ANCHORAGE - The Juneau-Douglas Crimson Bears are back in the state championship, and they got there in a dominating fashion.
JDHS (9-1) stymied East Anchorage's passing game as the Crimson Bears earned a 21-3 state semifinal victory Saturday at Anchorage Football Stadium.
Juneau-Douglas held all-Cook Inlet conference quarterback Chad Nading and the pass-heavy East offense to only 44 yards in the air.
Nading, who looked uncomfortable in the pocket throughout the game, went 4-for-24 with three interceptions. JDHS cornerback Ryan Fagerstrom claimed two of those INTs.
"We've got really talented cornerbacks," JDHS head coach Bill Chalmers said. "We've got some really fine athletes in that secondary, and we put pressure on their quarterback."
Juneau-Douglas' offense received a balance attack, amassing 108 rushing yards and 175 passing yards.
East struck first when a poor punt by Juneau-Douglas led to a 32-yard field goal for the Thunderbirds.
Down 3-0, Juneau-Douglas used its rushing attack to take the lead.
Crimson Bears' tailback Tres Saldivar rushed for a 1-yard score on the ensuing drive. Dylan Ashe's extra point put Juneau-Douglas ahead 7-3 in the first quarter.
After East turned the ball over on downs at Juneau-Douglas' 35-yard line, the Crimson Bears wasted little time extending their lead.
Juneau-Douglas quarterback Chris Hinkley hit Fagerstrom on a 35-yard pass. After East committed a 15-yard unsportsmanlike conduct penalty, Hinkley hit Fagerstrom on a 4-yard TD pass. Ashe's second extra-point of the day gave JDHS a 14-3 halftime lead.
East threatened in the third quarter, but Juneau-Douglas' defense once again answered the challenge. The Crimson Bears snuffed out a double-reverse in their own territory to keep East out of the end zone.
Juneau-Douglas put the game away in the fourth quarter as Saldivar rushed for his second TD of the game, this one coming from 3-yards out.
Down 21-3 in the fourth, East tried desperately to get back in the game.
Nading, however, threw two interceptions in the final 12 minutes of play as Juneau-Douglas once again ended the T-Birds' season.
"I thought the whole team played great," Hinkley said. "The offensive line did a great job, and the running game really helped out."
Hinkley ended the day 15-for-25 with 175 yards and a TD. Fagerstrom hauled in five receptions for 75 yards, Angelo Katasse had 43 receiving yards on three catches and Brian Maller added two catches for 43 yards.
For the Thunderbirds (7-3), Allen Franklin rushed for a game-high 168 yards on 20 carries.
The Crimson Bears will face Palmer in the state championship game. The game will take place at 1 p.m. Saturday at Anchorage Football Stadium.
JDHS defeated the Moose 50-7 back on Sept. 10 as the Crimson Bears scored six touchdowns in the first half.
NOTES: Nading fell 33 yards shy of the Cook Inlet single-season passing yardage record. Hinkley is now 57 yards short of breaking Alaska's all-time single-season record, set by Soldotna's Mark Wackler in 1996.
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