The Nikiski football team escaped with its first win of 2019 Friday night in Ketchikan, toppling the King 9-8.
The Bulldogs (1-0 conference, 1-3 overall) also picked up their first Peninsula Conference win. Ketchikan (1-1 conference, 1-3 overall) dropped to third in the conference standings, behind Nikiski.
Nikiski took a 9-6 lead late in the fourth quarter on a touchdown pass from senior Noah Litke to Micheal Eiter from about 15 yards out, then held on as Ketchikan began to drive down the field.
Nikiski head coach Paul Nelson said the Kings made it into the red zone but Eiter was able to haul in an interception on the Bulldogs’ 1-yard line with about five seconds left.
Nelson said Nikiski decided to intentionally take a knee in the end zone, resulting in a two-point safety, which allowed the Bulldogs to kick the ball away with just seconds left on the clock, effectively sealing the win.
The victory snapped six-game losing skid for the Bulldogs, whose last win came against Seward in week 5 of last year.
“It was definitely nice, the kids were jazzed about that,” Nelson said. “It feels good to accomplish that.
Michael Mysing put Nikiski on the board in the first quarter with a field goal from about 32 yards out, according to Nelson.
That 3-0 score held until the fourth quarter, when a botched punt by Nikiski left Ketchikan on the Bulldogs 10-yard line. The Kings ran it in for a TD and a 6-3 lead.
Nelson credited the Nikiski defense for having a big game against the Kings, a Div. III playoff team from last year. The Nikiski defense grabbed five interceptions on the day — two by Eiter and one each by Sam Berry, Mason Payne and Isaiah Gray.
“Give it to our defense, they put pressure on the quarterback, and our (defensive) line and outside backers did a great job,” he said. “We should’ve put a few more points on the board, but it’s something we’ll work on finishing for next week.”
Homer 52, Valdez 6
Homer quarterback Anthony Kalugin ran for three touchdowns and passed for three more as the host Mariners stormed past the Buccaneers in a Division III nonconference matchup.
Homer moves to 2-2 overall, while Valdez falls to 1-4.
Kalugin was 8 of 11 for 160 yards through the air and also ran for 104 yards on 11 carries and Homer scored the first 52 points of the game.
Also for the Mariners, Kamdyn Doughty had eight rushes for 82 yards and a score. Carter Tennison, Josh Bradshaw and Cade Hrenchir added receiving touchdowns for Homer.
“Our quarterback and wide receiver are getting more familiar with each other,” Homer coach Justin Zank told the Homer News. “I was really happy with how our passing game shaped up, because we have just been missing those opportunities.”
Jona Turner had a fourth quarter touchdown for the Buccaneers, who were led by Tate Chadwick’s 71 yards on 14 carries.
“Our defense played phenomenal, again,” Zank told the Homer News. “So I’m really proud of them.”
Zank said the team has improved a lot since the beginning of the season, especially with their confidence.
“The guys are buying in to what we’re selling,” Zank said. “And it’s starting to come together.”
Houston 47, Seward 6
The reigning Peninsula Conference champions downed the Seahawks Friday night at Houston High School.
Seward remained winless this season at 0-2 in conference play and 0-5 overall. The loss was the ninth straight for the Seahawks, dating back to week 4 last year when they defeated Valdez 41-0.
Houston stayed undefeated at 2-0 in conference and 5-0 overall.
Leading 19-0 in the second quarter, Houston scored twice in the final two minutes of the first half to take a 33-0 halftime lead.
Mariners 52, Buccaneers 6
Valdez 0 0 0 6 — 6
Homer 14 16 22 0 — 52
Hom — A. Kalugin 5 run (conversion failed), 10:22.
Hom — Tennison 12 pass from A. Kalugin (Doughty run), 1:37.
Hom — A. Kalugin 2 run (Doughty run), 5:31.
Hom — Bradshaw 18 pass from A. Kalugin (A. Kalugin run), 0:53.
Hom — Doughty 2 run (conversion failed), 11:27.
Hom — Kalugin 2 run (Tennison pass from Kalugin), 10:02.
Hom — Hrenchir 50 pass from Kalugin (Bradshaw pass from Kalugin), 3:56.
Val — Turner 12 run (conversion failed), 2:45.
First downs 13 18
Rushing yards 45-162 29-216
Passing yards 12 160
Comp-att-int 2-5-1 8-11-1
Punts 3-42.0 1-18.0
Fumbles-lost 4-3 0-0
Penalties 1-5 4-25
Rushing — Valdez: Woodgate 1-0, Turner 12-42, Calhoun 4-(-2), Baczuk 0-0, Chadwick 14-71, Howard 11-64, Colwell 1-(-2), Norris 1-2, Anderson 1-(-13). Homer: Bradshaw 2-21, A. Kalugin 11-104, Murachev 7-5, Doughty 8-86, Drake 1-0.
Passing — Valdez: Baczuk 2-5-1—12. Homer: Kalugin 8-11-1—160.