Mustangs hunt down Moose in prep football season opener

Saturday, August 17, 2019 - 13:46
  • Chugiak’s Austin Harr runs through Palmer’s Dae Osiensky during the Mustangs’ 26-2 high school football win over Palmer on Friday, Aug. 16, 2019 at Tom Huffer Sr. Stadium in Chugiak. (Matt Tunseth / ADN)
  • Chugiak’s Grant Jones tries to break free from Palmer’s Lavar Marshall during Chugiak’s 26-2 win over the Moose on Friday, Aug. 16, 2019 at Tom Huffer Sr. Stadium in Chugiak. (Matt Tunseth / ADN)
  • Chugiak defeated Palmer 26-2 on Friday, Aug. 16, 2019 at Tom Huffer Sr. Stadium in Chugiak. (Matt Tunseth / Chugiak-Eagle River Star)
  • Chugiak’s Tyler Huffer looks for running room during the Mustangs’ 26-2 win over Palmer on Friday, Aug. 16, 2019 at Tom Huffer Sr. Stadium in Chugiak. (Matt Tunseth / ADN)

A pregame rainbow over Chugiak’s Tom Huffer Sr. Stadium prior to Friday night’s clash between Chugiak and Palmer Moose was the first sign the Mustangs’ luck was about to change. It didn’t take long for Chugiak to cash in with a 26-2 non conference victory on a golden opening night of prep football for the blue and black.

“We’re 100 percent transformed,” said Chugiak senior quarterback Quentin Wilson, who threw two touchdown passes and ran for another score as Chugiak dominated from start to finish.

Wilson said the team’s chemistry is much better this year than last, when a disjointed Mustangs finished with just a single victory.

Chugiak’s defense set the tone on the opening possession, forcing Palmer to punt after its first three plays. Tyler Huffer then set the crowd buzzing with a 44-yard punt return to the Moose 24-yard-line. Four plays later, Wilson found Huffer with a 20-yard lob in the front of the end zone to give Chugiak a 7-0 lead.

“We’re all in this year,” said Huffer, one of several Chugiak players who started on offense and defense and played most of the game on a warm, muggy night on Birchwood Loop.

Chugiak’s defense remained relentless in the opening quarter, with Jacob Oshesky blocking a Palmer punt out of the end zone on the next Moose drive to make it 9-0 midway through the first quarter.

Wilson added a 2-yard run early in the second to give Chugiak a 16-0 lead at halftime. Wilson figured in the next score as well, hitting Grant Jones with a 13-yard pass midway through the third quarter to make it 23-0.

Palmer’s only score came when Chugiak punter Joshua Rolston stepped out of the end zone on a high snap on a punt deep in the Mustangs’ end. Less than three minutes later, Rolston was again in the middle of the action as he blasted a 33-yard field goal for the final margin of victory.

Jones led Chugiak with 52 rushing yards. Wilson finished 5-for-9 passing for 49 yards with two touchdowns and no interceptions.

Mustangs coach Ryan Landers praised his team for its attitude, which he agreed was much more positive than at this time last season.

“We’ve got energy,” he said.

Landers credited his senior leadership for helping bring a new mentality to the field this season.

“We give them the tools, and they use them,” Landers said.

The Mustangs will face their second straight Division II opponent next week when they travel to Kodiak to face the Bears at 6 p.m.

MUSTANGS 26, MOOSE 2

Friday, Aug. 16, 2019

Tom Huffer Sr. Stadium (Chugiak, AK)

Chugiak 9 7 7 3 - 26

Palmer 0 0 2 0 - 2

1st quarter

Chu - Tyler Huffer 20 pass from Quentin Wilson (Josh Rolston kick), 8:13

Chu - Safety (Jacob Oshesky blocked punt out of end zone), 5:40

2nd quarter

Chu - Wilson 2 run (Rolston kick), 10:02

3rd quarter

Chu - Grant Jones 13 pass from Wilson (Rolston kick), 5:16

Pal - Safety (Chugiak snap out of end zone), 1:11

4th quarter

Chu - Rolston 33 field goal, 10:00

TEAM STATS

Chugiak Palmer

First downs 10 10

Rushes-yards 31-106 42-113

Passing yards 49 149

Comp-att-int 5-9-0 6-16-0

Fumbles-lost 3-1 3-0

Punts-avg 3-37.3 6-26.2

Penalties-yds 4-25 9-75

Return yards 80 14

INDIVIDUAL STATS

RUSHING — Chugiak: Grant Jones 5-52, Austin Harr 5-39, Tyler Huffer 7-26, Jacob Oshesky 3-12, Quentin Wilson 11-(-23). Palmer: Lavar Marshall 22-64, Duston Corbin 4-20, Jayden Christiansen 11-16, Connor Heal 2-9, Dawson Vantassel 1-5, Dae Osiensky 1-1, Carson Helm 1-(-2).

PASSING — Chugiak: Wilson 5-9-0—49. Palmer: Heal 6-16-0—149.

RECEIVING — Chugiak: Jones 2-19, Huffer 1-20, Christian Beesing 1-11, Joshua Rolston 1-(-1). Palmer: Helm 3-65, Vantassel 1-70, Lucas Frank 1-12, Manny Lovejoy 1-2.

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