It may have been raining as the Homer football team took on Kodiak on Saturday at Homer High School, but the Mariners were unperturbed by the slight drizzle in a 42-30 nonconference victory.
The Bears play in Division II, while the Mariners play in Division III. Homer coach Justin Zank said the victory was a nice start to the season.
“We keep saying in practice every day, we say, ‘Every dude, every day,’” Zank said. “What we did on the field today was because we had every dude, every day. And the guys are starting to, they’re starting to buy in, they’re starting to come together.”
Only three minutes into the first quarter, Mariners junior Jake Tappan ran the football 18 yards for a touchdown. Tappan’s athleticism was on display throughout the game, as he not only scored a second running TD in the next quarter, but steadily gained yards during most offensive Mariners possessions.
Zank said Tappan and fellow running back Russell Nyvall had plenty of help in getting their yards.
“I’m really proud of our O (offensive) line and how they played today and letting Jake and Russ do their thing,” he said.
With the Mariners up 12-0 halfway through the second quarter after a 6-yard run by Jonah Martin, the Bears began their resistance.
Kodiak stormed back to take a 16-12 lead as JM Ticman scored on a 61-yard run and also had a 12-yard touchdown pass to Daniel Edwards. Ticman got both two-point conversions on runs.
The M’s responded, finishing the half up 20-16 after Tappan scored from 12 yards and Martin got the two-point conversion.
After the half, Kodiak’s Wyatt Buck ran 37 yards to put the Bears back on top 22-20.
The Mariners and Bears lost some nerve, at points, with trash-talking and complaints to the referees becoming persistent.
Looking toward the next game, Zank said, “I think we can obviously clean up getting involved in little side arguments with the opposing team. … We need to clean up the penalties outside of those.”
However, the Mariners approached the insults as they did they rain, and remained unperturbed, exemplified by their three consecutive touchdowns, which essentially wrapped the game up.
The most regal play of the game came from the last TD of the third quarter, with Morgen Techie, a senior wide receiver with the Mariners, leaping above a Kodiak defender to catch Oak Anderson’s throw, before easily cruising into the end zone to finish his touchdown.
With Anderson stepping in at the quarterback position for an injured Carter Tennison, Zank said, “I’m also proud of Oak stepping into QB role. … I thought he led the team really well.”
Anderson also had a 15-yard scoring strike to Luke Hanson, while Nyvall also had a 2-yard scoring run.
Kodiak’s last touchdown was an 80-yard pass from Ticman to Edwards.
Homer will be tested Friday at 7 p.m., heading north to Big Lake to take on the Houston Hawks in the Mid Alaska Conference opener for both squads.