PREP FOOTBALL: Wolves run wild, Mustangs tamed in season openers
Two very different tales unfolded Friday as Chugiak and Eagle River got their 2018 high school football seasons underway.
In Houston, the Wolves broke things open in the second half to roll to a convincing nonconference win over the Hawks, while at Chugiak a young Mustangs squad found itself learning a brusing lesson against a determined East side.
WOLVES DEVOUR HAWKS
Division II Eagle River dominated Division III Houston at Houston High, turning an 8-0 halftime lead into a 42-12 blowout.
Senior quarterback Ryan Adkins accounted for five touchdowns for the Wolves, running for three and throwing for two more.
Bryson Rollman and Mason Piper caught touchdown passes for the Wolves (1-0 overall, 0-0 Northern Lights Conference), who also got a touchdown run from sophomore Ethan Baker.
“We played okay, we’ve still got a couple things to clean up,” said Wolves coach Bob Adkins.
Ryan Adkins went 8-for-12 passing for 167 yards for the Wolves, who piled up 171 yards rushing.
Eagle River will play a second straight Greatland Conference opponent Saturday, when they host Barrow at 2 p.m. at the Wolves’ Den. Adkins said he doesn’t know much about the Whalers, but he expects a battle.
“Last year they won the (Division III) championship, I know that,” he said. “We played them a couple years ago and they were big, so I’m assuming they will be again.”
Eagle River begins NLC play Aug. 25 at home against Kodiak. The Bears defeated Homer 56-15 on Friday. Defending NLC and Division II state champion Soldotna also played Friday, losing 18-13 to West in Soldotna to end the Stars’ 59-game winning streak.
Eagle River hosts Soldotna Sept. 8.
MUSTANGS FALL AT HOME
There’s a reason they’re called growing pains.
An inexperienced and outmatched Chugiak football team got a painful lesson Friday night at Tom Huffer Sr. Stadium, where a high-flying East squad handed the Mustangs a 47-0 nonconference loss on opening night of the 2018 prep football season.
“We need to start growing up, and hopefully this is the game that does that for us,” said Chugiak head coach Ryan Landers, whose head coaching debut was spoiled by a big, fast East team coached by fellow Chugiak grad Jeff Trotter.
East dominated in all facets of the game, rolling to a 27-0 lead after the first quarter and never looking back. The T-birds got four rushing touchdowns from Kalani Medeiros, one each from Shamir Staten and Kapono Medeiros and outgained Chugiak by more than 300 yards. East’s defense was as impressive as its offense, forcing five turnovers and allowing just 40 yards of total offense in a game that ended with a running clock due to the mercy rule. Colton Herman returned a fumble for a touchdown for East, which blocked a punt and got interceptions from Herman, Albert Timo and Ja’sem Atonio.
Landers said the tough night will hopefully pay dividends later in the season for Chugiak, which lost several key seniors from a team that went 9-1 last season and reached the state semifinals.
“It’s going to teach them a lesson in what it takes to be one of the best teams,” he said.
Chugiak had few highlights to speak of — the team didn’t gain a first down until the second half and didn’t have a scrimmage play longer than eight yards. Austin Harr had five carries for 20 yards to lead the Chugiak offense, while Tyler Huffer made two tackles for a loss to lead the defense.
The game was decided by the end of the first quarter, which featured touchdown runs from Staten and each of the Medeiros brothers as well as Herman’s 30-yard scoop-and-score.
“That’s a good team over there,” Landers said of the T-birds, which have 23 seniors on their roster and 17 listed at 250 pounds or more. The Mustangs have two.
The loss doesn’t hurt Chugiak in the standings, which plays in the Chugach Conference with Wasilla, Juneau-Thunder Mountain, Colony and Bartlett. The Mustangs (0-1 overall, 0-0 Chugach) open conference play Aug. 31 at home against Wasilla. East (1-0 overall, 0-0 Cook Inlet Conference) hosts nonconference Cesar Chavez High (Phoenix, Ariz.) next Friday at 6 p.m.
Trotter said he was pleased with the win but feels East has a lot of work left to do — especially after the team committed 14 penalties.
“The mental errors and penalties were atrocious,” said the 1992 Chugiak grad.
Trotter said he was happy with the end result.
“Our goal was to go 1-0 and we did that,” he said.
As for the Mustangs, Landers said the goal will be to learn from Friday’s blowout and return stronger for next Saturday’s showdown with Service.
“We’ll see what we’re made of,” he said.
Email Star editor Matt Tunseth at [email protected]
CORRECTION: This story has been altered from its original version, which misreported Houston’s score against Eagle River.
THUNDERBIRDS 47, MUSTANGS 0
East 27 7 13 0 — 47
Chugiak 0 0 0 0 — 0
East - Shamir Staten 21 run (Albert Timo kick), 6:02
East - Kapono Medeiros 4 run (Timo kick), 4:21
East - Colton Herman 30 fumble return (kick failed), 4:08
East - Kalani Medeiros 2 run (Timo kick), :29
East - Kal. Medeiros 3 run (Timo kick), 2:07
Kal. Medeiros - 12 run (kick failed), 6:00
Kal. Medeiros - 3 run (Timo kick), 1:50
First downs 4 17
Rushes-yds 21-31 43-255
Passing yards 9 105
Comp-att-int 2-13-3 4-8-0
Penalties 2-15 14-150
Return yards 0 117
Punts-avg 3-22.0 1-25.0
Fumbles-lost 6-2 1-1
RUSHING — Chugiak: Harr 5-20, Huffer 4-5, Carlson 2-4, Oshesky 9-3, Wilson 1-(-1). East: Kalani Medeiros 14-113, Staten 9-66, Kapono Medeiros 5-27, Vaiagae 6-14, Mamae 2-12, Herman -6, Timo 1-6, Oakley 1-3, Apineru 1-3, Baker 1-3, Atonio 1-2, Garcia 1-(-2).
PASSING — Chugiak: Wilson 1-9-1—7, Oshesky 1-4-2—2. East: Kap. Medeiros 3-7-0—85, Atonio 1-1-0—20.
RECEIVING — Chugiak: Huffer 2-9. East: Oakley 1-40, Williams 1037, Apineru 1-20, Jordan 1-8.
WOLVES 42, HAWKS 12
Friday, Houston High School
Eagle River — Baker 4 run (Hamilton kick) 6:15.
Eagle River — Adkins 1 run (Hamilton kick) 7:26.
Eagle River — Adkins 4 run (Hamilton kick) 1:55.
Eagle River — Adkins 1 run (Hamilton kick) 0:48.
Houston — O. Mulhaney 85 kickoff return (kick failed) 11:46.
Eagle River — Rollman 32 pass from Adkins (Hamilton kick) 6:03.
Eagle River — Piper 17 pass from Adkins (Hamilton kick) 8:59.
Houston — O. Mulhaney 14 pass from G. Mulhaney (run failed) 1:12.
RUSHING — Eagle River: Hamilton 8-33, Adkins 7-7, Williams 5-34, Cox 4-34, Baker 4-32, Sherman 2-36, Townsend 2-29; Houston: Sasiu 13-86, O. Mulhaney 10-25, G. Mulhaney 8-42, Fono 7-24, Croghan 2-4.
PASSING — Eagle River: Adkins 8-12-0—167; G. Mulhaney 2-3-0—28.
RECEIVING — Eagle River: Piper 3-43, Cox 3-42, Rollman 1-32, Pennington 1-5; Houston: O. Mulhaney 1-14, Sasiu 1-14.