PIERRE LaBOSSIERE CHRONICLE: It was a game for the ages at Civic Field


I told Sequim coach Erik Wiker and Port Angeles coach Dustin Clark that Friday night’s Rainshadow Rumble was the best high school football game I’d covered in years.

And it was the truth. It really was.

The only game I could think of that even came close to Sequim’s electrifying 36-32 victory was a State 1B semifinal game in freezing rain and wind in Everett between Lummi and Neah Bay. It was a thrilling game in horrible conditions that came down to an overhand pass from Lummi just missing a wide open receiver. I actually covered this game from a storage room with windows facing the pitch as it was the only room available that was sheltered from the wind and rain.

I had never covered a game with such wild swings. The Roughriders seemed sure they would run away with the game after taking a 20-0 lead. Parker Nickerson threw one of the best deep balls I’ve ever seen, throwing it 50 yards to complete a pass perfectly on the heels to Jason Hawes, who was covered but had a step on his defender.

This was followed by a spectacular catch from Sequim’s Isaiah Moore, who kept throwing the ball back to himself as he fell/was tackled in the end zone. Somehow he made it up.

Wiker told me afterwards that he knew Sequim might return. Honestly, after that hold of Moore, I felt it too, even though Port Angeles still held a 13-point lead. Sequim had controlled the ball and the clock throughout the game. In the end, that was the difference as the Port Angeles defense simply couldn’t get Wolves off the field. The Riders got a massive dose of Aiden Gockerell throughout the game, and he seemed to be snatching 7- and 8-yard runs at will all night.

After Nickerson got injured, I thought the Riders might crumble without their experienced quarterback, but in fact they rallied – not once, but twice – with Kason Albaugh doing much of their dirty work. inside and sophomore quarterback Brandt Perry making a pair of great passes to Blake Sohlberg.

I ended my story by saying that the team that had the ball last won, and I believe it. Port Angeles ran out of clock at the end. I was going to feel sorry for the team that lost. It was a game neither team deserved to lose. Both teams had much to be proud of.

It was the kind of game as a sportswriter you hope you can write every time you walk into a press box or a gym. Let’s face it, at the high school level, most games aren’t that close. Most matches are hard fought with critical plays here and there, but they rarely come down to the final seconds or end game. It’s not the NFL where the salary cap keeps everything equal.

It was the kind of game where I sat down at the keyboard after making myself a cup of coffee and was like, “Wow…where do I start?”

Jayden Love

You never want to see injured children, especially serious injuries. It was heartbreaking for Quilcene Rangers, who lost their match 44-38 to Entiat. I said to coach Trey Beathard, “Looks like it was a really good game…” Then I felt pretty stupid when I was told that really wasn’t the case, and the quarterback Jayden Love lost a broken leg.

This is part of the risks of sport, especially a contact sport like football. It’s part of the game, but I wish there was a way to get away with it. These kids aren’t getting a big paycheck yet while they’re in rehab. They play for the love of the sport. You hope Love is doing well for next year; you hope Nickerson is okay.


Sportswriter Pierre LaBossière can be contacted at [email protected]


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