The Valdez Buccaneers demolished Seward 32-6 Saturday afternoon in the lone varsity football game for a peninsula team this weekend.
Four other football games involving peninsula teams were cancelled due to a travel restriction ban instituted by the Kenai Peninsula Borough School District due to the Swan Lake Fire. The Tsalteshi Invitational cross-country meet was also canceled, and the Seward cross-country, volleyball and swimming teams were left out of action as well.
However, because the bus ride to Valdez misses the crucial Cooper Landing corridor where the fire and smoke is heaviest, the Seahawks were able to make the trip to play, even after the district restrictions and wildfire smoke hanging in the town of Seward meant the football program was forced to practice indoors all week.
It led to a tough game Saturday, according to head coach Kelly Cinereski.
“We looked like we hadn’t practiced all week,” Cinereski said. “Valdez is good, give them credit. They looked really good.”
Cinereski said the last time the Seward team practiced outside was before their Week 1 game against Monroe Catholic, over a week earlier.
The lone score of the game for Seward came late in the second quarter, Cinereski said, when quarterback Tommy Cronin found Collin Mullaly on a 45-yard connection. The touchdown pass helped cut the Valdez lead to 19-6 by halftime.
Mullaly ended up leaving the game with an injury, and Cinereski said he likely would be held out of next week’s Thursday night game against Redington.
Cinereski said the Seahawks were able to get in some much-needed reps in the second half when the Bucs built up a daunting lead.
“We’ve got some work to do,” he said. “Our quarterback got to throw the ball around a bit, we had some positive things, but the running game and handoffs … they looked like we’ve practicing in the mat room all week.”
Seward drops to 0-2 overall this year with their first Peninsula Conference game yet to come. The Seahawks host Redington on Thursday at 4:30 p.m.