Four games in, the Crimson Bears are steamrolling through the regular season.
No. 2 Juneau-Douglas worked a short field all night and worked Colony over, routing the Knights 65-0 Friday night at Adair-Kennedy Memorial Park.
The defense pitched its third shutout in four games, and the offense had no trouble putting the ball in the end zone. JDHS rushed for 387 yards and racked up 134 more passing, with junior quarterback Phillip Fenumiai accounting for five touchdowns, two rushing and three more through the air. Fenumiai went 7 of 16 with three touchdown tosses and two more rushing, finishing with 72 yards on five carries.
Senior running back Jerick Ibias also had another big day, rushing for 115 yards and one touchdown on 19 carries.
Everybody loves offense, but the defense was again just as dominant. Juneau-Douglas has given up just two touchdowns through four games, with Palmer scoring twice in a minute-and-a half last week in a 29-13 Bears win. JDHS has outscored its opponents 219-13 this season.
“We bring it every time,” First Team All-State linebacker and defensive captain Lah Fifita said. “We go all out every time and we have to be nasty. Our whole thing is, no scoring at all. No scoring on the defense. We gave up two (touchdowns) our last game, and we’re still upset.
“But now we’re looking forward to Wasilla.”
JDHS hits the road this week with a matchup against the Warriors at 4 p.m. Friday in Wasilla.
Fenumiai said the Crimson Bears haven’t done much wrong at the season’s midway point.
“We’re on a roll,” he said. “The defense is doing their thing, as they’ve done since the beginning of the season, and the offense is clicking. The passing game wasn’t all there today but the running game was phenomenal.
“Our running game is better than last year, and everyone is blocking.”
JDHS coach Rich Sjoroos said he’s pleased with how focused the team has been each game day.
“I’ve been coaching 19 years and this is the most determined group I’ve ever seen on game night,” he said. “There’s more to it than game night and they’re still figuring that stuff out, but they don’t want to give up an inch. They give everything they have for all four quarters.
“There is no problem getting this team revved up,” he continued. “When we do walkthroughs I have to remind everybody that it’s a walkthrough because there are bodies flying all around. They just go hard. It’s their mentality. I said in the offseason I thought this could be one of the better defenses we’ve ever had, and they’re proving it each week.”
JDHS started on Colony’s side of the field the entire first half while the Knights began each drive deep in their own territory, totaling minus-7 yards in the first half.
The Bears took over with a short field on their first drive after the Knights went three-and-out on the game’s opening possession. Ibias ran for 11 yards on two carries, and then Fenumiai took the snap, followed Ibias, brushing off a tackle, and sprinting up the middle 24 yards for a touchdown and a 6-0 JDHS lead in the opening minutes.
The Bears took the ball for the third time inside the Colony 40-yard line after turning the ball over on downs following three straight incomplete passes from the Knights’ 7-yard line.
Juneau-Douglas went back to the run, with Fenumiai faking the handoff and sprinting right, 34 yards for the score and a 12-0 lead.
The Bears took over for the fourth time, again inside the Knights’ 40-yard line, and Fenumiai hit Sean Niumataevalu for a 21-yard touchdown pass three plays later for an 18-0 lead with less than a minute to go in the first quarter.
Fenumiai hit Gary Speck for a 22-yard scoring strike on the Bears’ next possession for a 25-0 lead, and the rout was on.
Colony went three-and-out on its next possession and Samson Nauer blocked the punt attempt, with Demetrius Campos recovering it in the end zone for a touchdown and 32-0 lead.
Campos then took a pitch on the Bears’ next play from scrimmage, sprinting 61-yards for a 39-0 lead after an Adam Soto PAT.
Ibias took a handoff and scored from 5 yards out on the Bears’ opening drive of the second half to make it 46-0, and Fenumiai connected on a 27-yard touchdown completion to Stefan Jones to make it 52-0 with 1:45 to play in the third quarter.
Campos added an 8-yard touchdown run, and Jones made it 65-0 with a 14-yard run to set the final score.
“I think good things are in store for us. We’re No. 2, but we don’t think much about that,” Fenumiai said afterward of the Bears’ lofty position in the state rankings. “Anything can happen. We could lose the next week and the ranking could drop. We don’t want to be preoccupied with things like that. We don’t want to be overconfident. We don’t underestimate teams and we just want to perform out best.”
Minutes after the game, the Bears were already looking forward to next week’s matchup with Wasilla.
“Wasilla is always big, and they have decent skill players,” Fenumiai said. “Their defense is good and they’re physical, like us. It will be a great game.”
Sjoroos said he wants to see his players continue to study each opponent each week, and take away what they do best.
“There are plenty of challenges left with Wasilla next week, and then the big game against West Valley, which could be one of the biggest ever on this field,” Sjoroos said. “The conference title could be on the line. There are still plenty of carrots to be dangled in front of these guys.
“It is exciting to see them have that hunger all the time. It doesn’t matter who’s in (the game). They just keep feeding off each other.”
How they scored
JDHS — Fenumiai 24 run (kick failed)
JDHS — Fenumiai 34 run (conversion failed)
JDHS — Niumataevalu 21 pass from Fenumiai (pass failed)
JDHS — Speck 22 pass from Fenumiai (Soto kick)
JDHS — Campos recovered S. Nauer punt block in end zone (Soto kick)
JDHS — D. Campos 61 run (Soto kick)
JDHS — Ibias 5 run (Soto kick)
JDHS — Jones 27 pass from Fenumiai (Soto kick)
JDHS — Campos 8 run (Soto kick)
JDHS — Jones 14 run (kick failed)