“It is where you are ranked at the end of the season that matters most,” Juneau-Douglas High School football coach Rich Sjoroos said. “It is always nice to be thought highly of because of all the talent across the state this year. We are just concentrating on getting better each week.”
The Juneau-Douglas Crimson Bears are ranked number four in the large school football division’s second Alaska State Broadcasting Network poll of the year, climbing up one step from the fifth position in the preseason rankings.
Based on the Crimson Bears’ play against a solid and improved Thunder Mountain team last weekend, Saturday’s clash against Wasilla, a 21-14 winner over Bartlett, will be an anticipated game at Adair Kennedy Field at 8 p.m. Also interesting will be a Railbelt match up between North Pole and West Valley as both teams tied for the fifth spot in the poll, meaning one is going to have to drop out after Saturday.
The Falcons (0-1), meanwhile, will play Saturday at Sitka, a 30-8 winner over Ketchikan last week. Sitka’s Mitchell Boord rushed for two touchdowns, threw for one, caught a pass for another and twice intercepted Ketchikan passes. Boord finished with 50 passing yards on 4 of 9 throwing, 162 rushing yards on 17 carries and 48 receiving yards on one catch. Boord will have to contend with a revamped offensive and defensive scheme by Falcons’ coaches Bill Byouer, Branden Mahle, Roger Cox and Jeep Rice that allows Vili Tupou, John Jolly, Joe Ia and Ben Jahn lots of room to run. It is time to feel sorry for the rest of the southeastern league now, as the Falcons showed last weekend they never stop playing and they can take as big a hit as they give out.
“We know Sitka has a pretty talented player in Boord,” Thunder Mountain’s offensive coordinator Branden Mahle said. “But I think we showed on Saturday night that we have some athletes on this team as well. We are not going to take Sitka lightly.”
The ASBN Week One Football Poll, for the week of August 13th,
(As voted by broadcasters and media statewide).
LARGE SCHOOLS (team, record, opponent this week & last week if available):
1. Service 0-1 vs. Bartlett / Lost to Leilehua Hawaii 23-15; 2. Palmer 1-0 vs. Lathrop / Beat Soldotna 27-7; 3. East 1-0 vs. South / Beat Kenai 42-7; 4. Juneau-Douglas 1-0 vs. Wasilla / Beat Thunder Mountain 45-7; 5 (TIE) West Valley 1-0 vs. North Pole / Beat Chugiak 35-12 and 5. North Pole 1-0 vs. West Valley / Beat Dimond 32-14. Others receiving votes South (beat Eagle River 68-6), Colony (beat Skyview 56-7), & Wasilla (beat Bartlett 21-14).
MEDIUM-SMALL SCHOOLS (team, record, opponent this week & last week if available):
1. Eielson 1-0 vs. Seward / Beat Homer 26-6; 2. Houston 1-0 vs. Kodiak / Beat Valdez 26-0; 3. Soldotna 0-1 vs. Ketchikan / Lost to Palmer 27-7; 4 Monroe 1-0 vs. Valdez / Beat Barrow 16-0; 5. Kodiak 1-0 vs. Houston / NA. Others receiving votes: Nikiski (lost to Lathrop 44-41), Kenai, & Homer.
A second poll, the Anchorage-based Alaska Preps poll, puts Juneau at the fourth position as well. Service is number one but South replaces Palmer, East stays at third and North Pole is fifth.
Sitka is ranked fifth in the Alaska Preps poll, with Thunder Mountain eighth and Ketchikan ninth.
Results from last week include, Friday: East 42, Kenai 7; Punahoa 48, West 0; Lathrop 44, Nikiski 41; Lathrop JV 60, Seward 8; North Pole 32, Dimond 14. Saturday Results: Houston 26, Valdez 0; Eielson 26, Homer 6; Monroe 16, Barrow 0; Palmer 27, Soldotna 7; Sitka 30, Ketchikan 8; Wasilla 21, Bartlett 14; West Valley 35, Chugiak 12; Colony 56, Skyview 7; South 68, Eagle River 6; Juneau 45 Thunder Mountain 7.
West Valley 35, Chugiak 12 - Lorenzo Graham rushed for two of West Valley’s four rushing touchdowns to lead the Railbelt Conference Wolfpack to a season-opening 35-12 nonconference football victory over Cook Inlet Conference Chugiak in Fairbanks. Graham scored on runs of 33 yards and 4 yards. J.C. Cummings scored on a 15-yard run for West Valley and Dominick Anderson added a 30-yard score. Tucker Plass also hit Elijah Connell with a 46-yard touchdown strike.
Joshua Capers scored both of Chugiak’s touchdowns, racking a 9-yard run in the first quarter and a 2-yarder in the third quarter.
Palmer 27, Soldotna 7 - Palmer’s James Nisbett ran an 80-yard touchdown to spark a 27-7 nonconference victory over host Soldotna. Zeth Meritt added a pair of touchdowns and helped the Moose build a 27-0 lead before allowing Soldotna to reach the end zone. Nisbett rushed for 114 yards on 16 carries and helped Palmer amass 388 offensive yards.
Colony 56, Skyview 7 - Colony’s Bryce Niver and Wyatt Peltier combined for over rushing 200 yards and four touchdowns in a 56-7 nonconference victory over host Skyview in Soldotna. Niver rushed 14 times for 134 yards and scored on runs of 4 yards and 25 yards. Peltier parlayed 11 carries in 93 yards and touchdown runs of 18 yards and 36 yards. The Knights accumulated 456 yards total offense.
Eielson 26, Homer 6 - Anthony Griffith ran for two touchdowns to spark Eielson to a 26-6 win over visiting Homer in a nonconference football game Saturday. Eielson led 14-0 at halftime, but Sheldon Hutt made it 14-6 with a third-quarter rushing touchdown. Eielson’s Jovante Kincade tacked on two touchdowns, including a 38-yard fumble recovery, to cement the win. Homer’s Austin McGregor led all rushers with 175 yards.
Houston 26, Valdez 0 - Houston quarterback Nai Saecheo connected twice with River Ross on touchdown passes to top visiting Valdez 26-0 in a nonconference football game. Waylon Soppick was Houston’s top rusher, scoring two touchdowns.
Monroe 16, Barrow 0 - Monroe’s Tyler Wells found the end zone on a six-yard run and Alex Callahan kicked field goals of 25, 26, and 27 yards to lead host Monroe to a 16-0 win over Barrow in a Greatland Conference football game Saturday.
Leilehua 23, Service 15 - Defending large-school state champion Service fell in a season-opening 23-15 nonconference loss to Leilehua in Honolulu. A big run and a big pass from quarterback C.J. Toomer advanced the Cougars across midfield and down to the Mules’ 30-yard line with 10 seconds remaining, but Toomer fumbled on the game’s final play. Service quarterback Amu Aukusitino, Alaska’s offensive player of the year last season, led the Cougars to a touchdown on the game’s opening drive, hitting a wide-open Thavun Srisaneha from 34 yards out.