Wolves notch home win to kick off 2017 football season
The Eagle River Wolves got a dominant performance on both sides of the ball in a 55-13 nonconference prep football win Saturday, Aug. 12 over Ketchikan at the Wolves’ Den.
“That’s a first step,” said Wolves coach Bob Adkins, who won in his debut game as the team’s head coach. “We’ve got a lot more to climb.”
Eagle River (1-0 overall, 0-0 Northern Lights Conference) got three rushing touchdowns from junior quarterback Ryan Adkins, who also threw for a score in a game that saw Eagle River outgain the Kings by nearly 200 yards of offense. Adkins ran for 69 yards and threw for 75 more, but his was far from the only impressive performance by a Wolves player: Sophomore Josh Tripp scored two touchdowns and recovered two fumbles, senior Grant Burningham ran for a game-high 110 yards and a touchdown, junior Kam Williams racked up 115 yards of total offense and a touchdown, and junior Michael Caywood ran for 70 yards and a touchdown.
The Wolves rolled up 356 yards rushing and finished with a 431-241 advantage in total offense. They also ran 25 more offensive plays than the Kings, punted just once and scored on seven of nine offensive possessions.
Senior JT Adams had an interception for Eagle River, which forced four turnovers without committing any of its own. The Wolves held Ketchikan to 11 yards rushing, and most of the Kings’ 230 passing yards came late in a game that featured a running clock in the fourth quarter due to the mercy rule. Eagle River’s defense had seven tackles for a loss, including four in which senior outside linebacker Jordan Baeza had a hand in the tackle.
Despite the dominance, Baeza said the Wolves know they can’t afford to stop working hard just because they’ve got a win in the books.
“There’s always room to improve,” said Baeza.
Eagle River wasted almost no time testing out the scoreboard, getting a 43-yard Caywood run on its fourth play from scrimmage. The Wolves tacked on three more scores in the first half, including a 3-yard plunge by Adkins, a 3-yard rumble/stumble by Tripp and a 7-yard scramble by Adkins that made it 26-0 just before the half.
Ketchikan (0-1 overall, 0-0 Southeast Conference) started to find success through the air in the second half, getting a 13-yard touchdown pass from Brendan Wong to Kody Malouf early in the third quarter to break up the shutout.
Eagle River answered with three straight touchdowns, including a 17-yard touchdown pass from Adkins to Williams and two strikes in the final seven seconds of the third quarter.
The scoring frenzy started when Adkins scored on a QB keeper from three yards out. Eagle River pinned Ketchikan deep on the ensuing kickoff, and the Kings fumbled on their first play of the drive. Tripp was in the right place at the right time, scooping up the ball and sprinting 10 yards to the end zone to make it 48-6 going into the fourth quarter.
Ketchikan’s Stevie Byron scored on a 1-yard plunge to make it 48-13 before Burningham turned on the jets, outracing the defense for a 58-yard scamper which turned out to be the game’s final score and its longest play.
In addition to winning the yardage battle the Wolves also had a decided advantage on special teams. Ketchikan’s average drive started on its own 21-yard-line, the Kings never started a drive past their own 31 and the team began three drives from inside its own 12. That’s a stark contrast to Eagle River, whose average starting field position was its own 44. Senior kickoff man Thad Heagy consistently kept the Kings pinned deep, Adkins’ only punt was downed at the Ketchikan 12 and sophomore placekicker Andrew Hamilton made five extra points.
“Special teams played really well today,” said coach Adkins, whose squad will travel to the Valley Friday, Aug. 19 to face Division 1 Wasilla at 7 p.m. in Wasilla. The following week, the Wolves will face another D-1 school in Dimond.
Adkins acknowledged Eagle River’s schedule will get tougher from here on out, but said he was proud to see how well his team played in the opener.
“Just the excitement of the kids and the determination they showed, that was fun to see,” he said.
Eagle River’s players were all smiles after Saturday’s big win, saluting the home crowd with gusto before heading to the snack bar for hamburgers. But while Saturday’s taste of victory was sweet, Baeza said the Wolves are still hungry.
“We’re going to jump back on that field and keep going,” he said.
WOLVES 55, KINGS 13
Saturday, August 12, 2017
At Eagle River High
Eagle River 7 19 22 7 — 55
Ketchikan 0 0 6 7 — 13
ER — Michael Caywood 43 run (Andrew Hamilton kick), 10:24
ER — Ryan Adkins 3 run (try failed), 10:36
ER — Josh Tripp 3 run (Andrew Hamilton kick), 5:51
ER — Ryan Adkins 7 run (kick failed), 0:01
KET — Kody Malouf 13 pass from Brendan Wong (pass failed), 11:07
ER — Kam Williams 17 pass from Ryan Adkins (Andrew Hamilton kick), 4:26
ER — Ryan Adkins 3 run (Bryson Rollman pass from Adkins), 0:07
ER — Josh Tripp 10 fumble return (Andrew Hamilton kick), 0:00
KET — Stevie Byron 1 run (Mark Jasper kick), 6:38
ER — Grant Burningham 58 run (Andrew Hamilton kick), 4:58
First downs 19 10
Rushes-yds 52-356 19-11
Passing yards 75 230
Comp-att-int 5-12-0 13-20-1
Punts-avg. 1-36.0 4-27.5
Fumbles-lost 2-0 4-3
Penalties-yds 6-70 4-43
Return yards 25 0
RUSHING — Eagle River: Grant Burningham 10-110, Kam Williams 11-80, Michael Caywood 10-70, Ryan Adkins 11-69, Josh Tripp 7-24, Kobe Sherman 2-4, Thad Heagy 1-(-1). Ketchikan: Sean Tavares 7-14, Sam Winburn 1-9, Stevie Byron 1-1, Jake Taylor 3-(-5), Brendan Wong 6-(-5), CJ Jasper 1-(-3).
PASSING — Eagle River: Ryan Adkins 5-12-0—75. Ketchikan: Brendan Wong 13-20-1—230.
RECEIVING — Eagle River: Kam Williams 2-35, Mason Piper 1-22, Bryson Rollman 1-10, Kobe Sherman 1-8. Ketchikan: Kody Malouf 7-105, Chris Carlson 5-117, Jake Taylor 1-8.