Nikiski football rips Eielson; Skyview falls to power West Valley
The Nikiski football team steamrolled host Eielson 51-12 on Saturday to secure a share of the Greatland Conference title.
The Bulldogs and Barrow, which defeated Seward 43-0 on Friday, both finish with a 5-1 record in the league. The Whalers defeated the Bulldogs earlier in the year, so Barrow gets the No. 1 seed on the small-schools playoffs.
Nikiski, the No. 2 seed, opens against No. 3 Eielson at 2 p.m. Saturday at Nikiski. The Bulldogs will go into that game 7-1 overall, while Eielson finished 4-2 in the league and 4-4 overall.
Nikiski coach Ted Riddall said the offensive line and running backs were key in Saturday's victory. Stephen Hartley had 110 yards on 12 carries, Kaden Spurgeon had 72 yards on 14 carries and Josh Brown had 69 yards on 16 carries.
Hartley scored on an 85-yard kickoff return and 8-yard run, Spurgeon scored on a 4-yard run, and Brown scored on runs of 1, 1 and 14 yards. Nikiski's other touchdown was a 26-yard pass from Colton Anderson to Floyd Armstrong.
"Up front, our offensive line did a great job at the line of scrimmage," Riddall said. "Our running backs ran the ball the best they have all year, and that's saying something because they've all had a great year."
The Bulldogs ran for 243 yards and passed for 92. Eielson rushed for 154 and passed for 39.
Riddall said after watching tape of Soldotna using its Wing-T offense to carve up Eielson's defense earlier in the season, he had a pretty good idea that the Bulldogs could do the same.
The coach added that the lopsided score allowed his squad to keep some plays in the bag until next week.
"We held a lot back," Riddall said. "We've got a lot more for next week. We're not looking past them, though.
"They have a good football team and that's a great football program. It's hard to beat a good team twice."
One of Eielson's touchdowns came on a kickoff return. Riddall also said his defense had a great day in holding the Ravens to just one touchdown.
West Valley 36, Skyview 14
The host Panthers trailed the state's large-schools No. 4 team by six entering the fourth quarter, but the Wolfpack pulled away for a nonconference victory.
It was the final game of the season for Skyview, which finishes 2-6 overall and 1-5 in the Northern Lights Conference.
"At the end they pulled away from us," Skyview coach Eric Pomerleau said. "They made a couple plays and we made a couple mistakes. They are a really good team."
Richard Reynolds pulled in five catches for 113 yards for Skyview, including a 56-yard touchdown that cut the lead to 20-14 late in the third.
West Valley used a safety and a pair of touchdowns to open a big lead in the final quarter.
Also contributing for the Panthers was Albert White, who had a combined 62 yards rushing and receiving, including a 4-yard touchdown run. Quarterback Jordan Jones completed 6 of 14 for 147 yards, but threw three interceptions.
West Valley finished with 21 first downs to Skyview's 16, though the Wolfpack lost three fumbles.
Homer 42, Houston 20
In a Northern Lights Conference game that coach Camron Wyatt said was plagued by penalties and ended in confusion, the Mariners walked off with an apparent 42-20 win.
Wyatt said the Mariners scored a touchdown while holding a 42-20 lead with 19 seconds remaining, but as his team lined up for the extra point, the officials swiped the ball and walked off the field before the touchdown was put on the scoreboard.
The scoreboard lights then went off and Houston's players and coaches marched off.
"I don't really know what happened," Wyatt said, characterizing the game and its resolution as messy. "The ref took the ball away with 19 seconds on the clock. They sort of turned off the lights and called it quits."
Stats weren't reported, but Wyatt said Hoss Frank scored a touchdown, as did Dyllan Day.
What is certain is Homer finishes the regular season 7-1 overall and 4-1 in the NLC. The Mariners open the medium-schools playoffs next weekend at Southeast Conference champion Thunder Mountain.
A win would move the Mariners into the state title game. Wyatt said the squad matched the school's all-time win record at seven.
Barrow 43, Seward 0
The Whalers blanked the Seahawks in a Greatland Conference game Friday.
Seward finishes the regular season 0-8 overall and 0-5 in the conference. Stats weren't reported.
Bulldogs 51, Ravens 12
Nikiski 14 14 8 15 - 51
Eielson 12 0 0 0 - 12
Nik-J. Brown 1 run (Feller kick), 3:58.
Eie-Griffith 16 pass from Kincade (kick failed), 1:09.
Nik-Hartley 85 kickoff return (Feller kick), :55.4.
Eie-Griffith 74 kickoff return (pass failed), :44.4.
Nik-Armstrong 26 pass from Anderson (Feller kick), 8:05.
Nik-Hartley 8 run (Feller kick), 7:06.
Nikiski-Spurgeon 4 run (Spurgeon pass from Anderson), 1:25.
Nikiski-J. Brown 1 run (Eide pass from Anderson), 11:15.
Nikiski-J. Brown 14 run (Feller kick), 8:44.
First Downs 16 9
Rushes-Yards 44-243 30-154
Comp-Att-Int 6-8-0 3-16-2
Passing yards 92 39
Return yards 137 169
Fumbles-Lost 1-0 0-0
Penalties-Yards 3-15 2-20
RUSHING - Nikiski: Hartley 12-110, Spurgeon 14-72, J. Brown 16-69, Anderson 2-(-8). Eielson: Ellsworth 10-115, Phillips 1-35, Dunlap 6-16, Griffith 4-11, Innes 1-6, DeLauder 1-(-5), Kincaid 7-(-24).
PASSING - Nikiski: Anderson 6-8-0-92. Eielson: Kincade 3-16-2-39.
RECEIVING - Nikiski: Parrish 2-25, Green 1-33, Armstrong 1-26, Spurgeon 1-4, Eide 1-4. Eielson: Griffith 2-30, DeLauder 1-9.
Wolfpack 36, Panthers 14
West Valley 0 13 9 14 -36
Skyview 0 7 7 0 -14
Wes - Vinton 6 pass from Plass (kick failed), 11:04.
Sky - White 4 run (Jones kick), 6:54.
Wes - Graham 8 run (kick good), 1:09.
Wes - Anderson 8 run (kick good), 5:33.
Sky - Reynolds 56 pass from Jones (Jones kick), 3:53.
Wes - Anderson 1 run (conversion failed), 8:08.
Wes - Safety, 5:07.
Wes - Graham 43 pass from Plass (conversion failed), 4:57.
First Downs 21 16
Rush yards 324 119
Pass yards 287 147
Passing 9-19-1 6-14-3
Fumbles-lost 5-3 1-1
Penalties 8-70 5-35
Rushing - Wes: Anderson 20-152, Graham 10-136, Plass 2-(-8), Cummings 3-13, Moore 4-27. Sky: White 10-35, Williams 17-46, Hawkins 4-29, Jones 7-(-4).
Passing - Wes: Plass 9-19-1-287. Sky: Jones 6-14-3-147.
Receiving - Wes: Evanger 1-47, Vinton 2-41, Graham 5-168, Anderson 1-27. Sky: Reynolds 5-113, White 1-27.