The Juneau-Douglas High School football team will host its first-ever home playoff game at 7 p.m. Saturday at Adair-Kennedy Memorial Park. The Crimson Bears will play the defending state champion Dimond Lynx.
The game was switched from Juneau's traditional Friday night home game schedule because of state high school diploma qualifying exams given by the Anchorage School District, which will prevent the Lynx from traveling until school ends Friday, Juneau Youth Football League officials said.
In a radio interview during the halftime of Juneau's regular season-ending 7-0 loss to Service on Saturday, Dimond coach Duncan Shackelford said his team isn't even allowed to practice after school during the three days of testing.
Juneau (7-1 overall, 5-1 Cook Inlet Football Conference) already had claimed its first CIFC championship before the loss to Service on Saturday. Dimond (4-4 overall, 3-3 CIFC) is the fourth seed from the CIFC. Juneau edged Dimond 10-7 on Sept. 21 at Adair-Kennedy Memorial Park.
In other first-round large schools state playoff games involving CIFC teams, second seed Chugiak (6-2 overall, 5-1 CIFC) hosts third seed Bartlett (6-2 overall, 4-2 CIFC) at 3 p.m. on Saturday at Chugiak High School.
The other two first-round large schools state playoff games involve teams from the Northern Railbelt Conference, with top-seeded West Valley (8-0 overall, 6-0 NRC) hosting fourth-seeded Palmer (4-4 overall, 3-3 NRC) at 1 p.m. Saturday at Kiwanis Field in Fairbanks and second-seeded Wasilla (6-2 overall, 4-2 NRC) hosting third-seeded Colony (4-4 overall, 3-3 NRC) at 7 p.m. Friday at Veterans Memorial Field at Wasilla High School.
The state semifinal games and the state championship game will take place at Anchorage Football Stadium.
The Juneau-Dimond winner will play the Wasilla-Colony winner at 10 a.m. on Saturday, Oct. 13, with the Chugiak-Bartlett winner playing the West Valley-Palmer winner at 1:30 p.m. the same day. The championship game will be at noon on Saturday, Oct. 20.
In the small schools state playoffs this weekend, defending state champion Nikiski (7-1 overall, 4-0 Greatland Conference) hosts Kenai Central (7-1 overall, 3-1 Northern Lights Conference) at noon Saturday at Nikiski High School. Soldotna (3-5 overall, 3-1 NLC) hosts Seward (4-4 overall, 3-1 GLC) at 4 p.m. at Soldotna High School.
The small schools state championship game is at 5 p.m. on Saturday, Oct. 13, at Anchorage Football Stadium.