After securing the Railbelt Conference title last week, the Juneau-Douglas High School football team faces hungry West Valley tonight.
The junior varsity kicks off at 5 p.m., while the varsity starts at 8 p.m. tonight at Adair-Kennedy Memorial Park.
The Crimson Bears (6-0, 5-0 Railbelt) have already locked up the conference title and a first-round home playoff game. The Wolfpack (2-4, 2-2) find themselves battling for a post-season position.
West Valley has beaten Lathrop and Wasilla this season - its first Railbelt victories since 2003 - and boasts a very sound running game.
The Wolfpack are led on the ground by workhorse Dustin Baxter.
The junior is accustomed to shouldering the load and toted the rock an astounding 38 times for 199 yards in the 21-14 win over Wasilla in Week 2.
Quarterback Duane Aamot can also run and scored the game-winning touchdown in a 19-13 win over Lathrop.
The Wolfpack aren't a scoring machine, averaging 11.3 points per game, but play sound, fundamental football.
They will try to grind it out on the ground, save field position and control time of possession. West Valley will also play with a lot of emotion, as it looks to seal up a playoff spot.
Juneau-Douglas will look to continue its offensive explosion.
The Crimson Bears, averaging 45 points per game, are led by junior quarterback Chris Hinkley.
The junior has completed 87-of-136 passes this season, good for a .640 completion percentage, 1,437 yards, 20 touchdowns and four interceptions.
A real key to the Bears' success, however, has been the play of the offensive line.
Left tackle Will Tonsgard, left guard Alex Robinson, center Donny Peterson, right guard Justin Behrends and right tackle Joe Monagle have been stellar.
Hinkley has rarely come under pressure this season while the running game always seems to find a couple yards, which serves as a tribute to the men in the trenches.
All the other Juneau-Douglas teams will be on the road this weekend.
The JDHS swimming and diving team starts the most grueling part of their schedule this weekend with a two-day meet in Petersburg.
The Crimson Bears will bring 17 athletes for the two-day Southeast meet.
Three divers will be making their Juneau-Douglas debut this weekend as former state qualifier Tanya Trucano will join sophomore Hanna Davis and freshman Nathan Teal in the 1-meter springboard event.
In the pool, Erika O'Sullivan, Jenna Rutecki, Annie Choate and Linzie Norman will be making the trip to compete against some of Southeast's best.
After this weekend, the Crimson Bears' schedule heats up with trips to Cordova and Anchorage before making their home debut on Oct. 7.
The JDHS volleyball team (7-1) returns to Southeast Conference play with a two games at Sitka.
Fresh off a three-day barnstorming tour of Washington state last weekend, the Crimson Bears will look to improve upon their quick-strike offense against the Wolves.
The cross country team heads off to Ketchikan this weekend.
The Crimson Bears' varsity team spent last weekend in town working with track and field coach Scott May while the junior varsity boys and girls teams won the Wrangell Invitational last weekend.
Tim Nichols, sports editor, can be reached at firstname.lastname@example.org
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