For the first 20 minutes of their game against Ketchikan on Friday, the Thunder Mountain High School receivers might’ve felt a little left out.
“They had to go into it thinking, ‘Yes, I have to run my pattern. Yes, I have to run my pattern. It’s got to be the same (execution) every time. But my shot’s going to happen, the ball will get thrown my way, and when it does I should be open,’” TMHS football coach Randy Quinto said.
The Falcons’ plan to doggedly execute the run before moving on to the pass worked, too. Bobby Cox’s 33-yard reception on a fourth down late in the second quarter began a 42-3 run. TMHS would concede only six more points in the 42-9 victory.
“Being able to actually establish the run a little bit helped us get the ball to him,” Quinto said.
The six touchdowns equated to the highest point total of the season for the black-and-blue. It’s the second week in a row the Kings have allowed five or more touchdowns in a game. Homer went home with a 59-21 victory the week prior at Esther Shea Field.
It’s the final nonconference game of the season for both teams. Only a team’s conference record is used to determine its postseason eligibility. Not every game played between conference teams are considered “conference games.”
Each touchdown was scored by a different senior: Roy Tupou, Owen Mendoza, Erik Frenette, Jacob Tapia and Cox.
The Ketchikan Kings controlled the first quarter play but trailed by almost four touchdowns when they began the fourth.
“They came out fired up, they were on their home field,” TMHS coach Randy Quinto said. “They were just connecting on a lot of their passes.”
The Kings scored halfway through the first quarter on a short run by Jake Taylor.
Mendoza scored less than a minute after Cox’s big catch, and the Falcons led 14-6 at halftime.
The third quarter included two extraordinary plays for TMHS: a 55-yard touchdown reception by Tapia and a 51 yard-touchdown run by Tupou. As he was tackled by the goal line, Tupou aggravated one of his ankles.
“He came into the game with a little ankle injury and he was taped up. He got it rolled on when he was tackled on the end zone,” Quinto said. “He did get back in but then we basically shut him down for the night thinking this next week we need him healthy.”
Minutes later, Mendoza scored the team’s third touchdown of the quarter.
Ketchikan will remain home for the fourth straight week as they prepare for a conference game against Juneau-Douglas (2-2). The Falcons play their only game of the regular season against the North Pole Patriots on the road.
“This is a confidence booster for our boys and we move from here to conference games,” Quinto said.
• Contact sports reporter Nolin Ainsworth at 523-2272 or firstname.lastname@example.org.