Through the rain and the mud and six losses to start the season, Sequim coach Erik Wiker found a proverbial silver lining for his Wolves on Friday night.
Well, two, really: Homecoming and the Rainshadow Rumble.
"Those are two games that are really good to win," Wiker said.
Playing in a downpour at Port Angeles Civic Field on Friday, the Wolves wore down an injury-plagued and beleaguered Roughrider squad 34-7, keeping the Riders winless and providing some positive strides in a difficult season for the league's reigning champs.
"We tried hard and didn't give up," Sequim lineman Alex Serrano said. "It always feels good to beat P.A."
Sequim (2-4 in Olympic League play, 2-6 overall) got three second-half touchdown runs from Lopaka Yasumura and held the Riders to just under 100 yards from scrimmage.
But the game was still in question midway through the quarter, when Nathan Angevine took a handoff 20 yards for a score on fourth down that trimmed Sequim's lead to 14-7.
After that, it was all Sequim. The Wolves marched down the field with a six-play drive that Yasumura emphatically stamped with a 55-yard romp and touchdown; Sequim led 22-7.
After forcing a Port Angeles punt, Sequim pieced together another long drive that Yasumura capped from 9 yards out.
Wiker credited his team's offensive and defensive lines with dictating the play, particularly from linemen Alex and Fred Serrano and Jared McMinn.
"Last week they started dominating (and) started getting continuity," Wiker said.
With Port Angeles unable to run sweep plays thanks to the wet conditions, Sequim bottled up their running backs, while SHS running back Yasumura and quarterback Jack Wiker ran roughshod over the host Rider linebackers and secondary.
Jack Wiker finished with 123 yards and a touchdown.
Christian Miles had a key interception near the end of the first half. With Sequim up 6-0, Miles picked off Port Angeles QB Larsson Chapman's pass and returned it to the Rider 20-yard-line. Three plays later, Wiker found Brett Wright for a score down the right sideline, and Sequim had a 14-0 lead at halftime.
"We blitzed way less because our defensive line could control the line of scrimmage and we could cover," Erik Wiker said.
It's Sequim's fifth consecutive win against Port Angeles. The Wolves have won all three Rainshadow Rumble games, the name given to the cross-peninsula rivalry game since Port Angeles joined Sequim in the Olympic League's 2A classification.
Going south to North Mason
It's a familiar foe in week five as Sequim travels to Belfair to take on league rival North Mason in the 2012 season finale.
The Bulldogs (3-3 in league, 4-4 overall) are coming off a 27-21 road victory at Klahowya.
Tommy Renne is the Bulldogs' top rusher, backed ably by Brody Stromberg and Tommy Marsh. Matt Becker is the quarterback for the predominantly run-first North Mason offense.
"They (North Mason) are a hard-nosed team," Erik Wiker said. "They've got big linemen and linebackers."
Last season, Sequim crushed North Mason in Sequim, 48-20.
The Bulldogs haven't beaten the Wolves since 2000, when Sequim went 0-9.
Reach Michael Dashiell at firstname.lastname@example.org.