If Sequim wants another league title, someone's going to have to knock off the Sentinels.
Steilacoom, the Associated Press' No. 9 team in 2A rankings, showed Friday night why they're a favorite to end
Sequim's string of four league titles.
Sentinel quarterback Greg Herd ran for 118 yards and two scores and threw for another to lead Steilacoom to a 35-21 comeback win in Sequim Sept. 26.
"We knew we had to stop big plays and tonight we didn't stop enough of them," Sequim coach Erik Wiker said.
The Wolves had a 14-6 lead at halftime but saw it evaporate swiftly in one play. On a third down-and-7, Herd scrambled for time, then found an open Phil Puccino from 30 yards out for the touchdown.
Herd added a 61-yard touchdown run later in the quarter, and though the Wolves were able to even the score later in the quarter - aided by a Steilacoom penalty negating an interception - the Sentinels dominated late.
"If he (Herd) doesn't get hit, he's real fast," Wiker said. "He's a really good athlete, he's been a starter for four years, he has good composure, knows what he's doing, played in some big games. They think it's their year, they believe it's their year. They wanted it more than us. And our guys, I don't know."
Behind and a punt pinning Sequim on the Wolves' own 2 and the strong running of Jordan Flynn, the Sentinels pulled ahead midway through the fourth quarter. Herd's four-yard run gave Steilacoom a 28-21 lead.
Sequim looked to tie the game one more time, but Drew Peters sacked Sequim quarterback Drew Rickerson and stuffed a Brad Woolf carry. On third-and-18, Sequim fumbled at the Wolf 27. Kris Ortiz picked up the loose ball and ran it in for the decisive score.
The Wolves looked poised to upset the Sentinels after one half of play. Travis Decker, who led Sequim with 101 rushing yards, capped an 11-play opening drive with a four-yard plunge. After Steilacoom closed to 7-6 in the second quarter, Decker found the end zone once again with two minutes left in the first half.
But Steilacoom's tough, run-stuffing defense and Herd's athleticism proved too much in the end. Steilacoom out-gained the Wolves in total yardage, 364-250.
Sequim lost a league contest for the first time since Sept. 26, 2003, when they lost 51-6 to (guess who) the Steilacoom Sentinels. Since then, Sequim reeled off 26 consecutive league wins.
To start another winning streak, the Wolves will have to take down a Klahowya team that gave them fits last year. Though the Eagles (0-1 in league, 2-2 overall) lost to North Mason last week, they lost two games to Sequim by a combined seven points.
Sequim hosts Klahowya, then travels to North Mason Oct. 10.
"I think this team is going to bounce back," Wiker said. "I think they're going to refocus."
SHS football hosts
Supporters of the Sequim High football team host a community food drive on Oct. 3, during the Olympic League match-up pitting Sequim against Klahowya. Donations should be nonperishable foods and other household items, including cleaning and personal hygiene products. Financial contributions can be made as well. Donations go to the Sequim Food Bank.