Service, South roll local football teams
Eagle River football fell to 0-4 after defending Large Schools state champion Service blanked the Wolves 32-0 on Saturday, Sept. 1 at Chugiak’s Tom Huffer Sr. Stadium.
Eagle River made too many mistakes, head coach Jason Brewer said. But, he said, that’s what happens when five starters are only sophomores.
“We’re young,” Brewer said. “We’ve got some growing pains.”
The Wolves battled all four quarters, Brewer said.
“We outhit them. We had more intensity than them,” he said.
An Eagle River fumble on its first possession put Service near midfield. Ten plays later, quarterback CJ Toomer ran in a 1-yard touchdown to put Service up 7-0.
A 63-yard pass from Toomer to Nahshon Fromm set up a 5-yard touchdown run by Ihro Raguindin to give the Cougars a 13-0 lead. On the ensuing kickoff, Service recovered an onside kick just inside Eagle River territory.
Toomer capped off a 10-play scoring drive with another 1-yard touchdown run with just seven seconds left in the half.
An interception by Trevor Howe set up a 5-yard touchdown pass from Toomer to Nikolas Butler to give Service a 25-point advantage late in the third quarter.
The Cougars — who played without 2011 first team all-state quarterback Amu Aukusitino — rounded out the scoring with a 27-yard touchdown pass from Toomer to Kylelle Brown early in the fourth quarter.
Despite being winless midway through the season, Brewer said Eagle River is getting better each week.
“We’re improving every day,” he said. “We’re on the brink of being a good football team.”
The Wolves’ attitude couldn’t be better, Brewer said. Out of his 17 years of coaching, Brewer said the 2012 Eagle River players are the most positive group of kids he’s coached.
The Wolves will host nonconference West Valley on Saturday, Sept. 8 at 2 p.m. for their homecoming. This is the second straight year Eagle River’s homecoming will be played on its own turf.
Thanks to a $130,000 grant from the Legislature, seating for about 400 is now installed on the field. Brewer expressed his gratitude to ERHS principal Marty Lang for securing those bleachers and making homecoming at the Wolves’ den a reality.
South 41, Chugiak 3
South remained undefeated while Chugiak remained winless after the Wolverines rolled to a 41-3 Cook Inlet Conference football win over the Mustangs on Friday, Aug. 31 at Tom Huffer Sr. Stadium.
Throughout his tenure at Chugiak as well as his time at the head of Dimond’s program, Duncan Shackelford has never started a season 0-4. In fact, he’s never started off 0-3.
“It’s a tough pill to swallow,” Shackelford said.
The Mustangs — who committed seven turnovers — aren’t deep enough to compete with South, which had more than 40 suited up for the contest, Shackelford said.
“There’s not enough horses in the stable now,” he said. “We miss some of those linemen we had in the past.”
After forcing a three-and-out to start the game, Chugiak marched 81 yards — 66 of which came on a pass from David Mayhew to Deven Ferriss — capped off by a 24-yard field goal by Chase Wilson to take a 3-0 lead in the first quarter.
South scored on its next possession. Kahlil Autry, who nabbed three interceptions on the night, scored on a 37-yard run to put South up 7-3 with 4:41 left in the first.
A 27-yard field goal and 1-yard run by quarterback Zachary Lujan just before the half gave the Wolverines a 17-3 lead after two quarters. After a scoreless third, South racked up 24 points in the final 12 minutes to pull away from Chugiak.
The loss wasn’t due to lack of effort on Chugiak’s part, Shackelford said.
“These kids played as hard as they could tonight,” he said.
Despite their bleak playoff hopes, the Mustangs need to focus on preparing for the second half of the season, Shackelford said.
“We gotta strive to get better next week,” he said.
In Week 5, Chugiak will face another tough opponent in Service (3-0 CIC, 3-1 overall), last year’s Large Schools state champions. The two play Saturday, Sept. 8 at 2 p.m. at Anchorage Football Stadium.
“It don’t get any easier,” Shackelford said.
Contact Mike Nesper at 694-2727 or firstname.lastname@example.org
Wolverines 41, Mustangs 3
South 7 10 0 24 — 41
Chugiak 3 0 0 0 — 3
Chu — Wilson 24 field goal, 7:04
South — Autry 37 run (Imlach kick), 4:41
South — Imlach 27 field goal, 8:13
South — Lujan 1 run (Imlach kick), 0:22
South — Brown 8 pass from Lujan (Imlach kick), 10:19
South — Imlach 28 field goal, 8:40
South — Williams 32 run (Imlach kick), 7:28
South — Hudson 42 fumble return (Imlach kick), 2:05
First downs 22 4
Rushes-yards 50-323 21-(-32)
Comp-att-intr 13-23-2 6-35-4
Passing yards 144 122
Fumbles-lost 2-1 7-3
Penalties-yards 13-100 5-35
Punts-avg 3-49.3 8-31.9
Return yards 151 102
Rushing — South: Faagau 12-98, Williams 9-84, Autry 3-66, Hoover 4-31, Hopp 5-25, Esplin 2-14, Taja 1-4, Alsworth 1-4, Settle 5-2, West 2-(-2), Lujan 6-(-3); Chugiak: Timberlake 3-4, Benzel 5-(-2), Temple 3-(-22), Carnahan 2-1, Capers 1-(-1), Forbush 2-9.
Passing — South: Lujan 13-23-2 — 144;
Chugiak: Mayhew 4-11-1 — 102, Temple 2-14-3 — 20.
Receiving — South: Toomey 6-78, Brown 3-23, Silsby 2-10, Williams 1-21, Page 1-12; Chugiak: Ferriss 1-66, Oldenkamp 3-40, Timberlake 1-13, Rohde 1-3.