Chugiak Mustangs trample South Wolverines
The Chugiak High Mustangs decisively defeated the South High Wolverines 27-12 at Anchorage Football Stadium Saturday, Aug. 29.
“I thought we came out a little flat, but overcame that throughout the game,” said head coach Roger Spackman. “Our defense had its best game of the year, and we did a lot of good things offensively. We did have three turnovers, which hurt, but the kids persevered. That is one trait about this team that I really like. They keep grinding, even if they aren’t playing great.”
After an early turnover that turned into a touchdown for South, the Mustangs (2-1, 2-0 Cook Inlet Conference) took control of the game and led 20-6 by the third quarter en route to their win over the Wolverines (0-3).
The Wolverines attacked Mustangs quarterback Ben Stewart in the first quarter, causing him to fumble the ball four times, with South recovering the ball twice. After one of the fumbles, South recovered the ball and ran in a 71-yard touchdown. Bryant White of Chugiak brought down the Wolverine kicker to keep South from scoring the extra point and South led 6-0 with 8:20 left in the first quarter.
The first quarter then had several penalties by the Mustangs and Wolverines, and a fumble by Stewart recovered by the Mustangs. Mustang running back Kenny Lee ran through the Wolverines’ defensive line to gain Chugiak a first down. Mustang Tevin Cormier had a huge run through traffic, jumping over a defender with a more than 30-yard run, only to have it called back due to a penalty.
Lee then pushed through for another Mustang first down. With an underhand pass to Mustang running back Karletty Faamatuainu by Stewart, he ran in a tough six yards through heavy Wolverine opposition.
“I told Karletty he won’t get any McDonald’s after the game if he doesn’t score a touchdown tonight,” Karletty’s father, Pasi Faamatuainu, who was watching, joked while discussing the play with this reporter.
A couple plays later, Stewart made a toss outside and was caught by Faamatuainu, who showed his power when he ran 25 yards for a first down. Stewart then threw a 22-yard pass to wide receiver Derryk Snell for a touchdown, tying the game 6-6. Mustang kicker Merrick Johnson was good on the extra point to give Chugiak the lead 7-6 with 4:52 in the first quarter.
During the second quarter, Faamatuainu made a great catch from Stewart to run in a 65-yard touchdown to guarantee he’d get that McDonald’s dinner. Family First Dentistry picked Faamatuainu as the player of the game.
In the third quarter, Faamatuainu had another big run for a Mustang first down, and Lee rushed in a touchdown with a handoff from Stewart with 4:46 left in the third quarter. Spackman decided to go for two points, which was shut down by the Wolverines, making it 20-6.
Late in the third quarter Chugiak gave South the third turnover of the game from downs. A player from South stiff armed on the run, until Mustang linebacker Noah Harris smashed the player to give South a third down. Wolverines were five yards away from goal and the Mustangs kept South from scoring a touchdown, shutting them down at their one-yard line. The Wolverines were forced to go for a field goal attempt, which was no good and kept the score 20-6.
During the fourth quarter, South scored one more touchdown, but failed to convert two points, making the score 20-12. The Mustangs scored a quick touchdown to remove any hope for the Wolverines to take the victory and tie West high school for first place in the Cook Inlet Conference.
The Chugiak Mustangs will face the West Eagles to decide who will stay in first place when they play at Chugiak Friday Sept. 4 at 7 p.m.
“West has an excellent program, which is a credit to Coach Davis and his staff,” Spackman said. “They always play tough and physical, coupled with a great passing game. They are always a challenge. We will need to play our best game to be successful.”