Soldotna’s Gehret Medcoff completes a 95 yard run for a touchdown, pursued by Chugiak’s Ethan Maddox, during a Division II playoff game at Justin Maile Field in Soldotna, Alaska, on Saturday, Oct. 7, 2023. (Jake Dye/Peninsula Clarion)

Soldotna’s Gehret Medcoff completes a 95 yard run for a touchdown, pursued by Chugiak’s Ethan Maddox, during a Division II playoff game at Justin Maile Field in Soldotna, Alaska, on Saturday, Oct. 7, 2023. (Jake Dye/Peninsula Clarion)

Soldotna shuts out Chugiak to make DII semis

Top seed Soldotna opened its Division II playoff run with a 56-0 victory over No. 8 Chugiak on Saturday at Justin Maile Field at Soldotna High School.

The Stars, who defeated the Mustangs 63-7 on Sept. 22, move to 9-0 overall. Chugiak ends its season at 1-8 overall.

Saturday, Soldotna will host No. 5 North Pole (3-6 overall) in the semifinals at noon. The Stars topped the Patriots 66-0 on Aug. 18.

Soldotna head coach Galen Brantley Jr. said Chugiak and North Pole offer different challenges offensively, pointing especially to a “dangerous” quarterback who wasn’t playing when the Stars shut out North Pole in August.

The Patriots have had several impressive scores lately, including a 46-24 playoff victory over No. 4 West Valley and a 28-21 loss to No. 2 Lathrop in Week 7.

The first quarter saw four touchdowns by the Stars, each capped off with a successful kick by Jace O’Reagen. Zac Buckbee saw the end zone first around three minutes into the game. Gehret Medcoff delivered the second and fourth touchdowns, and Collin Peck landed the third.

The game slowed down in the second quarter, passing by without any changes on the scoreboard. The Mustangs managed to stop the Stars’ drive and flip the ball on downs for the first time that game and later drove the Stars to attempt a field goal. That was the only one, of nine kicks by O’Reagen on Saturday, that wasn’t successful.

After the game, Brantley Jr. called the second quarter “ugly.” He said the team was able to respond well and double back, but said that there are moments that need cleaning up as the Stars continue through the playoffs.

That sentiment was echoed by the players.

Junior Kenai Lepule called the second quarter “rough.”

“(We) have to be more disciplined and we have to stay on our blocks and know what we’re doing,” he said.

Medcoff, a senior who stunned in the third quarter with a 95-yard run for a touchdown, felt similarly.

“It’s a lot of focus,” he said after the game. “I think we need to sharpen up a little bit more and then we’ll be ready to go play anybody.”

In that third quarter, Medcoff scored two touchdowns, off of a 32-yard run and the 95-yard run. Buckbee, too, got a touchdown off of a 26-yard run. O’Reagen landed all of the kicks.

The fourth quarter closed with only one score, a touchdown off a 12-yard run by Michael Dickinson and one more kick by O’Reagen.

Looking forward to next weekend’s matchup, Lepule said if the Stars play their game, they should continue to see the same success they saw against Chugiak.

“Same score, same way, same outcome,” he said.

In other Division II quarterfinal action, Lathrop defeated No. 7 Wasilla 64-0 and No. 3 Eagle River defeated No. 6 Palmer 49-34. Lathrop will play Eagle River for a spot in the final.

Saturday

Stars 56, Mustangs 0

Chu 0 0 0 0 — 0

Sol 28 0 21 7 — 56

1st Quarter

Sol — Buckbee 1 run (O’Reagan kick), 9:04

Sol — Medcoff 30 run (O’Reagan kick), 4:19

Sol — Peck 3 run (O’Reagan kick), 3:42

Sol — Medcoff 16 run (O’Reagan kick), 0:49

2nd Quarter

No Scoring

3rd Quarter

Sol — Medcoff 32 run (O’Reagan kick), 9:18

Sol — Medcoff 95 run (O’Reagan kick), 5:50

Sol — Buckbee 26 run (O’Reagan kick), 3:31

4th Quarter

Sol — Dickinson 12 run (O’Reagan kick), 11:50

Sol Chu

First Downs 15 10

Rushing Yards 45-499 41-98

Passing Yards 48 131

Comp-Att-Int 1-3-0 14-35-3

Return Yards 0-0 9-129

Punts 0-0 2-20.5

Fumbles 0-0 0-0

Penalties 11-145 4-50

INDIVIDUAL STATS

Rushing — Sohi: Medcoff 8-207, Wolverton 6-58, Buckbee 6-53, C. Peck 6-53, Faircloth 6-44, Bock 4-31, Kemp 2-22, Dickinson 2-16, Walden 2-13, C. Huff 1-2, Ohnemus 2-0. Chugiak: Sparrow 7-24, Williams 2-21, Billman 11-19, Baker 7-16, Poland 4-11, Worland 8-6, Scherffius 1-1, Clifford 1-0.

Passing — Sohi: Buckbee 1-3-0—48. Chugiak: Worland 14-35-3-131.

Receiving — Sohi: Pieh 1-48. Chugiak: Watson 1-45, Poland 5-34, Billman 2-20, Lockwood 3-18, Sparrow 2-11, Williams 1-3.

Soldotna’s Andrew Pieh moves with the ball while Chugiak’s Landen Fell tries to drag him down during a Division II playoff game at Justin Maile Field in Soldotna, Alaska, on Saturday, Oct. 7, 2023. (Jake Dye/Peninsula Clarion)

Soldotna’s Andrew Pieh moves with the ball while Chugiak’s Landen Fell tries to drag him down during a Division II playoff game at Justin Maile Field in Soldotna, Alaska, on Saturday, Oct. 7, 2023. (Jake Dye/Peninsula Clarion)

Soldotna’s Leigh Tacey runs with the ball, backed by Andrew Pieh, during a Division II playoff game at Justin Maile Field in Soldotna, Alaska, on Saturday, Oct. 7, 2023. (Jake Dye/Peninsula Clarion)

Soldotna’s Leigh Tacey runs with the ball, backed by Andrew Pieh, during a Division II playoff game at Justin Maile Field in Soldotna, Alaska, on Saturday, Oct. 7, 2023. (Jake Dye/Peninsula Clarion)

Soldotna’s Leigh Tacey runs with the ball, opposed by Chugiak’s Ethan Maddox and Harlen Knapp during a Division II playoff game at Justin Maile Field in Soldotna, Alaska, on Saturday, Oct. 7, 2023. (Jake Dye/Peninsula Clarion)

Soldotna’s Leigh Tacey runs with the ball, opposed by Chugiak’s Ethan Maddox and Harlen Knapp during a Division II playoff game at Justin Maile Field in Soldotna, Alaska, on Saturday, Oct. 7, 2023. (Jake Dye/Peninsula Clarion)

Soldotna’s Wyatt Faircloth runs with the ball while fending off Chugiak’s Luke Poland during a Division II playoff game at Justin Maile Field in Soldotna, Alaska, on Saturday, Oct. 7, 2023. (Jake Dye/Peninsula Clarion)

Soldotna’s Wyatt Faircloth runs with the ball while fending off Chugiak’s Luke Poland during a Division II playoff game at Justin Maile Field in Soldotna, Alaska, on Saturday, Oct. 7, 2023. (Jake Dye/Peninsula Clarion)

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