Kenai’s James Sparks runs for a gain after a catch during a loss to Houston on Friday, Sept. 3, 2021, in Houston, Alaska. (Photo by Jeremiah Bartz/Frontiersman)

Kenai’s James Sparks runs for a gain after a catch during a loss to Houston on Friday, Sept. 3, 2021, in Houston, Alaska. (Photo by Jeremiah Bartz/Frontiersman)

Houston football stifles Kenai

By Jeremiah Bartz

Frontiersman.com

HOUSTON — On a night Houston High School celebrated the 25th anniversary of its football program, the Hawks notched their first varsity win in program history over a storied rival.

Houston scored 32 unanswered points to earn a 32-2 win over Kenai on Friday night at Houston High School.

“The last time we played them it was 67-6,” Nelson said of a loss to the Kardinals.

The Hawks and Kards were longtime rivals at the Division II level, before Houston was moved to Division III. Kenai became a Division III program prior to the 2021 season, and the teams reunited in the Mid-Alaska Conference.

After falling to Division II programs Wasilla and Eagle River during the first two weeks of the season, the Hawks improved to 2-2 overall and 1-0 with the win over Kenai (0-2, 0-1). Houston beat Nikiski 58-0 last week.

The Hawks defense hasn’t allowed a score in eight straight quarters. Nelson said it all starts with the interior of his defensive line.

“Siu Sasiu, Kiderro Fono and Josiah Bowman, that’s 900 pounds of meat up there,” Nelson said. “And we’ve got some good linebackers and some excellent (defensive backs).”

The Hawks also forced five turnovers in the victory, grabbing three interceptions and recovering a pair of fumbles. Cody Wyrick returned a fumble 48 yards for a score.

“That’s been a focus,” Nelson said.

On offense, Houston threw the ball in the win over Nikiski. But on Friday, Houston beat the Kards on the ground.

“We tried to be a little fancy at first. We decided to get back to Hawk ball,” Nelson said. “Pound it inside.”

Houston finished with 213 yards rushing and four scores.

Brandon Hina sparked the Hawks early, breaking free for a 47-yard run in the first.

“That kinda started the whole thing going,” Nelson said.

Two plays later, Trenton Hawes gave the Hawks the lead with a 7-yard touchdown run.

Hina added a touchdown run of his own in the second. Kalvin Kolb and quarterback Colton Bunn also rushed for touchdowns. Hina led Houston with 85 yards rushing. Kolb added 71, and Hawes chipped in 50.

Kenai (0-2) took an early 2-0 lead with a safety after the Hawks pitched the back of the end zone following a snap that sailed over the Houston punter’s head.

Reagan Graves led the Kards with 70 yards rushing on 13 carries.

Houston 32, Kenai 2

Friday, Houston High School

First quarter:

Kenai — Safety, 8:21

Houston — Hawes 7 run (pass fail) 4:39

Second quarter:

Houston — Hina 2 run (Preboski pass from Bunn) 4:19

Hoouston — Kolb 8 run (pass fail) 0:29

Third quarter:

Houston — Wyrick 48 fumble return (pass fail) 10:52

Houston — Bunn 1 run (pass fail) 0:26

INDIVIDUAL STATISTICS

RUSHING — Kenai: Graves 13-70, Beck 6-18, Robinson 3-15, Sparks 6-2, Good 2-8; Houston: Kolb 11-71, Hawes 10-50, Hina 9-85, Bunn 4-12, Whitted 4-6, Wyrick 2-(-4), Seime 2-(-6)

PASSING — Kenai: Beck 5-21-3—56; Houston: Bunn 3-6-1—58, Seime 0-2-0—0

RECEIVING — Kenai: Sparks 3-30, Martin 2-26; Houston: Preboski 1-29, Wyrick 1-26, Hawes 1-3.

Kenai’s Levi Good tries to break outside during a 32-2 loss to the Houston Hawks on Friday, Sept. 3, 2021, in Houston, Alaska. (Photo by Jeremiah Bartz/Frontiersman)

Kenai’s Levi Good tries to break outside during a 32-2 loss to the Houston Hawks on Friday, Sept. 3, 2021, in Houston, Alaska. (Photo by Jeremiah Bartz/Frontiersman)

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