Another shot at the Wolfpack

Chugiak and West Valley conclude home-and-home


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Chugiak’s Dylan Timberlake keeps his eye on the ballcarrier during a scrimmage against Houston High on Aug. 9 at Chugiak. The Mustangs open their 2013 season with a 3 p.m. nonconference clash against West Valley.

MATT TUNSETH

Chugiak opens its 2013 season with the same opponent as 2012. The Mustangs hope the similarities end there.

“We definitely want to see what we can do with that West Valley game,” said Chugiak offensive lineman Ted Carlson.

The nonconference tilt is set for Saturday, Aug. 17 at 3 p.m. at Chugiak’s Tom Huffer Sr. Stadium.

West Valley didn’t spare the whip in last year’s clash, a 35-12 drubbing in Fairbanks that set the tone for a disappointing 2-6 campaign by the blue and black.

“That left a bad taste in our mouths,” Chugiak’s Jake Brownlee said.

In the months since the final 2012 whistle, Carlson said Chugiaks’ returning players said they’ve thought of little else than strapping on the pads against the Wolfpack.

“It’s a grind doing conditioning and two-a-days, but every guy looks forward to that first game and going full speed,” he said.

West Valley went 4-5 overall last season. They finished third in the Railbelt Conference and lost 34-6 in the opening round of the Large Schools playoffs to eventual champion South.

West Valley’s option attack racked up 219 yards on 41 carries to grind down the Chugiak defense last August. Carlson said he’s expecting a similar attack Saturday, and the Mustangs plan to spend plenty of time dissecting game tape to see what worked — and didn’t — the last time the teams met.

“We’ll watch film every day for at least an hour,” he said.

Offensively, Chugiak quarterback David Mayhew said the Wolfpack dared Chugiak to run last season by dropping linebackers into coverage. Chugiak was able to capitalize somewhat with a big day from running back Josh Capers, who put up the team’s only 100-yard rushing game of the season with 108 yards on just 16 carries.

With senior running backs Karson Forbush, Dylan Timberlake and Tyler Carnahan returning this year —as well as four of five starters on the offensive line — Mayhew said it’s likely Chugiak will again attack on the ground.

“We’ll probably run the ball more than I’d like, but you gotta do what you gotta do to win,” Mayhew said.

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