Service tops Eagle River in high-scoring affair

Cougars stay unbeaten in game that features 14 touchdowns


Published:

Eagle River’s Josh Vanderlooven breaks into the clear during the Wolves’ 66-36 loss to Service on Sept. 23 at Tom Huffer Sr. Stadium.

PHOTO BY CARL AUER

Service continued its unbeaten streak in Cook Inlet Conference play with a 66-36 victory over Eagle River on Friday, Sept. 23 at Tom Huffer Sr. Stadium.

The Cougars improved to 6-0 in the CIC and 6-0-1 overall while Eagle River fell to 1-5 and 1-6. The Wolves had been winless until Chugiak was forced for forfeit three of its wins due to use of an ineligible player last week.

Like he has all season, head coach Kenny Ray praised his players during his post-game speech.

“Awesome ball game. Awesome,” he said. “I’m proud of you.”

Ray commended Eagle River’s composure throughout the game, which featured 14 Service penalties for 145 yards. The Wolves had just five penalties for 30 yards.

Thirty-three of the game’s 102 total points were scored in the first quarter — 26 of which came in a 2 minute, 4 second span.

Service got on the board first when quarterback Amu Aukusitino hit Matthew Ilalio with a 32-yard strike. Josh Vanderlooven took the ensuing kickoff 50 yards for a score nine seconds later.

Service scored on the next play from scrimmage on a 62-yard pass from Aukusitino to Alan Busey.

Ed Hall broke free for a 55-yard romp to the end zone on the third play of Eagle River’s following drive. Though he was stopped about 10 yards into the run, Hall kept his feet moving and broke through the pile to find daylight.

Nik Butler added a late first-quarter touchdown on a 38-yard reception to give the Cougars a 21-12 lead.

Josh Oberlander cut the lead to six with a 33-yard field goal early in the second quarter. A 50-yard interception return by Aukusitino and a 1-yard Ilalio touchdown run widened Service’s lead to 36-15 with 2:31 to play in the first half.

Eagle River quarterback Peter Kott hooked up with Kelechi Madubuko on a 58-yard strike to cut the Cougars’ lead to 14. Madubuko’s two receptions in the game went for touchdowns. He also added more than 100 kickoff return yards.

A Service safety with under 10 seconds to go put the Cougars up 38-22 at the half.

A 90-yard kickoff return by Malcolm Bell was the longest of the game’s 14 touchdowns — seven of which covered 50 yards or more. It was also the final score of the game with 6:40 to play.

Another 1-yard Ilalio run was the lone score of the third quarter. Madubuko and Aukusitino each added their second touchdown of the game in the final 12 minutes.

After a 2-yard score by Christopher Toomer, Busey took a 75-yard interception to the house to put Service up 36 points.

Ray’s positivism continued as he addressed the fewer than 30 suited up in a Wolves uniform.

“I wouldn’t be with anybody else,” he said. “We are who we are. We are who we are. Twenty-eight, 29 strong.”

 

Contact Mike Nesper at 694-2727 or mike.nesper@alaskastar.com

Add your comment: