An aggressive West Valley defense gave Juneau-Douglas High School a chance to work on its passing game Friday at Adair-Kennedy Memorial Field.
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Crimson Bears quarterback Ryan "Bubba" Larson took advantage by accounting for six touchdowns - five passing, one rushing - to lead JDHS to a 68-14 whitewashing of the winless Wolfpack.
"I think they wanted to take away (JDHS running back) Silver (Maake) and loaded the box," Larson said. "They brought everyone but three. I was surprised."
Larson completed 8-of-22 passes for 173 yards in the win. The senior completed two TD passes to Alex Fagerstrom and gave Jesse West, Erick Waters and Erik Fagerstrom their first high-school career TD receptions.
Throughout the season, JDHS (7-0, 6-0 Railbelt) has primarily been a ground-oriented offense with Maake. Against West Valley, however, JDHS showed it can by multifaceted when needed.
"We need to be more versatile, and I feel good," Larson said.
Despite the gaudy score, it took a while for Juneau's offense to get in gear. Despite its winless record, West Valley fearlessly attacked Juneau-Douglas' offense with its blitzing attack.
"The one thing we did was play tough in the beginning," said Wolfpack second-year coach William James. "We made mistakes but we played good defense."
Juneau-Douglas broke through as Larson hit West for an 11-yard TD late in the first quarter.
West made three receptions for 60 yards in the win. He also kicked 6-of-8 extra points, filling in for the injured Dominic Smith.
"This is a breakout game for Jesse," JDHS head coach Bill Chalmers said. "As a receiver, he's been just that close to pulling in a few. He's also kicking and after a half-week of practice, to only miss a couple was good."
Alex Fagerstrom added another first-quarter score for JDHS when he intercepted a Sam McKinstry pass and returned it for a touchdown. Though Fagerstrom led JDHS with three catches for 83 yards, he played an even better game defensively at cornerback. Fagerstrom limited Wolfpack top receiver David Eastman to just one catch for eight yards.
Juneau-Douglas put the game away in a 42-point second quarter that included three touchdowns in the final 1:53 of the first half. Larson threw three TD passes, rushed for one, Lincoln Maka returned a kickoff 92 yards for a score and Maake scored on a 42-yard run.
West Valley, playing mostly sophomores and juniors, showed flashes of its aerial assault with two TD passes in the second quarter. Sophomore quarterback McKinstry hit Nick Herzberg for touchdown passes of 66 and 70 yards."The kids we ran into at West Valley will, in a year or two, will be among the best in the state," Chalmers said.
Other than those two TD passes, however, Juneau-Douglas' defense dominated.
The Bears sacked McKinstry seven times and held West Valley's to -72 rushing yards on 19 attempts. JDHS also forced four turnovers.
With the win, JDHS improved to 7-0 for the first time since its state-championship season in 2005. The Crimson Bears will conclude the regular season at 8 p.m. Saturday against Rainier High School (4-0) from Rainier, Ore.
JUNEAU-DOUGLAS 68, WEST VALLEY 14P>
JDHS 13 42 7 6 - 68
WVHS 0 14 0 0 - 14
JDHS - West 7 pass from Larson (kick failed), 2:18.
JDHS - A. Fagerstrom 3 interception return (West kick), :038.
JDHS - A. Fagerstrom 11 pass from Larson (kick blocked), 7:49.
West Valley - Herzberg 66 pass from McKinstry (McDonough kick), 7:23.
JDHS - Maka 92 kickoff return (West kick), 7:14.
JDHS - Larson 2 run (West kick), 3:41.
West Valley - Herzberg 70 pass from McKinstry (McDonough kick), 2:22
JDHS - Maake 42 run (Maake run), 1:53.
JDHS - A. Fagerstrom 70 pass from Larson (West kick), :27.
JDHS - E. Fagerstrom 11 pass from Larson (West kick), :07.
JDHS - Waters 19 pass from Larson (West kick), :03.
JDHS - Maka 34 run (run failed), 7:15.
WEST VALLEY JDHS
First downs 6 11
Rushes-yards 19-(-72) 35-241
Passing yards 201 173
Return yards 106 176
Passes 8-30-2 8-22-0
Punts 7-25.4 2-33
Fumbles-lost 4-2 4-1
Penalties-yards 6-38 8-119
RUSHING - West Valley: Tillman 5-(-7), McKinstry 10-(-61), No. 23 1-(-4), Wisel 3-0. JDHS: Maake 17-129, Larson 5-3, D. Wilson 1-3, A. Fagerstrom 5-(-6), N. Wilson 6-78, Maka (1-34).
PASSING - West Valley: McKinstry 5-15-1-154, Wisel 3-15-1-47. JDHS: Larson 8-22-0-173.
RECEIVING - West Valley: Herzberg 2-136, Jefferies 1-7, Nelson 1-4, Tillman 1-7, Eastman 1-8, Roach 1-35, Sniegowski 1-4. JDHS: West 3-60, A. Fagerstrom 3-83, E. Fagerstrom 1-11, Waters 1-19.
Contact sports editor Tim Nichols at 523-2228 or email@example.com.