The Juneau-Douglas High School football team opened the season in convincing fashion with a 35-9 victory over defending small-school state champion Kenai Saturday at Adair-Kennedy Memorial Park.
Crimson Bears junior quarterback Chris Hinkley threw four touchdown passes and Tres Saldivar rushed for another as JDHS thoroughly controlled play.
Hinkley completed 17 of 26 passes for 276 yards with four TDs and three interceptions and one fumble lost.
Juneau-Douglas opened the scoring midway through the first quarter as Hinkley hit Angelo Katasse for 49-yard TD strike. Joe Kohan's kick sailed wide to put the Bears ahead 6-0 after five minutes.
In the second quarter, Ryan Fagerstrom picked off a pass from Kardinals quarterback Tyler Chappell at the Kenai 6.
On the ensuing play, Hinkley hit Fagerstrom for a six-yard TD pass on a fade route. Hinkley then completed a two-point pass to Katasse to put the home side up 14-0.
The Crimson Bears then churned it out on the ground for their next score. Tailback Tres Saldivar broke a run off left tackle 54 yards to the Kenai 2. He then punched it in and Kohan's point-after kick made the score 21-0.
JDHS went up 28-0 shortly before halftime as Hinkley hit Fagerstrom again for a 12-yard TD with 16 seconds left before halftime.
Kenai tried to mount a comeback in the second half as its defense started to turn up the pressure.
With Juneau-Douglas driving into Kardinals' territory, Bill Chimphalee picked off a Hinkley pass and returned it 90 yards for a score. Ju Kim's extra point cut the Bears' lead to 28-7.
Kenai's defense struck again late in the third quarter as the Kards blocked Kohan's 30-yard field goal attempt. Kenai lineman Michael Dormady alertly jumped on the loose ball and rumbled down to the Juneau 18.
With momentum shifting towards the Kardinals, Juneau-Douglas' stout defense made sure Kenai would get no further.
On a fourth-and-goal from the Juneau-Douglas 2-yard line, the Crimson Bears stopped Kenai wide receiver Chimphalee inches from the end zone to prevent a touchdown.
Kenai later earned a safety to make the score 28-9 but Juneau responded with another touchdown as Hinkley connected with Josh Lehauli for a three-yard score to ice the win.
Prior to the game, Juneau-Douglas held a memorial service to remember their late coach Reilly Richey. Richey passed away in March.
A bagpipe and drum corps played "Amazing Grace" and the team retired No. 46 in honor of their late coach.
Look for complete statistics in Monday's edition.
Tim Nichols, sports editor, can be reached at firstname.lastname@example.org