Another weekend, another demolition by the Juneau-Douglas High School football team.
The Crimson Bears scored six straight touchdowns in the first half Friday en route to a 50-7 rout of previously undefeated Palmer.
"We come out strong, that's what we do well," said JDHS tailback Tres Saldivar. "When we come out strong, teams kind of have trouble with us. We click right away, but it doesn't start in the game, it starts in practice. Click in practice, you'll click in the game."
Tres Saldivar led Alaska's highest scoring offense with two receiving TDs and one on the ground for the Crimson Bears (4-0, 3-0 Railbelt).
JDHS junior quarterback Chris Hinkley continued to put up big numbers, completing 14 of 23 passes for 262 yards and four TDs.
Palmer's defense challenged JDHS to beat them underneath by playing its secondary well off the line of scrimmage.
With the Moose negating any deep passes, the Crimson Bears picked apart Palmer's defense underneath.
"We didn't want to give up the big play and keep from getting those 30- and 40-yard TD passes," Palmer coach Rod Christiansen said. "The under-coverage guys didn't do as well as we hoped on those shorter passes. There were some catch and runs there. We hoped to put a little more pressure on the quarterback but he did a good job getting rid of the ball and their line did a good job of blocking."
Hinkley spread the ball around in Friday's victory, completing passes to seven different receivers.
"Chris Hinkley probably played his most careful game today," JDHS head coach Bill Chalmers said. "He was very, very cautious with what he did with the football."
The running game established itself as a force as Saldivar and fullback/wide receiver Josh Lehauli continued their assault on opposing defenses.
Saldivar did an excellent job of following his athletic blockers to open space en route to 174 yards of total offense.
Saldivar also provided the game's big play. With less than two minutes remaining in the first half and facing a 3rd-and-35, Saldivar took a screen pass and followed his blockers 68 yards to the end zone.
Saldivar's third TD of the game, along with Dylan Ashe's extra-point, put Juneau-Douglas ahead 43-7 at the half.
"When the ball came up all I was doing was making one play at a time," Saldivar said. "Once I secured it, I looked for my line to guide me because I can't do it all. You have to use you're teammates. That's what makes us a good team, we trust each other."
Defensively, JDHS played a nearly flawless game against Palmer's spread-option attack.
The Crimson Bears forced four turnovers, three of which resulted in 20 points.
Against the run, defensive ends Joe Kohan and Faifo Levale shut down the inside game and forced the option to the outside. When Moose quarterback Jeremy Weber did pitch the ball, Juneau's outside linebackers and defensive backs swept in for the tackle.
"The option is difficult to defend against because two or three people have to do their jobs perfectly as well as the whole defensive line putting pressure on," Chalmers said. "And they did."
Tim Nichols, sports editor, can be reached at firstname.lastname@example.org
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