|Sequim Coach Erik Wiker points to the scoreboard after his team beat Centralia 28-14.|
(Centralia) -- A newly installed Sequim defense stymied Centralia Friday night as the visiting Wolves knocked off the previously unbeaten Tigers 28-14.
Coach Erik Wiker and staff installed a base 4-4 defense in practice sessions this week after allowing more than 500 rushing yards last Friday against Montesano.
The defensive changes proved successful as Sequim held Centralia to negative rushing yards for the evening, allowing 308 total yards and kept the Tigers off the scoreboard in the second half.
Quick Centralia start
The Evergreen Conference Tigers (2-1) scored on the game's fourth scrimmage play when speedy Jose Pineda eluded defenders on a screen pass from quarterback Joey Aliff and steamed 55 yards up the right sideline and a Centralia 6-0 lead.
Aliff connected on 20 of his 37 passes for 328 yards and a score, but threw 3 interceptions.
Sequim held Centralia to three plays and out on two consecutive possessions.
The Wolves got excellent field position after a Gavin Velarde punt return to the Tigers 39.
Wolves strike back
The Wolves (2-1) took the lead 7-6 with 5:12 to go in the opening quarter after Keeshawn Whitney scored from 8 yards for the first of his 2 rushing touchdowns.
The Wolves increased their advantage to 13-6 on a 30-yard Whitney touchdown rumble, just a play into the second quarter.
Whitney left the contest with 77 yards on 10 carries after turning an ankle.
Centralia answered with a 9-play, 80-yard balanced march, highlighted by a 33-yard Aliff to Pineda pass play to the Sequim 3.
Pineda scored the touchdown a play later and Centralia took back the lead 14-13 with 8:12 left in the first half.
Pineda was held to 2 yards on 4 carries rushing, but caught 6 passes for 121 yards and a score.
Big defensive plays in second quarter
The rest of the first half hinged on big defensive plays by each side.
A Pineda 35-yard interception return of Sequim quarterback Riley Cowan put Centralia into Wolves territory at the 38-yard line.
Five plays later, Sequim's Kyler Rollness, a 5-foot-6 sophomore, wrestled a touchdown out of the hands of Centralia's 6-foot-3 junior Jordan Thomas in the end zone for the defensive stop of the game.
Sequim marched 66 yards to the Centralia 14 in the final moments before intermission. With 31 seconds left, Cowan threw to Velarde near the right goal line pylon, but Thomas sliced in for a diving interception to kill the Wolves drive at the 1.
Cowan completed 10 of his 18 passes for 96 yards with 2 interceptions and gained 45 yards rushing on 7 scrambles.
Velarde caught 6 passes for 33 yards.
Wolves shut out Tigers in second half
In the third quarter, Centralia threatened the Sequim red zone after a 32-yard Aliff pass to Cale Shute put the ball at the Wolves 5.
Shute had 147 receiving yards on 8 catches.
The Wolves defense stiffened and Aliff threw an incompletion on 4th-and-Goal from the Sequim 3.
A 13-play, 97-yard drive, highlighted by a 45-yard Cowan spiral to Rollness that moved the ball to midfield, put Sequim in control.
Tyler Conn got the touchdown from 6 yards and ran in the two point conversion as Sequim was ahead to stay 21-14 with 21 seconds left in the third quarter.
Bad snaps from center killed Centralia in the fourth quarter. One of them resulted in a 5-yard loss on a 4th-and-9 from the Tiger 43 that turned the ball over on downs to Sequim.
The Wolves smelled blood and Conn rammed the ball 38 yards in 3 plays into the Centralia end zone (8 yd TD), blasting Sequim ahead 28-14 with 8:52 remaining.
Conn finished with 99 yards on 21 carries.
James Thayer and Payton Glasser made fourth quarter interceptions for Sequim to help keep the Tigers off the scoreboard in the final 32 minutes.
Coach Erik Wiker got his first ever victory over Centralia Friday. The Wolves had lost to the Tigers 20-14 in 2008 at Tumwater in a playoff game and 34-28 in overtime at home in 2014.
Centralia opened the season with 2 non-league wins against the Longview high schools, 34-21 against R.A. Long and 35-14 versus Mark Morris.
Sequim will be on the road at Bremerton next Friday for an Olympic League opener, while Centralia hosts the Kelso Hilanders for a non-leaguer at Tiger Stadium.
Scoring by Quarters:
Seq - 7 6 8 7 - 28
Cen - 6 8 0 0 - 14
Cen - Jose Pineda 55 yd pass from Jose Aliff (kick failed) 9:47
Seq - Keeshawn Whitney 8 yd run (Riley Cowan kick) 5:12
Seq - Keeshawn Whitney 30 yd run (kick failed) 11:52
Cen - Jose Pineda 3 yd run (Pineda from Aliff pass) 8:12
Seq - Tyler Conn 6 yd run (Conn run) :21
Seq - Tyler Conn 8 yd run (Cowan kick) 8:52
Sequim - Riley Cowan 7-45, Keeshawn Whitney 10-77-2TD, Gavin Velarde 6-34, Tyler Conn 21-99-2TD, Hayden Gresli 1-4.
Centralia - Derek VanDeLaarschot 4-5, Jose Pineda 4-2, Joey Aliff 7-(-30), Nathan Yahn 2-3.
Sequim - Riley Cowan 10 for 18, 96 yards, 2INT.
Centralia - Joey Aliff 20 for 37, 328 yards, 1TD, 3INT.
Sequim - Gavin Velarde 6-33, Payton Glasser 2-17, Kyler Rollness 2-46.
Centralia - Cale Shute 8-147, Jose Pineda 6-121-1TD, Nathan Yahn 2-6, Jordan Thomas 1-7, Layne Pertzborn 2-40, Derek Van DeLaarschot 1-7.
Sequim - 45-259-4TD
Centralia - 17-(-20)-1TD
Sequim - 10-18, 96 yards, 2INT.
Centralia - 20-37, 328 yards, 1TD, 3INT
Sequim - 63-355-5.6 avg
Centralia - 54-308-5.7 avg
Sequim - 4-21
Centralia - 4-40
Sequim - 2
Centralia - 3
Sequim - 0
Centralia - 0
Sequim - 2
Centralia - 3