Saturday, November 4, 2017

2017 Football Game 10 - Fife 62, Sequim 26

Gavin Velarde played in his final game for Sequim Friday night.  He scored 339 career points, including 55 touchdowns - 28 scoring receptions, 14 TD rushes, 7 kickoff returns, 5 interception returns, 5 extra point kicks, a pair of 2-point conversions and 1 punt return. Velarde had 135 catches for 2,331 yards and 125 carries for 778 yards. 

(Fife) -  The season is over for the Sequim Wolves football team and the Fife Trojans go to the state playoffs for an opening round matchup next week with the Liberty Patriots.

Fife 62, Sequim 26.

Yet the scoreboard never tells the full story.

It took an avalanche of four Trojan touchdowns in the final 12:17 to make the score lopsided, but Sequim stood toe-to-toe with their state-ranked hosts on a dry, cold 36-degree night in Pierce County.

Sequim (6-4) tallied off the opening kickoff in three plays, all 67 yards on the ground by senior running back Hayden Gresli, who bounced around right end to pay dirt from 14 yards just 1:09 into the game, making it 7-0 after Byron Rice kicked the PAT.

It took Fife 6 minutes and 37 seconds to knot it up, rallied by a fake punt inside run on a 4th-and-5 from the Sequim 48 that Nic Teddy carried for 8 yards.

On the 13th play from the Wolves 8, Day'Jon Brooks carried over the left side, but was blasted by Sequim senior Gavin Velarde at the 1, causing a fumble into the end zone that was recovered by the Trojans' 6'6, 330-pound tackle MJ Ale for the tying touchdown at 7-all with 4:04 to go in the opening period.

Sequim continued to move the ball on an 8-play, 65-yard series, boosted by a 20-yard pass to Taig Wiker and a 24-yard Riley Cowan quarterback keeper that advanced the ball to the Fife 11.

Two snaps later, Velarde took a quick flare on the right side, pivoted on a dime to drop two defenders at the 9 and jaunted into the end zone.

Velarde was stopped short on the two-point attempt, leaving it 13-7 Wolves with 1:20 left in the opening frame.

Fife was back ahead in two plays after Lavelle Alexander got loose for a 48-yard touchdown scamper and the Trojans were ahead 14-13 with 46 seconds left.

The hosts seized the initiative after four consecutive Sequim three-and-out possessions in the second quarter that led to 3 Trojan touchdowns.

Gannon Ginnis ripped off a 40-yard gain on a power sweep to the Wolves 25 and Alexander tallied the second of his three TDs from the 8 with 9:26 left in the half, putting Fife up 21-13.

In a one-play drive, Ginnis went 66 yards for another score, cutting back inside from a sweep right that extended the Fife advantage to 28-13 with 4:02 remaining.

Ginnis returned a punt 40 yards to the Sequim 21, setting up his 19-yard touchdown reception from Falani Jennings with 1:39 before intermission that increased the Fife lead to 36-13.

Ginnis had 108 yards on just 6 carries.

It was Jennings' only completion of the game out of 4 attempts.

Sequim answered with a 5-play, 63-yard series, a 14-yard keeper by quarterback Riley Cowan, a 5-yard pass to Taig Wiker, a 15-yard roughing-the-passer penalty on the Trojans, a 16-yard pass to Velarde, a 10-yard pass to Michael Young and a 12-yard TD pass to Kyler Rollness with 15 seconds left, chopping the Fife lead to 36-19.

The Wolves managed to avoid giving up another TD after allowing Ginnis to return the ensuing kickoff 48 yards to the Sequim 25. 

With just 3 seconds left on the clock, Sequim's Austin Newton sacked Jennings to end the half.

Sequim stopped Fife's first drive of the second half on a turnover on downs at the Wolves 24.

A 10-play, 76-yard Sequim series was highlighted by a 35-yard Cowan screen pass to Kyler Rollness to the Fife 4.

The Wolves pulled within 10 at 36-26 with 2:30 left in the third quarter on a rainbow Cowan TD pass to Velarde off a post-corner on the right side of the end zone.

Cowan, a junior, completed 16 of his 32 passes for 149 yards and 3TDs with 2 interceptions.

Velarde finished his outstanding prep football career  with 4 catches for 38 yards and two scores.

Fife's Alexander got his third TD, an 8-yarder with 17 seconds left in the third stanza, pushing the Trojans ahead 43-26.

Alexander carried 14 times for 165 yards.

Things spiraled quickly out of control and Fife blew the game open in the following minutes.

On the next snap, a Cowan pass glanced out of Taig Wiker's hands and was intercepted by Fife's Gavin Knapp and returned 23 yards to the Sequim 9.

Jennings scored two plays later from the 8 and the Trojans forged ahead 49-26 after a blocked PAT kick at the 11:07 mark of the fourth period.

It went from bad to worse for the Wolves on the next snap after Fife's Eli Graham jumped in front of Michael Young on a curl pattern and made an diving interception of Cowan at the Sequim 43 with 10:50 to go.

Four plays later, the bulge increased to 55-26 after Day'Jon Brooks 5-yard TD with 8:49 left.

The final Trojans score was a 19-yard slalom by Kacey Kuehn with 4:10 remaining.

Fife (9-1) will meet the Liberty Patriots in the first round of the state playoffs next week.

Sequim finished the season with a 6-4 record in coach Erik Wiker's 14th season.

Game Notes

The game marked the final prep football appearances for Sequim senior football players Cody Bell, Tyler Conn, Adam DeFillippo, Nick Ellison, Hayden Gresli, Julian Hernandez, Mason Larsen, Ben Newell, Chris Puksta, Byron Rice, Gavin Velarde and Cameron Welcher.  It was also the final game for managers Breelyn Bennett, Miriel Cawyer, Jessica Dominquez and cheerleaders Jessica Lato and Abby Norman.

Sequim got a lateral back to Gavin Velarde on Fife's final kickoff, a last chance for the senior to tie the state record for career kickoff return touchdowns.   He was chopped down near the 50-yard-line.  Almost all opponents avoided kicking to Velarde this season.

Kickoff Return Touchdowns—Career

Jordan Todd, Interlake                 2009-2011    8 TD       33 gms.

Gavin Velarde, Sequim                2014-2017    7 TD       33 gms.

Tom Craven, Cle Elum-Roslyn   1986-1989    7 TD        39 gms.

Ty Poole, Kittitas                         2009-2012    7 TD        40 gms.

Mark Hall, Elma                           1980-1982    6 TD        31 gms.

Ted Craven, Cle Elum-Roslyn   1994-1997     6 TD        37 gms.

Cody Johnson, Newport            2000-2002     6 TD        26 gms.

Mike Thompson, Adna               2010-2013     6 TD        47 gms.

Scoring by Quarters

Seq - 13 06 07 00 -- 26
Fife - 14 22 07 19 -- 62

Scoring Summary

1st Quarter

Seq - Hayden Gresli 14 run (Byron Rice kick) 10:51 (Seq 7-0)

Fife - MJ Ale recovered fumble in end zone (Gabe Duenas kick) 4:04 (Tie 7-7)

Seq - Gavin Velarde 9 pass from Riley Cowan (run failed) 1:20 (Seq 13-7)

Fife - Lavelle Alexander 48 run (Duenas kick) :46 (Fife 14-13)

2nd Quarter

Fife - Lavelle Alexander 8 run (Duenas kick) 9:26 (Fife 21-13)

Fife - Gannon Ginnis 66 run (Duenas kick) 3:48 (Fife 28-13)

Fife - Gannon Ginnis 19 pass from Falani Jennings (Jennings run) 1:39 (Fife 36-13)

Seq - Kyler Rollness 12 pass from Riley Cowan (pass failed) :15 (Fife 36-19)

3rd Quarter

Seq - Gavin Velarde 10 pass from Riley Cowan (Rice kick) 2:30 (Fife 36-26)

Fife - Lavelle Alexander 2 run (Duenas kick) :17 (Fife 43-26)

4th Quarter

Fife - Falani Jennings 8 run (kick blocked) 11:07 (Fife 49-26)

Fife - Day'Jon Brooks 5 run (run failed) 8:49 (Fife 55-26)

Fife - Kacey Kuehn 19 run (Duenas kick) 4:10 (Fife 62-26)

Individual Statistics


Seq -- Kyler Rollness 1-1, Riley Cowan 4-36, Hayden Gresli 11-56-1TD.

Fife - Day'Jon Brooks 5-24-1TD, Lavelle Alexander 14-165-3TD, Falani Jennings 6-15, Dom Hernandez 9-62, Gannon Ginnis 6-108-1TD, Nic Teddy 1-8, Trey Brown 1-13, Matt Schwaerzler 2-0, Teigan Jansen 2-6, Kacey Kuehn 2-23-1TD, Junior Faualo 2-6.


Seq - Riley Cowan 16-32-149-3TD-2INT.

Fife - Falani Jennings 1-4-19-1TD.


Seq - Gavin Velarde 4-38-2TD, Kyler Rollness 5-63-1TD, Taig Wiker 3-29, Michael Young 2-15, Hayden Gresli 2-4.

Fife - Gannon Ginnis 1-19-1TD.

Team Statistics


Seq - 16-93-1TD

Fife - 50-430-7TD


Seq - 16-32-149-3TD-2INT

Fife - 1-4-19-1TD

Total Yards

Seq - 48-242 

Fife - 54-449


Seq -- 5-50

Fife - 8-80

Had Intercepted

Seq -- 2

Fife - 0

Fumbles Lost

Seq -- 0

Fife - 0


Seq -- 4 (2 INT, 2 TOD)

Fife - 1 (TOD)