Crosstown rivals to meet on the gridiron

Chugiak to host Eagle River for homecoming Saturday


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Chugiak's Dylan Timberlake struggles toward the goal line as Eagle River's Jachi Madubuko makes the tackle during Chugiak's 35-14 win over the Wolves last season at Tom Huffer Sr. Stadium. Both players will again square off in this year's grudge match, set for Saturday, Sept. 15 at Huffer Stadium following the Chugiak-Eagle River flag football game. The game also marks Chugiak's homecoming.

STAR FILE PHOTO/Matt Tunseth

Over the past eight years, Eagle River High has beaten rival Chugiak at least once in nearly all varsity sports except one — football.

Technically, the Wolves beat the Mustangs last year. However, it was a game Chugiak won but had to forfeit due to use of an ineligible player.

But, the Wolves — and the Mustangs for that matter — don’t count it as a victory. And the Wolves aren’t calling the annual matchup a “rivalry” until that changes.

When will that be? Saturday, Sept. 15, according to Eagle River senior Jachi Madubuko.

“Our coach told us one thing, ‘It’s not a rivalry until we beat them once,’” he said. “We’re gonna start the rivalry this year.”

The two schools separated by less than seven miles meet for Chugiak’s homecoming at Tom Huffer Sr. Stadium with kickoff at 2 p.m. It will be the eighth meeting between the Wolves and ‘Stangs on the gridiron.

Eagle River (1-4 overall, 0-4 CIC) is coming off its first win of the season after beating West Valley 26-17 last week. Chugiak (0-5 overall, 0-4 CIC) suffered a 43-12 loss to Service in Week 5 and is still looking for its first victory this year.

Eagle River, which scored all of its points in the first half against the Wolfpack, is going to come out with the same intensity against Chugiak, Wolves’ head coach Jason Brewer said.

“We’re gonna be very aggressive,” he said. “That’s just my mentality.”

Chugiak, though winless this season, has no intention of letting Eagle River spoil its homecoming, senior Tyler Rohde said. But, he said, that game won’t be a gimme as in years past.

“They have more wins than we do,” Rohde said. “It will definitely be a good game.”

Rohde said the Mustangs couldn’t take falling to 0-6.

“If we do come away with another loss, it will be heart shattering,” he said.

Staying healthy will be key for Chugiak, Rohde said.

But the injuries are mounting as the season progresses. Chugiak had two quarterbacks go down against Service on Saturday, Sept. 8 at Anchorage Football Stadium.

David Mayhew appeared to have a concussion, Rohde said, and Isaac Temple suffered a shoulder injury.

Chugiak hung with Service for 24 minutes, but a 68-yard touchdown pass with four seconds left in the half led to 28 unanswered points for the Cougars.

Chase Wilson had a pair of field goals and Dane Prince scored on a 12-yard run for the Mustangs.

 

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

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