Chugiak football defeats East 24-7
Monday hearing will determine team's playoff fate
Chugiak defensive back Travis Craig battles East wide receiver Jarred Laws for the ball during Chugiak's 24-7 Cook Inlet Conference win at Anchorage Football Stadium.
Photo by John Hebert
UPDATE (10/6/2011): Chugiak's appeal of its three forfeitures was upheld by the Alaska School Activities Association board of directors on Monday. The Mustangs will not go to the playoffs, and the team's final 2011 record is 2-6 overall and 2-5 in the Cook Inlet Conference.
Chugiak's football season ended with a 24-7 Cook Inlet Conference win over East on Saturday at Anchorage Football Stadium.
The Mustangs are appealing the forfeiture of three games due to the use of an ineligible player at Monday's meeting of the Alaska School Activities Association. If their appeal is successful, Chugiak will be 5-3 overall and in the playoffs with a 4-3 conference record; if it's not, they'll be done for the year with a 2-6 record.
"We're optimistic about Monday," said senior captain Kody Trombley.
Chugiak trailed East 7-3 at halftime, but dominated the second half on both sides of the ball in the second half. Justin Schneider and Ryan Harris scored rushing touchdowns for the Mustangs, who also got a 13-yard fumble return for a touchdown from Kenny Pegues.
After East (5-3 overall, 4-3 CIC) went three-and-out on its opening possession, Chugiak marched to the T-Birds’ 9-yard line to set up a 30-yard field goal by Chase Wilson to make it 3-0 with 5:53 left in the first quarter.
East took a 7-3 lead into the portable trailer locker rooms at AFS on a 6-yard run by quarterback Jesse Vanilau with 5:32 left in the first half. Chugiak then had a chance to tie or take the lead late in the half, but Schneider came up an inch short on a fourth-and-one deep in East territory. East nearly turned that turnover on downs into points, but Schneider’s interception at the Chugiak 5-yard line preserved the halftime score.
Schnieder gave Chugiak the lead for good with 3:39 left to play in the third quarter on a 2-yard run that capped a methodical 13-play, 65-yard drive that featured 12 running plays and an incomplete pass.
Chugiak continued pounding away on the ground to finish off the T-Birds. The team’s next scoring drive covered 64 yards in 10 plays — all runs — and ended with Ryan Harris’ first touchdown run of the season, a 2-yard plunge that made it 17-7 with 3:30 left to play.
On East’s next play from scrimmage, Luke Plumb hammered Vanilau as the junior dropped back to pass, jarring the ball loose and into the hands of Pegues. The sophomore lineman scooped it up and rumbled 13 yards for his first career score to ice the game.
The Mustangs forced one final turnover to cap the performance as linebacker Wayde Snell intercepted Vanilau for the second time in the game.
Chugiak's defense was a force all afternoon. The Mustangs held East to just 220 total yards — including a paltry 48 in the second half — and forced four turnovers.
Although the Mustangs need a favorable ruling on Monday, the team did manage to win its final two games of the season — both over playoff teams — and would have finished 4-3 and in third place in the CIC had their games not been forfeited.
Should the Mustangs win their appeal, the team will travel to Juneau to face the Crimson Bears for the third consecutive post season at Adair-Kennedy Memorial Field.
“I’ve got a condo down there,” Shackelford joked to his team following the game.
Chu — Wilson 30 FG, 5:53
East — Vanilau 6 run (Hahn kick), 5:32
Chu — Schneider 2 run (Wilson kick), 3:39
Chu — Harris 2 run (Wilson kick), 3:30
Chu — Pegues 13 fumble return (Wilson kick), 3:16
First downs 13 11
Rushes-yards 50-184 25-72
Passing yards 28 148
Comp-att-int 2-7-0 11-25-3
Fumbles-lost 1-0 1-1
Penalties-yards 2-15 9-70
Return yards 70 0
Punts-avg. 2-28.0 4-32.0
Rushing — Chugiak: Schneider 22-110, Harris 14-53, Wenzl 8-15, Snell 2-8, Rohde 1-(-1), Nicholson 3-(-1). East: Vanilau 7-30, Atifale Jr. 8-16, Gardner 5-9, Rowles 2-7, DeLoria 2-6, Bachman 1-4.
Passing — Chugiak: Wenzl 2-6-0—28, Schneider 0-1-0—0. East: Vanilau 11-24-2—148, Laws 0-1-1—0.
Receiving — Chugiak: Craig 1-30, Schneider 1-(-2). East: Laws 4-52, Atifale Jr. 3-19, Rowles 2-48, DeKalb 1-25, Gardner 1-4.