HOUSTON — Last fall, Barrow edged Homer to win the Division III state football title. This season, the Whalers and Mariners appeared as Houston’s opponents in consecutive weeks on the 2018 schedule.
And the Hawks scored a pair of big wins against the teams that played for a 2017 title.
A week after besting Barrow 30-6, Houston hammered Homer 59-0 Friday night at Houston High School.
“Whenever you can take last year’s state champ and state runner-up in back-to-back weeks and perform well is exciting,” Houston head coach Glenn Nelson said after the win.
The Hawks returned three interceptions for touchdowns and a kickoff for a score en route to improving to 3-1 overall and 1-0 in the Peninsula Conference. Houston also held Homer (0-1, 0-4) to 57 yards of total offense, 30 passing and 27 rushing. Nelson praised the group, which includes 11 new starters this season, and the team’s longtime defensive coordinator Jared Barrett.
“All 11 (starters) are brand new, and some are playing positions they have not really played before,” Nelson said. “They have not been through our feeder program, the (junior varsity), because we’re thin.”
Nelson said Barrett has done a great job with a young defense.
“He’s been able to coach them in such a short amount of time, it’s huge,” Nelson said.
Apete Sasiu picked off a pair of Homer passes and returned them for scores of 45 and 49 yards.
“He’s just a ballhawk,” Nelson said. “People think he’s short and they throw at him, but he can jump.”
Tucker Croghan returned another interception 57 yards for a score. Tolupo Faloniko also grabbed an interception.
Houston needed only 15 seconds to take the lead. The Hawks recovered a live ball on the opening kickoff at the Homer 27-yard line, and Kennedy Fono scored on a 27-yard touchdown run on Houston’s first play from scrimmage.
The Hawks scored in the first 15 seconds of three of the four quarters. Owen Mulhaney returned the opening kickoff of the second half 79 yards for a score, also reaching the end zone at the 11:45 mark. Croghan, seeing some late time at quarterback, rushed for a 15-yard score on the first play of the fourth quarter.
Twins Gavin and Owen Mulhaney connected for a long touchdown pass late in the first quarter. Gavin dumped a pass over the middle to Owen, who broke free for the 59-yard score. Both Mulhaney brothers added short touchdowns in the second quarter. Owen Mulhaney had a 5-yard touchdown and Gavin Mulhaney snuck in from a yard out within a one-minute span in the second.
Seward 41, Valdez 0
In a Saturday nonconference battle of two squads coming off big defeats, the Seahawks righted themselves on the road by shutting out the Buccaneers.
Seward lost last week 45-0 to Eielson, but moved to 2-2 with the road triumph. The Buccaneers, who had fallen 77-0 to Ketchikan last week, fall to 0-3.
Hawks 59, Mariners 0
Houston 59, Homer 0
Homer . 0 . 0 . 0 . 0 — 0
Houston . 21 . 13 . 19 . 6 — 58
Houston — Fono 27 run (run failed) 11:45
Houston — Sasiu 45 interception return (Sasiu from Mulhaney) 3:52
Houston — O. Mulhaney 59 pass from G. Mulhaney (Whitted kick) 0:41.
Houston — O. Mulhaney 5 run (Whitted kick) 2:42
Houston — G. Mulhaney 1 run (kick failed) 1:58
Houston — O. Mulhaney 79 kickoff return (kick failed) 11:45.
Houston — Sasiu 49 interception return (kick blocked) 5:55.
Houston — Croghan 57 interception return (Whitted kick) 7:22
Houston — Croghan 15 run (kick failed) 11:52.
Rushing — Homer: Kalugin 4-15, Fisk 4-10, Golick 6-8, No. 99 3-7, Hicks 2-4, Bradshaw 2-(-3), Hrencher 3-(-14); Houston: Fono 7-58, O. Mulhaney 6-33, G. Mulhaney 3-4, O’Connor 3-3, Sasiu 2-13, Croghan 2-12, Bay 2-5, Ratcliffe 1-1, Bolduc 1-(-5).
Passing — Homer: Kalugin 2-10-4—12, Bradshaw 3-7-0—18; Houston: G. Mulhaney 4-7-0—93.
Receiving — Homer: Hrencher 1-8, Goana 1-7, No. 16 1-6, Golick 1-6, Wood 1-3; Houston: O. Mulhaney 3-77, Faloniko 1-16.