Injuries during first away game lead to crushing loss
The Ravens pounded the Mariners in a nonconference season opener Saturday afternoon in Fairbanks, finish Homer off with a 67-31 score.
“It was pretty disappointing overall,” said Homer coach Josh Fraley.
Teddy Croft, who racked up four touchdowns in the first half and five total, went out in the second half after a brutal hit. Fraley said he pulled Croft in order to follow concussion protocol.
To make matters worse, cramping took hold of receiver Noah Fisk, who missed much of the second half as well.
“I think it would’ve been a closer contest (if they stayed in),” Fraley said. “We also had some missed opportunities that they scored on.”
Croft finished with 264 total offensive yards — he threw three touchdowns for 130 yards and ran for two other scores while piling up 134 rushing yards.
Eielson took the lead for good with a 15-yard rumble by Jaydenn Manibusen early in the second quarter, which put the Ravens up 20-19. Jeremiah Brown led Eielson with 132 rushing yards.
With Croft out of the game, Fraley turned to senior Jaime Rios and junior Dawson Felde to lead the team.
Fisk opened the game with a touchdown catch, then Croft was off to the races on a 57-yard scramble to help Homer open up a 12-0 lead.
Another big scoring run by Croft, this one a 64-yard sprint, left the Mariners with a 19-6 lead with 3:13 remaining in the first quarter, but it would all be lost from there.
Eielson scored 33 points in the second quarter to take a 46-25 lead at halftime, even after Croft connected with Felde on a 16-yard touchdown pass in the second quarter to cut the deficit to two points.
The closest the Mariners got from there was 46-31 in the third quarter, when Croft landed a 61-yard bomb into the hands of Joe Ravin. It would be soon after when Croft was taken out of the game.