The Soldotna football team got a big boost from freshmen and sophomores in notching a 35-0 Northern Lights Conference victory at Chugiak on Friday night.
Sophomore Gehret Medcoff ran for 184 yards and touchdowns of 19, 66 and 18 yards as the Stars moved to 1-1 overall and 1-0 in the league. Chugiak drops to 1-2 and 0-1.
Medcoff missed the second half of the season-opening loss to Lathrop with an injury, but was able to return to lead the Stars on Friday.
“Medcoff was the standout of the game,” Soldotna coach Galen Brantley Jr. said. “He’s kind of a different player. He has lots of speed and he runs physically. He has a chance to be a very special player.”
Brayden Taylor and Zac Buckbee split time at quarterback for the Stars and Brantley Jr. said both played well. Taylor had a 41-yard touchdown run while Buckbee threw a 10-yard touchdown pass to Dylan Dahlgren.
Brantley Jr. said he was happy to get the win considering the team was missing players due to injury and being ruled close contacts of COVID-19 positive cases. The coach said he had five sophomores and a freshman on offense, and four freshmen and sophomores playing on defense.
“That’s probably the youngest team I’ve ever put on the field,” the coach said.
With COVID-19 cases high in the state, Brantley Jr. said he will prepare his team a bit differently.
“Instead of having a backup, you really have to have three kids ready at all times at every position,” he said. “That really changes your mind-set as far as developing depth. The talented freshmen are getting pulled along faster.”
Freshman linebacker Wyatt Faircloth stood out for the Stars.
“He certainly did very well, especially in the second half when he started to get used to the speed of the game,” Brantley Jr. said.
Freshman Kenai Lepule also returned a fumble 60 yards for a touchdown on his first defensive snap, but the play was called back due to a penalty.
Valdez 66, Seward 26
The visiting Buccaneers notched a nonconference victory over the Seahawks on Saturday in a game of nine-man football.
Seward falls to 0-2 overall, while Valdez moves to 1-1 overall on the year.
Homer 34, Kodiak 0
The Mariners received four touchdown runs and a touchdown pass from Carter Tennison in notching their first victory of the season.
Homer, now 1-2, plays at the Division III level, while Kodiak, at 0-3, plays at the Division II level.
Tennison rushed 18 times for 145 yards and also was 10 of 21 through the air for 185 yards.
A Tennison run had Homer up 6-0 after the first quarter. In the second quarter, Tennison has scoring runs of 2 and 3 yards and a 10-yard scoring strike to Jack Hrenchir to make it 28-0 at half.
In the third quarter, Tennison finished off the scoring with a 7-yard run.
Homer’s defense pitched the shutout by allowing 108 yards through the air and 88 yards on the ground. The Mariners defense recovered three fumbles and also had an interception, while Homer did not turn the ball over.
Mariners 34, Bears 0
Kodiak 0 0 0 0 —0
Homer 6 22 6 0 —34
Hom — Tennison 10 run.
Hom — Hrenchir 10 pass from Tennison (Tappan run).
Hom — Tennison 2 run.
Hom — Tennison 3 run (Tennison run).
Hom — Tennison 7 run.
First downs 14 20
Rushes-yards 39-88 36-147
Passing yards 108 185
Comp-att-int 13-26-1 10-21-0
Fumbles-lost 4-3 0-0
Rushing — Kodiak: Michael 3-54, Valdez 10-36, Olsen 12-14, Swearingin 1-5, Saliva 8-2, Buck 2-(-7), Edwards 2-(-16). Homer: Tennison 18-145, Dax 6-15, Anderson 4-(-4), Tappan 8-(-9).
Passing — Kodiak: Olsen 13-24-0—108, Edwards 0-2-0—0. Homer: Tennison 10-21-0—185.