PREP FOOTBALL: Wolves blast Barrow to remain undefeated
Warm-ups are over.
After their second straight rout of a Division III opponent, the Eagle River Wolves football team will face their first major hurdle of the season Saturday, Aug. 25 when Northern Lights Conference foe Kodiak visits town for homecoming at the Wolves’ Den in Eagle River.
“This was just a step along the way,” said Eagle River head coach Bob Adkins after his team thrashed defending Alaska Division III champion Barrow 50-3 in a nonconference clash Saturday afternoon in Eagle River.
Adkins said Kodiak will be a big step up for his team, which defeated Houston 42-12 in Week 1 but hasn’t yet played a D-II opponent.
“Those guys are good,” he said of the Bears (1-1), which lost 44-30 to Division I Wasilla on Friday.
Adkins’s squad isn’t too shabby, either. The Wolves ended the Whalers’ seven-game winning streak Saturday with a combination of high-flying offense and lock-down defense, outgaining Barrow by nearly 300 yards and forcing a running clock for much of the second half.
Senior quarterback Ryan Adkins again led the way for the Wolves, going 7-for-8 for 189 and four touchdowns, including two to Quanard Cox and one each to Mason Piper and TIm Pennington. Justice Townsend, Andrew Hamilton and Quinton Jackson had touchdown runs for Eagle River, whose running-back-by-committee averaged 6.3 yards per carry. Kobe Sherman had 42 yards on five carries for Eagle River, which had positive rushing yards from eight different players.
On a drizzly day at the Wolves’ Den, Eagle River got on the board in lightning fast fashion as Adkins hit Cox for a 51-yard strike less than two minutes into the game. The rout was on after that, with Townsend and Hamilton posting back-to-back 7-yard runs to make it 22-0 after the first quarter.
Eagle River’s defense may have been even more impressive. The Wolves harried Barrow quarterback Anthony Fruean all game, sacking the 6-foot-4, 230-pound junior four times and picking him off twice. Cox and Piper had interceptions for the Wolves, who held the Whalers to 67 total yards and posted 12 tackles for a loss.
“We want to set the bar higher and higher as we go,” said Wolves junior linebacker Josh Tripp.
Eagle River has never had a winning season, nor has the team ever reached the state playoffs. In order for that to happen this season, they’ll have to finish in the top two spots in a conference that also includes traditional Peninsula powers Soldotna and Kenai Central.
But in contrast to past Wolves squads, Tripp said this year’s bunch has a bit of snarl to them.
“The culture has changed,” said Tripp. “This is a new Eagle River culture now.”
Coach Adkins said his team still has a long way to go; the Wolves committed 10 penalties for 102 yards Saturday and had a couple personnel hiccups that led to negative plays. And although his team is 2-0, Adkins said the Wolves can’t afford to start getting cocky.
“We’re a long ways from Soldotna,” he said.
Adkins said he thinks his team has the right temperament to remain grounded heading into Saturday’s critical conference clash.
“They don’t like to lose,” he said.
Email Star editor Matt Tunseth at [email protected]
WOLVES 50, WHALERS 3
Saturday, Aug. 18, 2018
Eagle River High School
Eagle River 22 14 7 7 — 50
Barrow 0 3 0 0 — 3
ER - Cox 51 pass from Adkins (A. Hamilton kick), 10:46
ER - Townsend 7 run (Adkins run), 3:42
ER - A. Hamilton 7 run (A. Hamilton kick), 0:47
Bar - Fruean 25 field goal, 7:39
ER - Pennington 17 pass from Adkins (A. Hamilton kick), 5:37
ER - Cox 35 pass from Adkins (A. Hamilton kick), 2:26
ER - Piper 12 pass from Adkins (A. Hamilton kick), 8:34
ER - Jackson 3 run (A. Hamilton kick), 0:45
Rushes-yds 27-170 25-14
Passing yards 189 53
Comp-att-int 7-8-0 7-15-2
First downs 15 8
Penalties-yds 10-102 3-35
Fumbles-lost 0-0 1-0
Punts-avg 1-31.0 4-25.7
Return yards 26 -8
RUSHING — Eagle River: Sherman 5-43, A. Hamilton 5-37, Baker 5-35, Williams 3-19, Jackson 3-19, Townsend 1-7, Adkins 4-6, Cox 1-5. Barrow: No. 5 4-15, Chan 7-13, Leavitt 4-9, Coodwin 1-0, Dias 5-(-1), Fruean 4-(-22).
PASSING — Eagle River: Adkins 7-8-0—189. Barrow: Fruean 7-15-2—53.
RECEIVING — Eagle River: Cox 3-117, Piper 2-43, Pennington 2-29. Barrow: Chan 3-30, Thai 2-17, No. 5 1-5, Leavitt 1-1.