Bears slide to No. 5

West Anchorage retains top spot in poll and is state's lone unbeaten team

Posted: Tuesday, September 02, 2003

The Juneau-Douglas High School football team slid three spots in the state's rankings released on Monday.

The Crimson Bears (3-1 overall, 1-1 Cook Inlet Football Conference) suffered their first loss of the season on Friday, 28-27 to then-unranked Dimond.

Juneau now is ranked fifth in the Anchorage Daily News/Alaska State Football Coaches Poll. The Crimson Bears were ranked second last week.

Dimond took Juneau's old spot in the poll, climbing to No. 2 in the rankings. The Lynx won when Juneau failed to make a two-point conversion in the last two minutes of a game that saw four lead changes.

"We were lucky to get out of there alive," Dimond coach Duncan Shackelford told the Anchorage Daily News. "Juneau's a good ballclub. They're a hard-hitting football team."

The West Anchorage Eagles, who ended a pair of 27-game losing streaks (overall and CIFC) last Sept. 6 when they beat Juneau 24-14, continued their worst-to-first run when they retained the top spot in the poll this week.

West is the state's only undefeated team after its 35-27 victory over the No. 3 Chugiak Mustangs on Saturday, but the Eagles had to rally for 20 fourth-quarter points to stay unbeaten. It was West's second straight, fourth-quarter, come-from-behind victory over a ranked team. A week earlier, West upset then-No. 1 Service 33-31 on a tipped Hail Mary pass.

With Saturday's victory, and losses by previously unbeaten Juneau and North Pole, the Eagles (4-0 overall, 2-0 CIFC) picked up all 11 first-place votes in this week's poll and had 55 points.

Dimond (3-1 overall, 2-1 CIFC) moved into second place with 34 points. Dimond plays West this weekend.

Chugiak (2-2 overall, 2-1 CIFC) retained its No. 3 ranking with 27 points, followed by previously unranked Lathrop (3-1 overall, 1-0 Northern Railbelt Conference) in fourth with 19 points. Juneau was fifth with 12 points.

Palmer (2-2 overall), Service (2-2 overall), East Anchorage (2-2 overall) and North Pole (3-1 overall) also received votes, but not enough points to crack the top five places.

After four straight home games to open the season, Juneau hits the road for the first time when the Crimson Bears play Service at noon Saturday at Anchorage Football Stadium.

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