Lynx blank Mustangs in low-scoring affair

Chugiak football suffers first loss of season


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Chugiak’s Karson Forbush, right, fights through Dimond’s Christian Bratcher on Friday, Aug. 30 at Dimond Alumni Field. The Lynx won 6-0.

MIKE NESPER

Neither Chugiak nor Dimond got into much of an offensive rhythm Friday, Aug. 30, but it was the Lynx who were dancing at the end of the night.

Dimond used a late fourth-quarter score to edge visiting Chugiak 6-0 and earn its first win of the season. It was the first loss of the year for the Mustangs, who fell to 2-1 overall and 1-1 in Cook Inlet Conference play.

“We just couldn’t get on track,” Chugiak head coach Duncan Shackelford said of his squad who were held to just 135 total yards.

J.J. Tanuvasa was the hero for Dimond, taking a pitch around the left end in for a 37-yard touchdown on fourth-and-five with 1:51 to go.

The game-winning drive began on Dimond’s own 7-yard line. After picking up two first downs, Kelley Coleman caught a 31-yard pass from Jeremiah Maga to convert on third-and-11.

Chugiak’s Kenney Lee got a hand on Maga’s pass, but it fell into Coleman’s arms and put the Lynx in Mustangs territory.

Consecutive penalties moved Dimond back to its own 38, however, a roughing the passer infraction on Chugiak’s Matt Oldenkamp on a play where Maga connected with Marquez Buster for 16 yards put Dimond on Chugiak’s 31.

The Mustangs let up just enough to give Dimond a chance to win, Shackelford said.

“It’s a 48-minute game. We played hard for 46,” he said.

After the go-ahead score, Chugiak started at its own 20 with 1:45 left. Quarterback Ben Stewart found an open Garrett Quigley for a 25-yard gain, but he took a 12-yard sack the following play. After an incompletion, Dimond forced Stewart out of the pocket and brought the sophomore down for a 3-yard loss.

Shackelford said he remained optimistic despite the late touchdown.

“I had nothing but confidence until it was fourth down,” he said. “We came up short. That’s football.”

Dimond threw a healthy dose of Coleman and Tanuvasa at Chugiak. The duo accounted for 204 of the Lynx 209 rushing yards. Gabe Mingledorff led the Mustangs with 60 yards on the ground.

Dimond looked poised to score on its first two possessions, but Chugiak picked off Maga both times deep inside its own territory.

Forbush ended Dimond’s first drive of the game with an interception just outside the goal line after the Lynx drove 61 yards in six plays.

Mingledorff stepped in front of Lynx receiver Jordan Tufaga and picked off Maga at Chugiak’s own 4-yard line to end a Dimond drive that began at the Mustangs’ 44.

Lack of preparation led to the loss, Shackelford said. If Chugiak wants to compete with unbeaten Service this week — the Mustangs and Cougars meet Saturday, Sept. 7 at Tom Huffer Sr. Stadium at 7 p.m. — the team needs high-energy practices, he said.

Shackelford said he thinks the Mustangs are up for the challenge and can use their first loss of the season to become a better team.

“It will be a wake up call for us,” he said. “I truly believe something good will come of it.”

 

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

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