WASILLA — Brandon Crowder threw for three first-half touchdowns, and the Soldotna Stars rolled to their 42nd consecutive win Friday night at Wasilla, 44-0.
“Soldotna is a great team and there’s a reason they’ve won 42 in a row,” Wasilla head coach Will Stout said. “They’re well coached, disciplined and they execute. We’re trying to get to a higher level, so we improve week by week. But they have some great players who gave us fits.”
Against a Warriors squad determined not to punt against perhaps the state’s most feared team, the Stars needed just four seconds of possession to score their first touchdown on an 11-yard pass from Crowder to Andy West.
On its second trip, Wasilla managed a first down, but turned it over on downs, and the Stars found themselves in the end zone two plays and 16 seconds later on another connection between Crowder and West, this one going for 22 yards to make it 14-0 with 5:25 to go.
The Stars’ third score came on its longest drive to that point, spanning 1:52 and ending on a 7-yard touchdown run by Jace Urban.
A third straight Warrior turnover on downs set Soldotna up at the Wasilla 19, and Jeremiah Lefeo took it in from the 1 to make it 28-0 with just over a minute gone by in the second quarter.
“Soldotna is going to score wherever they’re at on the field, so we might as well give our offense a chance,” Stout said of the decision to punt just once on the night, that time resulting in a safety.
Down four scores, Wasilla began to find some success in the passing game with quarterback Hunter Hongslo rolling out of the pocket to find receivers, the biggest play a 32-yard catch-and-run by Aeron Millron to the Soldotna 4 with a minute to go.
Three plays later, the half expired as Millron was dropped for a loss of 2 on fourth-and-goal, making it 37-0 at the half.
The Stars went up 44-0 on a 23-yard run by Urban two minutes into the second, and after a turnover on downs deep in Warrior territory, the Stars emptied their bench the remainder of the game.
On the first play against the No. 2 Soldotna defense, Millron tore off what appeared to be a 94-yard touchdown run called back by a penalty at midfield.
Wasilla’s best scoring threat after that came with 9:07 to play in the game when Millron was stopped on a fourth-down run at the Stars’ 1.
Millron finished with 87 rushing yards on 22 attempts.
The Warriors play at West Valley next week in Fairbanks.
“We played ‘til the end and didn’t quit, didn’t give up,” Stout said. “We had a lot of mental mistakes as the game went on, so we’ve got to clean that up and get ready for league games.”
Wasilla’s first league game is Sept. 9 at Colony.
Soldotna 44, Wasilla 0
Friday, Wasilla High School
Soldotna — West 11 pass from Crowder. (Jones kick) 9:50
Soldotna — West 22 pass from Crowder. (Jones kick) 5:25
Soldotna — Urban 7 run. (Jones kick)
Soldotna — Lefao 1 run. (Jones kick) 10:41
Soldotna — Tuisaula tackle for safety 5:55
Soldotna — Trammell 5 pass from Crowder (Jones kick) 5:11
Soldotna — Urban 23 run. (Jones kick) 10:08
RUSHING — Soldotna: Furlong 4-111, Urban 3-69, Quelland 10-56, Sproull 3-35, VanHout 1-17, Schrader 3-12, Crowder 1-14, Lefao 3 (-1), Trammell 1 (-1), Checketts 2-4, Updike 2 (-3). Wasilla: Milliron 22-87, Hongslo 6-4, Cork 5-33, McDermott 5-3, Walkemeyer 1-3, Alexander 1-1.
PASSING — Soldotna: Crowder 4-4-0—62. Wasilla: Hongslo 4-5-1—76
RECIVING — Soldotna: West 2-33, Trammell 1-12, Furlong 1-17. Wasilla: Milliron 2-57, Walkemeyer 1-8, Cork 1-11,