Thunder Mountain is on the rise in just its second year after opening with two straight wins, and the Falcons have no plans of taking a step back in Week 3.
Coach Bill Byouer said the team has been great in practice for the most part, and it's ready for the next challenge.
"We're going to go at it. We've had a great week of practice," he said. "These guys are focused and I've got to hand it to them. I'm rather impressed with it."
Nikiski runs the Wing-T offense with with quarterback Kaden Spurgeon under center. Spurgeon has rushed for 239 yards and three touchdowns in two games this year.
"They've got a good passing game and a good runnning game," Byouer said. "They have a good running back and their quarterback can run or throw it. We've got to be in good position. We can't get away from our responsibilities for where they're at, and we can't overdue it."
Nikiksi and Thunder Mountain have had a common opponent in Homer. The Mariners defeated the homestanding Bulldogs 14-6 in the season's opening week.
"They lost to Homer but they turned the ball over five or six times in that game," Byouer said of Nikiski's propensity to put the ball on the ground in Week 1. "Watching video, they seem to be able to play some good football. They probably should have beaten Homer, but (turnovers) were a hindrance."
Byouer said the Falcons haven't been working on any new wrinkles, but the team is rather trying to polish what's already in place, particularly the passing game.
"They seem to be vulnerable on the outside so maybe the passing game will open up a little bit," he said. "But I think we've got our work cut out for us."
On the injury front, lineman Paul Strickler is out for several weeks after breaking a toe, Byouer said, and Sean Niemataui and Tyee Dunlap are not yet set to return.
Defensive back/running back Tye McMichael will suit up for the first time against the Bulldogs.
"He's one of the fastest kids on our team and he's a senior," Byouer said. "This is his first time coming out in his high school career, but he was a standout in Juniors. He had some health issues so this is his first year back.
"He's got great skills and cutting ability, so we should see a lot from him."
Juneau Empire ©2013. All Rights Reserved.