PALMER -- As the top-ranked football team in Alaska, the Juneau-Douglas Crimson Bears are obligated to play a few games on the road.
Trouble is, there are no roads out of the capital city of nearly 30,000 located in the fjordlands of Southeast Alaska. But that doesn't stop the Crimson Bears, whose conference foes are all schools in Anchorage 750 miles away.
"We're used to flying," Juneau head coach Reilly Richey said. "Our closest conference game is an hour and 25-minute jet ride away."
Added assistant coach Jeep Rice: "The only bus we take is to the airport."
Three days after the terrorist attacks in New York City and Washington, D.C., parents, players and coaches boarded a full flight from Juneau to Anchorage, then took a bus to Palmer to play Colony High on a sunny Saturday afternoon. The Crimson Bears didn't find out they could fly until late Thursday night, about eight hours before Friday morning's departure time.
"I had to get up at 4 a.m." Richey said, adding the check-in took 2 1/2 hours -- an hour longer that the flight.
Juneau defeated Colony 14-7 Saturday in a nonconference game to remain undefeated at 6-0.
The Crimson Bears return to Cook Inlet Football Conference action at 7 p.m. this Friday when they host defending state champion Dimond at Adair-Kennedy Memorial Park. Last year, Dimond beat Colony 28-21 in the state championship game.
Quarterback Brett Fairchild said the team flies to about half of its games. Sione Tupou, the hero of the game with two touchdowns and 122 yards rushing, said it was like any other flight.
"You take off, you fly, you land," Tupou said.
Still, he and his teammates remained conscious about last week's devastating attack, a continent away. "We were all thinking about what happened."
Back to the game, which Juneau won because Tupou carried the ball 29 times and scored on touchdown runs of eight and three yards in the first half.
Tupou, who normally lines up at fullback, moved to tailback after Jason Cameron suffered a severely sprained ankle last weekend in Juneau's 10-7 victory over East Anchorage. Tupou is the first Juneau rusher to gain more than 100 yards in a game this year.
"That's the most I've seen the ball all season," Tupou said. "It was a lot of fun. I was so pumped carrying the ball that much. I enjoyed it."
Juneau rushed 50 times for 242 yards on Saturday, the most the Crimson Bears have run in one game all season.
Juneau also won because its defense limited Colony to just 30 yards rushing. That forced the Knights to pass, which led to their only touchdown when Doug Lampton caught a screen pass from quarterback Joe Reza and rumbled 28 yards down the sideline in the third quarter.
Fairchild, the state's top statistical quarterback entering the weekend, completed just six of 12 passes for 69 yards and two interceptions.
"It was a strange game," Richey said. "We took away their strength, which was the run. And they took away our strength, which was the pass. We wanted to pass, but had to run. They wanted to run, but had to pass. Both teams did a good job of taking away the other's strengths."
CRIMSON BEARS 14, KNIGHTS 7
Saturday's game at Colony High School
JUNEAU-DOUGLAS 7 7 0 0 -- 14
COLONY 0 0 7 0 -- 7
Juneau-Douglas -- Tupou 8 run (Sullivan kick), 0:30.
Juneau-Douglas -- Tupou 3 run (Sullivan kick), 0:08.
Colony -- Lampton 28 pass from Reza (Van Kirk kick), 4:12.
First downs 18 4
Rushes-yards 50-242 22-30
Passing yards 69 74
Comp-Att-Int 6-12-2 4-19-1
Return yards 45 58
Punts-ave 2-38.0 6-37.0
Fumbles-lost 7-2 1-0
Penalties-yards 6-55 15-52
RUSHING -- Juneau-Douglas: Tupou 29-122, Clair 7-44, Dutton 6-32, Fairchild 5-22, Mason 2-19, B. West 1-3. Colony: Morlan 8-17, Lampton 8-12, Smith 1-3, Reza 5-(-2).
PASSING -- Juneau-Douglas: Fairchild 6-12-2 -- 69. Colony: Reza 3-14-1 -- 52, Van Sant 1-5-0 -- 22.
RECEIVING -- Juneau-Douglas: Dutton 3-42, J. Miller 2-27, Clair 1-0. Colony: Lampton 1-28, DeBuck 1-22, Morlan 1-6.
MISSED FIELD GOALS -- None.
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