning was just focusing, working hard during practice,” said Sequim fullback Josh McElrath.
Sequim scores come early
For two quarters, Sequim’s vaunted offense, stingy defense and strong special teams squad each produced big plays that turned this state play-in game into a laugher.
Yamamoto set up Sequim’s first score with a 39-yard romp through the heart of the Tiger defense. Two plays later, Catelli plunged in from 4 yards out.
On the next play from scrimmage, Catelli tipped Jordan Mezias’ pass attempt, caught his own tip and raced 25 yards to the end zone for six points.
After Sequim’s defense forced a Tiger three-plays-and-out, senior Preston McFarlen blocked a Tiger punt attempt at the 33-yard-line, picked it up and rambled another 5 yards for a score. Sequim led 22-0 just eight minutes into the game.
Yamamoto was the offensive star in the second quarter, scoring on runs of 10, 8 and 27 yards as the Wolves built a 42-0 lead with 5:52 left in the first half.
Washington had some fight left after that, getting a Mezias-to-George Bunn 6-yard touchdown pass play with 2:07 remaining in the first half.
As was customary for most of Sequim’s 2010 contests, Saturday night’s second half was about whittling down the clock, as the Wolves gave up a pair of Washington scores with lineups mixed with first- and second-string players.
But Saturday night’s affair didn’t come without a cost: The Wolves saw several players leave the game with injuries, including Catelli, McFarlen, Chris Dahl, Emilio Petere and others.
Catelli, the junior defensive end and quarterback, left in the first half with an apparent rib injury.
“We’ll do the best (next week) with who we have,” Wiker said.
Sequim plays a “home” playoff game against Burlington-Edison, the No. 4-seeded team from District 1, also back on North Kitsap’s artificial turf field.
The Tigers (7-3) are coming off a 43-12 win against Lakewood.
Last year, Sequim running back Travis Decker ran for 146 yards and three touchdowns for a 34-12 lead before the Tigers came roaring back, scoring 20 unanswered points. It took a Sequim goal-line stop on a Burlington-Edison two-point conversion to avoid overtime and put the Wolves into the state tourney quarterfinals.
There, Sequim lost to defending state champion Lynden, 31-0.
With a win this Saturday, the Wolves may get a chance at revenge, as Lynden’s Lions — ranked No. 2 in the state — or No. 3-ranked Tumwater loom in the 2010 tourney quarterfinals.
Port Angeles advances
Olympic Peninsula football fans got a treat Saturday in Poulsbo as the Port Angeles Roughriders got a late touchdown run from quarterback Keenen Walker to topple Sumner and advance to the first round of the class A state playoffs.
With the score tied at 21 apiece, Port Angeles (9-1) took advantage of a late-game Sumner special teams blunder and, with 47 seconds remaining, saw their junior quarterback scramble 5 yards into the end zone for a 8-1 win.
The Roughriders take on Interlake Saturday, after the Saints (3-8) knocked off Clover Park 54-35 last week.
Reach Michael Dashiell at firstname.lastname@example.org.