When Juneau-Douglas wide receiver Chris Connally would line up during Friday's 49-14 victory over Lathrop Friday, all he saw was a sea of yellow and maize jerseys.
Connally, one of the top receivers in the state and a threat to break long touchdown runs, often drew double and triple coverage. That worked to contain Connally -- he only caught one pass for six yards -- but it left his counterpart Jacob Dutton wide open.
Dutton caught touchdown passes of 14, 60 and 38 yards from quarterback Brett Fairchild to give the Crimson Bears (1-1 in Cook Inlet Conference, 2-1 overall) a dominating offensive performance against non-conference foe Lathrop (0-3 in Northern Lights North Conference, 0-4 overall).
Juneau offensive coordinator Mike Huterson said a Lathrop linebacker and safety would cheat over to cover Connally -- in addition to the defensive back.
"Connally was getting frustrated," Hutcherson said. "But he's such a team player. He was telling me what dumby routes to run so we could free up Jacob."
Dutton and Fairchild connected on a 14-yard touchdown pass in the first quarter. Lathrop took a 7-6 lead on the ensuing kickoff, as Ivan Snowden fought off a crunching hit and bolted 85 yards down the sideline to score.
Juneau scored 22 points in the second quarter to put the game away. Fairchild and Dutton connnected for touchdowns of 60 and 38 yards, and Sione Tupou scored a 1-yard TD after he recovered a Lathrop fumble at the 2-yard line while playing defense. Kit Ritter added a 29-yard field goal in the quarter.
Juneau began the third quarter with a 100-yard drive capped off by Jason Cameron's 46-yard run. Juneau found itself at it's own 0-yard line after Crimson Bears middle linebacker Justin Rose rocked Lathrop quarterback T.J. Graziadei just inches from the goalline on fourth down. After the hit, Rose lay on the turf on the turf for several minutes, and walked off the field in pain clutching his right shoulder.
"It hurts real good," said Rose, who was playing the game with a broken finger on his right hand. "A doctor on the field said it's severely bruised. I can't lift it. I'll take it slow this week. I'll be back for Dimond (next Saturday in Anchorage) I'm hoping."
"We're a real physical team," Hutcherson said. "Some of our guys -- Rose, (fullback-linebacker) Brian Fairchild, (lineman) Brandon Mahle -- were playing at Mach 1."
In the fourth quarter, Juneau's Nick Downard intercepted a pass and ran it 51 yards for a touchdown. Fairchild closed out Juneau's scoring with a 1-yard TD run.
Lathrop scored with 12 seconds left on Brock Graziadei's 38-yard half-back option pass to Dre Bateman.
Dutton finished the game with four catches for 123 yards. Fairchild completed 7-of-16 passes for 164 yards with one interception, and Cameron was Juneau's top rusher with 12 carries for 99 yards and a touchdown.
Dutton made two of his touchdowns a bit more dramatic by bobbling the ball then hauling it in as he sprinted down field. Dutton said he dropped a sure touchdown pass in last week's 27-25 victory over Chugiak, and made a bet with Hutcherson that if he dropped any more, he'd pay for it in practice.
"I made a bet with coach Hutch that if I dropped any more I'd have to run six cross-fields (down the field and back)," Dutton said. "I didn't think about the cross-fields, just catching the ball."
Fairchild said he and Dutton talked last week during practice, and Dutton responded.
"We had a couple of heart-to-heart chats," Fairchild said. "I told him what to expect, and he responded."
Next week Juneau takes on Dimond -- the top-ranked team in the Anchorage Daily News Coaches poll -- at 3 p.m. in Anchorage.
JUNEAU-DOUGLAS 49, LATHROP 14
LATHROP 7 0 0 7 -- 14
JUNEAU-DOUGLAS 6 22 7 14 -- 49
Juneau-Douglas -- Dutton 9 pass from Fairchild (kick failed), 6:58.
Lathrop -- Snowden 85 kickoff return (Nicholson kick), 6:43.
Juneau-Douglas -- Dutton 60 pass from Fairchild (run failed), 11:52.
Juneau-Douglas -- Ritter 29 field goal, 8:52.
Juneau-Douglas -- Tupou 1 run (Ritter kick), 7:53.
Juneau-Douglas -- Dutton 38 pass from Fairchild (kick failed), 3:23.
Juneau-Douglas -- Cameron 46 run (Ritter kick), 6:11.
Juneau-Douglas -- Downard 51 interception return (Connally run), 11:48.
Juneau-Douglas -- Fairchild 1 run (run failed), 9:55.
Lathrop -- Bateman 38 pass from B. Graziadei (Nicholson kick), 0:12.
First down 8 11
Rushes-yards 52-102 19-176
Passing yards 55 164
Comp-att-int 3-7-1 7-16-1
Return yards 130 97
Punts-ave. 5-38.6 1-34.0
Fumbles-lost 3-2 5-1
Penalties-yards 12-70 9-66
RUSHING -- Lathrop: Linenko 10-53, Bateman 12-28, B. Graziadei 5-25, Nicholson 4-2, Zody 1-1, Oates 1-0, T.J. Gradziadei 19-(-7). Juneau-Douglas: Cameron 12-99, Fairchild 4-31, West 2-21, Tupou 6-13, Mahle 1-12.
PASSING -- Lathop: B. Graziadei 2-5-1 -- 17, T.J. Graziadei 1-2-0 -- 38. Juneau-Douglas: Fairchild 7-16-1 -- 164.
RECEIVING -- Lathrop: Bateman 1-38, Graetz 1-9, Oates 1-8. Juneau-Douglas: Dutton 4-123, Cameron 1-27, Miller 1-8, Connally 1-6.
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