Staying defensive

JDHS defense continues to impress after three straight wins

Posted: Monday, August 27, 2007

Another game, another stellar performance by the Juneau-Douglas High School defense.

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The Crimson Bears (3-0, 2-0 Railbelt Conference) continued its assault on opposing offenses with a crippling run defense.

Tim on Sports

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In three games this season, JDHS has yet to allow more than 100 yards on the ground in one game. In fact, defensive coordinator Eddie Brakes' crew has yielded a minuscule 46.3 yards on the ground per contest.

North Pole running back Todd McCormick, who entered Saturday's contest ranked third among all large-school players in rushing yards, was limited to just 86 yards on 19 carries.

The bulk of the Patriots' offense Saturday came via two long pass plays.

RAILBELT CONFERENCE

(Conference, Overall)

Colony (2-0, 3-0)

Juneau-Douglas (2-0, 3-0)

Wasilla (1-0, 3-0)

Palmer (1-0, 1-2)

Lathrop (0-2, 0-3)

North Pole (0-2, 0-3)

West Valley (0-2, 0-3)

Friday's scores:

Colony 40, West Valley 7

Palmer 48, Lathrop 14

Saturday's games:

Juneau-Douglas 30, North Pole 13

Wasilla 38, Skyview 0

Aug. 31 games:

Palmer at Juneau-Douglas, 8 p.m.

North Pole at Wasilla, 7 p.m.

South Anchorage at Colony, 7 p.m.

Sept. 1 game:

Lathrop at West Valley, 1 p.m.

COOK INLET CONFERENCE

(Conference, Overall)

Chugiak (3-0, 3-0)

Dimond (2-0, 3-0)

Service (2-1, 2-1)

Bartlett (1-1, 2-1)

East Anchorage (1-2, 1-2)

South Anchorage (1-2, 1-2)

West Anchorage (0-2, 1-2)

Eagle River (0-2, 0-3)

Friday's score:

Chugiak 14, Service 13

Saturday's scores:

Bartlett 47, Eagle River 10

Dimond 15, West Anchorage 0

East Anchorage 22, South Anchorage 3

Aug. 31 games:

Chugiak at Bothell, Wash., 6 p.m.

Eagle River vs. West Anchorage, 7 p.m.

East Anchorage at Dimond, 7 p.m.

South Anchorage at Colony, 7 p.m.

Sept. 1 game:

Bartlett vs. Service, 1 p.m.

Patriots quarterback Steven Wright connected on a 70-yard pass to Dane Ibanez and a 75-yard score to Andy Musgrove. Subtract those 145 yards, and North Pole gained just 118 yards in the game.

In three games, JDHS held opponents to an average of 156 yards per game.

The key stat to show Juneau's control in Saturday's game is first downs. North Pole gained just seven first downs in the game, meaning the defense didn't allow the Patriots to build any sustained drives.

In the first half alone, Juneau didn't allow a single first down and kept McCormick to 9 yards on seven carries.

In addition to defense, two more key elements have played a factor in Juneau-Douglas' success - special teams and turnovers.

Senior Dominic Smith gives JDHS the luxury of a strong kicker and punter. Smith, also a standout striker on the soccer team, recorded a number of touchbacks on kickoffs this year.

On Saturday, his opening punt set up a Juneau safety when he pinned North Pole on its 1-yard line.

Juneau-Douglas also forced three turnovers Saturday, improving its turnover ratio to a healthy plus-6 (10 takeaways, four giveaways).

Juneau-Douglas' run defense will get another test Friday as the Bears host Palmer (1-2, 1-0 Railbelt) at 8 p.m.

The Moose amassed 397 rushing yards in their 48-14 win over Lathrop on Friday.

Palmer averages 286 rushing yards per game and is led by Devin Konkler (38 carries, 390 yards, four TDs).

Fullback Shannon Sawyer, quarterback Conrad Smith and halfback Brennan Bohman are all threats to run in coach Rod Christiansen's offense.

The Moose average 76 passing yards per game but only attempted four passes in Friday's win.

• Contact sports editor Tim Nichols at 523-2228 or sports@juneauempire.com.



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