Meeting for the first time as conference opponents, the Nikiski football team pulled out a 50-18 victory over the Homer Mariners Saturday afternoon in Homer.
The win improves Nikiski to 2-1 overall (1-0 Peninsula Conference), while Homer is still searching for its first win at 0-3 overall (0-1 conference).
Corin Cooper led the Bulldogs charge with 138 rushing yards and five touchdowns, while Rykker Riddall added 127 yards and a pair of scoring plays. Nikiski finished with 352 team rushing yards.
Nikiski senior Cade Anderson connected on three of nine passing attempts for 84 yards. Homer quarterback Teddy Croft threw 5 for 20 for 90 yards, including two touchdowns and two interceptions. Croft also added a rushing touchdown, one of 10 carries that gave him 56 yards on the ground, and also caught a pass from running back Michael Swoboda.
Nikiski led 22-6 at the half, thanks to short touchdown runs by Riddall and Cooper (twice), but a 23-yard aerial strike from Croft to Swoboda kept Homer in the game.
Nikiski finally distanced itself in the third quarter by continuing to feed the ball to Cooper and Riddall, who scored on runs of 11 and 9 yards, respectively, to push the lead to 36-6.
Another passing bomb from Croft — this time a 41-yard throw to Josh Fisk — early in the fourth quarter put Homer into double-digit scoring, but the deficit proved too great to overcome.
On defense, Hunter Holloway and Jon McCormick each picked off Croft, and McCormick recorded 11 tackles.
Nikiski will face Voznesenka next Saturday at 2 p.m. in Homer. The Mariners, meanwhile, will travel to play Seward on Friday evening.
Seward 42, Voznesenka 6
The Seahawks notched their first win of the year with a rout of tiny Voznesenka Saturday morning in Homer.
Isaac Osborne scored twice with 107 rushing yards, while Nick Woodard took five carries to 88 ground yards and a touchdown. Chris Kingsland, Nik Pauno and quarterback Rhett Sieverts also scored a touchdown each.
Ultimately, Seward racked up 341 rushing yards compared to 79 from Voznesenka.
Voz quarterback Nikit Anufriev ended the day with 82 passing yards on 16 of 26 completed attempts, but also had three picks with no touchdowns. Anufriev added 15 carries for 101 rushing yards.
After Sieverts took the ball into the endzone from 12 yards out midway through the first quarter, Seward continued the charge with a 24-point second quarter. By halftime, the visiting Seahawks held a 36-0 lead.
Anufriev punched in a 5-yard run to put the Cougars on the board with 4:32 to go in the third quarter.