ANCHORAGE -- It was one of those halftime speeches that completely turns a team around. It was scathing, it was inspirational and the timing was perfect.
But Juneau-Douglas High School head football coach Reilly Richey didn't give it. In fact, he wasn't even there to hear it.
"I don't know what was said at halftime -- I left it to the captains," Richey said. "Whatever they said worked."
The Juneau-Douglas Crimson Bears rallied themselves Saturday afternoon, turning a sloppy, inconsistent first half into a 28-10 victory over the West Anchorage High School Eagles in a Cook Inlet Football Conference battle at the Anchorage Football Stadium.
The third-ranked Crimson Bears erased a 10-7 halftime deficit with three second-half touchdowns. Juneau senior wide receiver Jacob Dutton scored three touchdowns, including two in the second half, as the Crimson Bears improved to 3-0 on the year. The Crimson Bears earned their first road victory in five tries, breaking a losing streak that dated back to the 1999 playoffs, while the Eagles (0-3) suffered their 20th straight loss dating back to the 1998 season.
After watching his team commit nine penalties for 109 yards and gain just 20 yards rushing in the first half, Richey said a brief word to his troops at halftime and then left the locker room. That's when the seniors -- including lineman Bret Russell and quarterback Brett Fairchild -- took the floor.
"We just told them what was expected of us," Fairchild said. "And I think it was a huge turnaround."
Dutton added: "It was such an inspirational speech. We were pumped."
The Crimson Bears made the first statement of the third quarter on defense.
The Eagles opened the second half with a quick drive into the red zone, setting up a first-and-10 from Juneau's 14 yard line. But the Crimson Bears, despite a face mask penalty, never let the Eagles beyond the 7 yard line and made an emphatic stop of West's Colin Olito on fourth-and-three to end the drive with 8 minutes, 8 seconds left.
Juneau relied heavily on the pass in the first half, but turned to the ground on its opening possession of the second half. The offense quickly rolled, with backs Jason Cameron, Sione Tupou and Dutton each gathering major yardage before capping a 12-play, 4:53 drive with a 14-yard touchdown run on a reverse by Dutton.
"We got our momentum from stopping them," Dutton said. "And the linemen made the holes."
Meanwhile the Eagles, riding high at halftime despite having a late second-quarter touchdown called back for holding, suddenly saw the chances of losing their losing streak slip away.
"Fourth-and-three and we just didn't get it done," West coach Bob Garman said. "And then they marched right back and broke our backs."
Juneau made West go four-and-out on the following possession, then scored on a 21-yard touchdown pass from Fairchild to Dutton four plays later to open the fourth quarter.
Juneau capped the scoring with a one-yard touchdown run by Tupou midway through the fourth quarter.
The Crimson Bears finished the game with 187 yards and two touchdowns on the ground, to go with 142 yards and two touchdowns through the air.
"Brett (Fairchild) has been taking snaps since he was a freshman, so we have the luxury of having a real thick playbook," Richey said with a smile.
Dutton finished with 46 yards rushing and a touchdown on four carries, plus he added 92 yards receiving and two touchdowns on four receptions.
West's Jared Solberg had a touchdown and 151 tough yards on 25 carries to lead the winless Eagles.
"Our kids just have to keep fighting," Garman said.
CRIMSON BEARS 28, EAGLES 10
Saturday's game from Anchorage Football Stadium
JUNEAU-DOUGLAS 7 0 7 14 -- 28
WEST ANCHORAGE 3 7 0 0 -- 10
West Anchorage -- Olito 39 field goal, 7:24.
Juneau-Douglas -- Dutton 20 pass from Fairchild (Sullivan kick), 5:24.
West Anchorage -- Solberg 5 run (Olito kick), 10:47.
Juneau-Douglas -- Dutton 14 run (Sullivan kick), 3:15.
Juneau-Douglas -- Dutton 9 pass from Fairchild (Sullivan kick), 11:51.
Juneau-Douglas -- Tupou 1 run (Sullivan kick), 5:42.
First downs 15 16
Rushes-yards 29-187 48-240
Passing yards 142 22
Comp-att-int 11-24-1 2-13-0
Return yards 100 113
Punts-ave 3-22.3 3-26.0
Fumbles-lost 2-0 1-1
Penalties-yards 15-164 8-88
RUSHING -- Juneau-Douglas: Cameron 9-87, Dutton 4-46, Tupou 9-35, Fairchild 7-19. West Anchorage: Solberg 25-151, Aldana 12-59, Olito 6-21, Reed 5-9.
PASSING -- Juneau-Douglas: Fairchild 11-23-1 -- 142, Tupou 0-1-0 -- 0. West Anchorage: Olito 2-13-0 -- 22.
RECEIVING -- Juneau-Douglas: Dutton 4-92, Miller 5-30, Tupou 1-29, Cameron 2-(-9). West Anchorage: Davis 2-22.