Juneau-Douglas pounded North Pole 40-8 for a soggy senior night victory, closing out the regular season Friday at Adair-Kennedy Memorial Park.
The Crimson Bears finished the season 6-2 overall and 5-1 in the Railbelt Conference, earning the No. 2 seed and a home playoff game next Saturday against Chugiak.
"Don't take for granted, one, being in the playoffs and two, being at home," JDHS coach Rich Sjoroos told the team after the win. "This was the best four-quarter game you have played this season."
Juneau-Douglas took advantage of six takeaways and scored 20 points in the first half to lead 20-0 at the break.
The Bears drove toward the end zone on their first possession but receiver Sean Collum fumbled, and Chavez Jackson recovered for the Patriots at their own 27-yard line.
But JDHS senior Colin Gozelski intercepted a pass on North Pole's first play from scrimmage and returned it down to the Patriots 9-yard line.
Collum redeemed himself three plays later after catching an 8-yard touchdown pass from quarterback Phillip Fenumiai, and the Bears led 7-0 midway through the first quarter.
Juneau-Douglas went 51 yards in six plays on its first possession of the second quarter, including a big 19-yard pickup by Phillip Fenumiai on third-and-3 to keep the drive alive. Senior running back Justin Brooks broke through the line of scrimmage for a 14-yard touchdown run and a 14-0 JDHS lead at the 10:13-mark of the second quarter.
Juneau-Douglas forced a three-and-out on the next North Pole possession, with Brooks getting a sack on third dow. The Patriots' punt only went about 10 yards, setting up another short field for JDHS.
On second-and-4 from the North Pole 9-yard line, the snap sailed high over Fenumiai's head for a loss of 16 yards, but he then picked up 14 yards on a run on the next play to set up a 21-yard field goal by Peter Jorgensen, pushing the Bears ahead 17-0 with 5:19 left in the first half.
Gozelski picked up his second interception of the night on the next Patriots possession, giving Juneau-Douglas the ball back at its own 44-yard line.
Gozelski then caught a pass for a 31-yard gain to the Patriots 25-yard line. Collum caught a pass for an 11-yard gain, eventually setting up another field goal by Jorgensen, this one from 18 yards out for a 20-0 JDHS lead.
Juneau-Douglas recovered a fumble late in the third quarter to set up first-and-10 at the North Pole 41-yard line. Three plays later, Fenumiai hit Gozelski over the middle of the field, where he cut back inside and ran it into the end zone.
Jorgensen tacked on the PAT and JDHS led 27-0 heading into the fourth quarter.
The Patriots got on the board less than a minute into the fourth after a 60-yard completion to Chris Vannoy on second-and-22, setting the Patriots up at the JDHS 15-yard line.
Matthew Rogers took it into the end zone on the very next play, cutting the deficit to 27-8, JDHS.
The Bears quickly countered, with junior Jerick Ibias exploding through the hole for a 36-yard gain to the Patriots 19-yard line. Two plays later, Fenumiai ran in from 13-yards out to make it 34-8, JDHS after another Jorgensen PAT.
But lineman Ryan Baldwin got flagged for unsportsmanlike conduct after retaliating against a North Pole player and was ejected from the game, which means he will be out for next week's playoff game because of ASAA rules.
Jake Robinson picked off another Patriots pass right at the goal line, setting up a Drake Lail touchdown from three yards out to set the final score at 40-8 after the PAT was blocked.
Fenumiai finished 7 of 16 for 130 yards and two touchdowns, and carried nine times for 67 yards and a score.
Brooks led the rushing attack with 96 yards and a touchdown on 17 carries. Gozelski had two interceptions in addition to three catches for 81 yards with a touchdown.
The Bears will face Chugiak on Saturday at Adair-Kennedy Memorial Park in a rematch of last year's first-round game that saw Chugiak win on a safety after a botched snap seconds before the end of regulation, a fact Sjoroos said will be on the team's mind.
"Well, therapy's been going well, so hopefully this can get the therapy over with if we can come out and get the 'W,'" Sjoroos quipped. "That's our big goal now is to become students of Chugiak and figure out how we're going to match up because they've got the state's leading rusher and there's no secret to what they do: They pound the football."
How They Scored
JDHS - Collum 4 pass from Fenumiai (Jorgensen kick), 7:40
JDHS - Brooks 14 run (Jorgensen kick), 10:13
JDHS - Jorgensen 21 field goal, 5:19
JDHS - Jorgensen 18 field goal, 2:42
JDHS - Gozelski 40 pass from Fenumiai (Jorgensen kick), :12.8
NPHS - Rogers 15 run (conversion good), 11:18
JDHS - Fenumiai 13 run (Jorgensen kick), 9:29
JDHS - Lail 3 run (Kick failed), 6:42