The efficient and unstoppable Soldotna football machine rose to new levels Saturday in a 63-7 win over Kodiak in Northern Lights Conference play.
The Stars (5-0 overall) racked up their first NLC win of the season at home, putting away the Bears (0-6 overall) early in a rout, and pushed their current win streak to 14 games.
In a remarkable display of power and depth, the Stars were able to stack up the points at a staggering rate against a winless Kodiak squad — SoHi tallied seven touchdowns with just 15 total offensive snaps in the first half to take a 28-0 lead in the first quarter and a 56-0 lead at halftime.
It made for run-of-the-mill running clock in the fourth quarter for the savvy, experienced Stars, which feature a starting cast of all seniors.
“We’ve probably been running these plays since we were 7,” said tight end Galen Brantley III. “A lot of it is repetition.”
In all, 11 players got the ball for a team total of 329 rushing yards, led by Hudson Metcalf’s 71 yards. Metcalf also grabbed a 42-yard pick-six on defense. Wyatt Medcoff added 61 ground yards to go with two touchdowns, and Cameron Johnson scored twice as well in a big day for the senior fullback.
“I’ve known (Brantley) since we were in Pop Warner together,” Johnson said. “All of the starting kids, we’ve known each other for so long.”
Senior Jersey Truesdell threw for four TD passes — two of them to Brantley III — for 103 yards.
Johnson, while often overshadowed by the big numbers from teammates like Truesdell, Medcoff, Metcalf and Aaron Faletoi, was able to shine Friday with two scores — one on the ground and one by air. Johnson said developing the QB-to-WR connection with Truesdell comes along with knowing the system so well, which helped him Saturday.
“Just knowing every little thing that he likes and where he wants to put the ball, things like that,” Johnson said. “We’ve been playing along together, and the O-line guys do a great job blocking it up to give us time.”
Soldotna head coach Galen Brantley Jr. chalked up the lopsided win to a meeting of teams at opposite ends of the competitive cycle.
“It’s one of those goofy things where Kodiak is in rebuilding mode and we’re kind of at the top of our run,” Brantley Jr. said. “It’s just a tough matchup for them.”
The Stars held Kodiak’s toughest runner, Josue Martinez, to just 17 rushing yards on 13 carries. Kodiak as a team managed 106 yards of offense, most of that coming on the game’s final 79-yard drive that took the Bears 10 plays to carry out.
“It’s tough being outmanned,” Brantley Jr. said. “I thought our kids did what they were supposed to do. They didn’t play down to anyone else’s level, they came out, lit it up and were off the field before the end of the second quarter.”
The day couldn’t have started any better for SoHi, which scored on its first play from scrimmage, a 55-yard catch-and-run from Truesdell to Brantley III up the sideline.
After forcing Kodiak to punt, it took the Stars four plays to score again, this time a 40-yard drive that finished with an 11-yard toss to Johnson.
SoHi took over on downs following a failed fourth-down conversion by Kodiak, and it was three plays later that Faletoi rumbled into the end zone from 21 yards out.
Kodiak’s first five drives ended in three turnovers on downs and two punts. The sixth possession ended in a 42-yard interception return by Metcalf, who grabbed Kodiak QB Tito Sabangan’s lob out of the air and slipped through several defenders to make it to the end zone.
The following Kodiak drive also ended in a pick, this one going to Tyler Morrison.
SoHi sophomore Brock Wilson picked off Sabangan on the last play of the first half to record a third Kodiak interception, leaving the Stars up 56-0.
Saturday at Soldotna
Stars 63, Bears 7
Kodiak 0 0 0 7 —7
Soldotna 28 28 7 0 —63
Sol — Brantley 55 pass from Truesdell (Truesdell kick), 11:39
Sol — C. Johnson 11 pass from Truesdell (Truesdell kick), 7:12
Sol — Faletoi 21 run (Truesdell kick), 3:03
Sol — Brantley 11 pass from Truesdell (Truesdell kick), :00
Sol — C. Johnson 43 run (Truesdell kick), 9:09
Sol — Medcoff 53 run (Truesdell kick), 6:36
Sol — Metcalf 42 interception return (Truesdell kick), 4:13
Sol — Medcoff 25 pass from Truesdell (Truesdell kick), 2:41
Sol — Escott 5 run (O’Reagan kick), 3:59
Kod — Mangrobang 3 run (Cruz kick), :07
First Downs 11 4
Rushing yds 30-329 31-59
Pass yds 129 47
Comp-Att-Int 5-5-0 6-15-3
Return yds 2-51 11-99
Punts 0-0 4-33.3
Fumbles 2-2 1-1
Penalties 9-65 9-80
Rushing — Soldotna: Metcalf 4-71, Medcoff 3-61, Aa. Faletoi 3-53, C. Johnson 1-43, Escott 6-32, Taylor 3-27, Mellon 2-24, Al. Faletoi 5-14, T. Johnson 1-3, Hoagland 1-1, Uribe-Koivisto 1-0. Kodiak: Mangrobang 6-28, Martinez 13-17, Galindez 2-10, Sabangan 4-10, Arevalo 1-7, Walker 5-(-13).
Passing — Soldotna: Truesdell 4-4-0—103, Hoagland 1-1-0—26. Kodiak: Walker 1-3-0—29, Ellsworth 1-2-0—11, Galindez 1-2-0—5, Sabangan 3-7-0—2.