The Homer High School varsity football team brought its standings up to 2-1 over the weekend, victorious over Valdez High School.
The Mariners topped the Buccaneers 66-0 in their second win and third game of the season Saturday at Homer High School. They defeated Barrow 26-14 earlier this season on Aug. 19.
Head Coach Walter Love has called this a building season. It’s his first with the team — he took over this year after moving from Oklahoma.
When Homer lost to Kodiak 21-8 in their season opener, Love said the team was still missing two seniors. That “took some air out of their game” early on, he said.
“We have a full team now, (and) we’ve got more kids coming out,” Love said Saturday.
Love expects to have a crew of 38-40 eligible players within the next two weeks, he said. He had the players switched up their strategy between the Barrow and Saturday’s game.
“We decided at Barrow that we were just going to mainly run the ball,” Love said. “Today, we decided we wanted to throw it out.”
Homer started out strong with three touchdowns in the first quarter and one two-point conversion, made by Noah Fisk, for 22 points, and another three touchdowns in the second quarter for 27 points. The team kept some of the momentum going with another 17 points in the second half — two touchdowns in the third quarter and a field goal in the fourth — none of which Valdez was able to meet.
Love said the Mariners got out there and made the catches, which contributed to the win.
“I know people don’t get happy when you have games like this, but you know what? … (for) Homer, this was all last year,” he said, referring to 2016 games where Homer lost by wide margins.
Senior Dawson Felde helped Homer to victory, making three of the game’s touchdowns, with senior quarterback Teddy Croft completing passes for four touchdowns.
Though the team still has a long way to go, Love said the players have been improving.
“They need to learn a different kind of football,” he said. “They need to learn to work, they need to learn to work hard. And since camp, they have done nothing but work hard, and they earned this one.”
For this weekend’s away game against Ketchikan, Love said he hopes to bring a good balance of offense against them, with a mix of passing and running.
His team has no injuries at this point and the kids are healthy, he said.
“We’re going to study up on them, and we’re going to come at them with 110 percent,” Love said.
On Saturday, the Mariners rushed a total of 112 yards and made six completed passes.