Chugiak football takes care of business in first-round rout of Service
Not this time.
Chugiak avenged a first-round upset to Service in last year’s playoffs with a dominant 63-27 win over the Cougars Friday night at Tom Huffer Sr. Stadium.
“Our team is a family,” said Chugiak defensive lineman Matt Davis. “We’re one.”
After a wild first half that saw Chugiak give up a number of big plays while taking a 42-27 lead, Davis said the defense came together at halftime.
“We met in the locker room and we discussed what we had to do and we just became one again,” he said. “We have a saying where it’s a closed fist for family. We were open the first half, but when we went into the locker room we slowly became one.”
Derryk Snell opened the scoring in typically dramatic fashion, returning a Cougars punt 73 yards for a score less than three minutes into the game. The Railbelt Conference Offensive Player of the Year scored twice Friday, giving him 33 touchdowns in nine games this season.
But it wasn’t just Snell lighting up the scoreboard. The Mustangs (9-0) got two rushing touchdowns from Austin Harr and another from Tyler Huffer, while quarterback Hunter Harr ran for one score and threw for three more — two to Ramal Maad and one to Ty Carlos.
Just like last year, Chugiak entered the game as the No. 1 seed from the Railbelt against the No. 4 Cook Inlet Conference Cougars. Davis admitted last year’s crushing 54-42 loss was in the back of Chugiak’s minds in the first half.
“It was just sitting there,” he said.
Chugiak head coach Roger Spackman said it was clear his team was skittish in the early going against the upset-minded Cougars.
“The kids started pressing,” he said.
Zjhandon Jackson scored two touchdowns for Service, which finished 3-6 overall. Spackman credited the Cougars’ offensive attack with creating problems for his defense in the first half.
“They took it to us,” he said.
Fortunately, the early defensive lapses didn’t matter, as Chugiak’s offense was beyond dominant. The Mustangs averaged nearly nine yards per play, never punted and scored touchdowns on eight of their first 36 scrimmage plays — a rate of one touchdown every 4.5 snaps.
“This was our best offensive game of the season,” said Spackman, whose team is averaging 44 points per game this season.
With the offensive line opening up massive holes and giving Hunter Harr plenty of time to throw, Chugiak seemed to score nearly at will. Harr was 9-for-13 for 158 yards through the air, hitting six different receivers while leading a balanced Mustang ground attack that piled up 182 yards on just 26 carries.
Chugiak will face Bartlett at 7 p.m. Friday, Oct. 13 with a berth in the state championship game on the line. The Mustangs didn’t play Bartlett this season. The Golden Bears advanced to the semifinals with a 55-25 win over Lathrop on Saturday, Oct. 10 at Bartlett High.
Although just one win stands between the Mustangs and a trip to the state title game, Davis said Chugiak won’t take its next opponent lightly.
“We won’t look past this next week,” he said.
MUSTANGS 63, COUGARS 27
Chugiak 21 21 21 0 — 63
Service 7 20 0 0 — 27
Chu — Snell 73 punt return (Sitz kick), 9:42
Chu — A. Harr 10 run (Sitz kick), 7:52
Ser — Jackson 10 pass from Villanueva-Kaeo (Williams kick), 5:23
Chu — Carlos 24 pass from H. Harr (Sitz kick), 3:47
Ser — Jackson 1 run (kick missed), 11:57
Chu — Snell 3 run (Sitz kick), 9:52
Ser — Hogan 8 pass from Villanueva-Kaeo (pass failed), 6:47
Chu — H. Harr 12 run (Sitz kick), 5:19
Ser — Harris 16 pass from Helgeson (Harris run), 31.4
Chu — Maad 18 pass from H. Harr (Sitz kick), :13.2
Chu — A. Harr 13 run (Sitz kick), 8:57
Chu — Huffer 23 run (Sitz kick), 7:03
Chu — Maad 17 pass from H. Harr (Sitz kick), :2.7
First downs 17 21
Passing yards 161 169
Rushes-yards 26-182 37-191
Comp-att-int 10-14-0 15-26-1
Penalties-yards 3-25 6-65
Fumbles-lost 2-1 2-2
Punts-avg. 0-0 2-29.0
Return yards 85 10
RUSHING — Chugiak: Snell 9-80, A. Harr 6-38, Huffer 2-32, H. Harr 4-22, Maad 2-8, Jones 2-1, Stover 1-1. Service: Wade 16-93, Faulkner 5-48, Harris 5-28, Villanueva-Kaeo 6-15, No. 40 1-5, Jackson 4-2.
PASSING — Chugiak: H. Harr 9-13-0—158, Tomasuolo 1-1-0—3. Service: Villanueva-Kaeo 15-25-1—169, Harris 0-1-0—0.
RECEIVING — Chugiak: Maad 3-66, Snell 2-42, Carlos 2-34, Wilson 1-15, Huffer 1-3, Jones 1-1. Service: Guevarra 4-37, Harris 3-34, Jackson 2-49, Faulkner 2-18, Hogan 2-9, No. 40 1-13, Wade 1-9.