Home sweet homecoming as Mustangs stay undefeated
As Chugiak lined up for its first offensive play in Friday night’s homecoming football game against Kenai Central, Mustangs assistant coach Wayde Snell had a premonition.
“Touchdown,” said Snell, a former standout CHS linebacker who coaches special teams for the Mustangs. “Touchdown.”
On the ensuing play, Chugiak quarterback Hunter Harr lofted a perfect lob to Snell’s brother Derryk, who found himself all alone in the Kenai secondary. The younger Snell caught the ball in stride and rumbled 58 yards to the end zone for the first of his five touchdowns in the Mustangs’ dominant 48-0 nonconference win over the Kardinals at Tom Huffer Sr. Stadium.
Afterward, Chugiak’s star said his brother must have known offensive coordinator Ryan Landers had the right play called. Then again, it could have just been brotherly love.
“He’s my brother, so he wants me to score on every play,” said Snell, who caught four passes for 103 yards and three touchdowns and ran for 90 yards on six carries — two for scores.
Snell didn’t score on every play, but he came pretty close. The defending Alaska Offensive Player of the Year found the end zone on half of his offensive touches and also recovered a fumble for a Chugiak defense that allowed just nine first downs and 121 yards of total offense. And, just for good measure, he also returned a punt 71 yards.
Afterward, Snell tried to shrug off his latest jaw-dropping performance.
“I’ve gotta make those plays, that’s my job,” he said.
Division II Kenai put up little resistance against the undefeated Division I Mustangs. Snell scored three times in the first quarter, twice on passes from Harr, who was a sparkling 8-for-9 with four touchdowns, no interceptions and 164 yards passing. Chugiak scored twice off Kenai turnovers in the opening 12 minutes, including a Ramal Maad interception and a fumble receovery by Snell, who ripped the ball away from Kenai running back Rykker Riddall in midstride.
Maad had two interceptions for the Mustangs, who also got a pick by Ace Chapple and a fumble recovery by Steven Parsons.
Titus Riddall ran for 51 yards for Kenai, which was outgained 449-121 on offense.
Ty Carlos caught an 8-yard touchdown pass from Harr midway through the second quarter, and Harr’s fourth scoring pass of the half — a 12-yard strike to Snell — gave Chugiak a 34-0 halftime lead.
Snell touched the ball just once in the second half, but that was all he’d need, breaking a 52-yard run early in the third quarter that made it 41-0. Chase Wedel added a 9-yard touchdown run early in the fourth quarter, which was played with a running clock due to the mercy rule.
Chugiak improved to 6-0 on the season. The Mustangs are 2-0 in the Railbelt Conference, with conference games remaining Friday, Sept. 22 at Wasilla and the season finale at home Sept. 28 against unbeaten Colony. Kenai dropped to 3-3 overall. The Kardinals are 1-1 in the Northern Lights Conference, with home conference games left Saturday, Sept. 23 against Palmer and Saturday, Sept. 30 against Soldotna.
Chugiak head coach Roger Spackman said he was happy with how his team played, but said the Mustangs still have some things to work on. The team committed 15 penalties Friday night — a number Spackman said is far too high.
“We’ve got to get some of that cleaned up,” he said.
With Chugiak’s most important games of the season now looming, Spackman said his team can’t afford to rest on its laurels.
“Every game’s important going down to the end,” he said.
Snell agreed. He said the Mustangs have to work even harder now that they’re in position to make a playoff run.
“We’ve got to be locked in on everything,” he said.
Email Star editor Matt Tunseth at [email protected]
MUSTANGS 48, KARDINALS 0
Chu — Derryk Snell 58 pass from Hunter Harr (Blake Dearborn kick), 9:05
Chu — Snell 24 pass from Hunter Harr (kick failed), 1:25
Chu — Snell 4 run (Thomas Sitz kick), 0:31
Chu — Ty Carlos 8 pass from Hunter Harr (Dearborn kick), 6:02
Chu — Snell 12 pass from Hunter Harr (Cameron Peck kick), 1:45
Chu — Snell 52 run (Sitz kick), 10:06
Chu — Chase Wedel 9 run (Dearborn kick), 11:18
First downs 18 9
Rushes-yards 35-285 29-95
Passing yards 164 26
Comp-att-int 8-11-0 3-12-3
Punts-avg 1-41.0 4-27.2
Fumbles-lost 0-0 3-2
Penalties-yards 15-140 1-5
Return yards 125 0
RUSHING — Chugiak: Derryk Snell 6-90, Tyler Huffer 13-55, Ramal Maad 3-50, Kenny Sisson 2-46, Chase Wedel 4-25, Hunter Harr 3-10, Aaron Tomosoulo 1-9, Terry Park 1-5, Austin Harr 1-(-2), Jacob Oshesky 1-(-3). Kenai: Titus Riddall 8-51, Rykker Riddall 8-24, Tyrone McEnerney 5-15, Jakob O’Brien 2-9, Zack Tuttle 1-2, Seth Kruse 2-1, Connor Felchle 3-(-7).
PASSING — Chugiak: Hunter Harr 8-9-0—164, Aaron Tomosoulo 0-2-0—0. Kenai: Connor Felchle 3-12-3—26.
RECEIVING — Chugiak: Derryk Snell 4-103, Ty Carlos 2-25, Ramal Maad 1-19, Terry Park 1-17. Kenai: Logan Baker 1-11, Rykker Riddall 1-8, Jakob O’Brien 1-7.