It was a picturesque evening at Adair-Kennedy Memorial Park, and the Crimson Bears were picture perfect.
Juneau-Douglas scored early and often, rolling to a 68-0 shutout win over Thunder Mountain in the inaugural Glacier Bowl battle between the new crosstown rivals.
It was the first meeting between the teams on the gridiron, with the deeper Bears outmanning the Falcons. TMHS is in the new Medium Schools classification, while JDHS plays in the Large Schools division.
All-State junior quarterback Phillip Fenumiai threw for 105 yards and two touchdowns, finishing 7 of 10 on the night in limited action, hitting Sean Niumataevalu for both scoring strikes. Niumataevalu also had 66 yards receiving.
Senior running back Jerick Ibias rushed for 139 yards and three scores on 13 carries, crediting the offensive line for his career day.
“The energy was crazy tonight,” Ibias said. “The line was great and the holes were amazing. I didn’t even need to do anything. I just kind of walked in. It was great.
“We’re celebrating tonight but tomorrow, it’s all North Pole. It’s going to be tough from here on out.”
Junior Nauer came up with three fumble recoveries, returning one for his first career touchdown at JDHS, to lead a stout defensive effort that didn’t give Thunder Mountain anything.
“We did pretty good tonight,” Nauer said. “We hustled to the ball and coach told us to be nasty. I was hustling and coach said to get the ball whenever it was loose. Get it, grab it and take it for a touchdown.
“It feels really good. It’s my senior year and it was great to get my first touchdown.”
The Crimson Bears rolled up 389 total yards of offense, holding the Falcons to 1 total yard, with minus 28 yards rushing — including minus 45 yards for quarterback Camden Thomas, who was sacked several times — and 29 yards passing.
JDHS racked up 13 first downs to two for TMHS, and the Falcons also lost four fumbles.
It didn’t take the Bears long to get on the board. On the third play from scrimmage, Ibias took the handoff deep in the backfield, hit the hole and sprinted 55 yards for a score, giving JDHS a 7-0 lead after an Adam Soto extra point with 10:45 to go in the first quarter.
Thunder Mountain went thee-and-out, with JDHS taking over at the Falcons’ 29-yard line. On third-and-10, Fenumiai took the snap out of the shotgun, rolled right and hit Niumataevalu in front of the goal line. Niumataevalu spun out of a tackle and scored for a 13-0 JDHS lead midway through the first quarter.
Nauer recovered a Falcons fumble, setting the Bears up at the Thunder Mountain 42-yard line. Seven plays later, Fenumiai scored on a 5-yard run out of the shotgun to give JDHS a 19-0 lead, and the route was on. Thunder Mountain got its first first down on a pass interference call, but a bad snap over Thomas’ head led to a 41-yard recovery run by Nauer for a 26-0 Bears lead after a Soto extra point.
Juneau-Douglas started the second quarter at the TMHS 35, and three straight runs led to another touchdown, with Demetrius Campos taking a pitch and hitting the left sideline for a 17-yard score and a 33-0 lead after the PAT.
Nauer recovered his third fumble of the game at the 4:27 mark of the second quarter, setting JDHS up at the Thunder Mountain 16, and Ibias scored his second touchdown from a yard out three plays later for a 40-0 Bears lead.
Fenumiai then found Niumataevalu for the pair’s second touchdown connection of the night, giving JDHS a 47-0 lead heading into the break.
Ibias broke a couple of tackles, spun through another and ran 25 yards for his third touchdown on the Bears’ first play of the third quarter, pushing JDHS ahead 54-0 after the Soto PAT.
Juneau-Douglas head coach Rich Sjoroos subbed in several different backs in the third quarter, with 5-foot-10, 330-pound lineman Velepoto “Bubbles” Enele getting a touch from three yards out, plowing through the defense for his first touchdown as a Bear and pushing JDHS ahead 61-0.
Samson Nauer scored from three yards for the final score of the night.
Thunder Mountain coach Bill Byouer said he wasn’t going to let his players get down on themselves and they’re going back to work for Thursday’s matchup against Homer at TMHS.
“This is two times that we’ve gotten together after last year’s scrimmage, and I don’t have anything for their blitz right now,” he said. “My hat’s off to Sjoroos and (assistant coach Al) Fenumiai for what they did to us tonight. They called the dogs off but we still couldn’t stop them. We need to make changes and I got more kids hurt, and we don’t have many. But that’s a quality program over there.
“We’re not down and out,” he continued. “This is Week 1, this one’s in the books now and we’re getting ready for Homer. We’re putting this behind us and we’ll be ready to go.”
Sjoroos said it was great to get the first game out of the way with the Bears heading to North Pole for their Railbelt Conference opener next weekend.
“I thought it was good to get all of the bugs worked out,” he said. “Like I was telling the guys at halftime, this game is ours, but now we have to do the little things. You have to have the guys on the sideline helping the team out there by communicating and staying engaged in the game. And when you get your opportunity, you fill right in and we don’t miss a beat. I thought that second half, I was really pleased.”
Sjoroos credited the Falcons for continuing to battle.
“They kept coming and weren’t taking a knee or laying down out there,” he said. “I thought our kids kept running well and playing well. It was good to come out healthy and we have a few kids out that should be back in the lineup that will hopefully make us more deep.
“As soon as we get into these Railbelt games, it’s going to get a lot tougher. This isn’t the top of the mountain. If we have dreams for the playoffs and beyond, it all starts next week.”
Bears roll to JV win
Juneau-Douglas also won the JV game, 52-12 over Thunder Mountain. Dorian Isaak had four touchdown passes, two to Chris Hill, one to Trey Williams and one to Jake Hamilton. Isaak’s first career pass went 28 yards for a score.
Daratanan Campos capped the scoring with a 22-yard run up the middle. Assistant coach CJ Keys’ defense held the Falcons to negative yardage.
How They Scored
JDHS — Ibias 55 run (Soto kick)
JDHS — Fenumiai 29 pass to Niumataevalu (kick failed)
JDHS — Fenumiai 5 run (kick failed)
JDHS — Nauer 41 fumble return (Soto kick)
JDHS — Campos 17 run (Soto kick)
JDHS — Ibias 1 run (Soto kick)
JDHS — Fenumiai 10 pass to Niumataevalu (Soto kick)
JDHS — Ibias 25 run (Soto kick)
JDHS — Enele 3 run (Soto kick)
JDHS — Nauer 3 run (Soto kick)