Wins for both Juneau high school varsity football teams this weekend.
The Thunder Mountain Falcons on Friday beat the Sitka Wolves on a score of 25 to 6, just the margin they needed for the drive to playoffs.
A 27-yard field goal late in the game sealed it. If the Falcons beat Ketchikan next week, they will host the Southeast Conference playoff game in Juneau.
Friday’s win was also sweet revenge for a loss to Sitka earlier this month.
The Falcons’ Ben Jahn scored two touchdowns and the field goal; Joe Ia had the third. Sitka scored just one TD.
After four losses, the Falcons have won two games in a row, beating Ketchikan handily last week. Sitka, Ketchikan and Thunder Mountain are the only members of the small Southeast Conference, and play each other at least twice in the season.
On Saturday, the Juneau-Douglas Crimson Bears beat the Notre Dame Jugglers in a slow-starting, penalty-plagued game.
Notre Dame Regional Secondary School is in Vancouver, British Columbia. The Jugglers traveled to Juneau 17 years ago to play the Bears, and head coach Richard Scott says the hospitality and experience are always good, despite the loss.
“We lost in the last play of that game. This one wasn’t that close,” he said.
Juneau beat Notre Dame 33 to 13. Neither team scored in the first quarter, and a penalty against the Jugglers negated a touchdown. It was one of several that kept the Jugglers from scoring other touchdowns in the game.
“We were inside the 20-yard line three times and came away with nothing. When that happens you’re probably not going to win many of those games. You’ve got to take advantage when you’re in the red zone and we didn’t today,” Scott said after the game. “So we’ll go home and fix those things and get into league play in B.C.”
As Alaska teams steam toward playoffs, teams Outside are just getting started. This was Notre Dame’s second game of the season.
It was a bye week for JDHS, traditionally filled by playing a team from outside the state.
While the Crimson Bears’ defense was solid, the offense had trouble finding a rhythm. Head coach Rich Sjoross also blames penalties.
“You know whether they’re good penalties, bad penalties, it’s just hard to get in a flow when you see those flags flying. You don’t know what to call next when you’re starting at second and 25 instead of second and five, things like that. So I think that had a lot to do with us coming out and being hit and miss most of the night,” Sjoross said.
The Bears scored six touchdowns, beginning late in the second quarter. Phillip Fenumiai broke the ice with a one-yard carry.
Demetrius Campos had a 62-yard punt return and an 82-yard return on kick-off. Campos scored a third TD, Samson Nauer scored on an interception, and Sean Niumataevalu scored a touchdown on a pass from Fenumiai. Three of kicker Adam Soto’s extra points were good, and Notre Dame blocked two.
Notre Dame had two successful touchdowns and one extra point.
- The Crystal Serenity cruise ship is making a 32-day voyage from Anchorage to New York City. Meanwhile, the potential environmental impact of a journey of that scope has some worried.
- Students will be entering a brand-new school for the first time when classes start Monday. It's located at the same site as the scene of the tragedy and the architects were inspired by nature.
- Sponsors of a voter initiative to ban commercial marijuana businesses in the City of Fairbanks submitted over 500 signatures Friday in an effort to get the measure on the fall 2017 ballot.
- Enrollment numbers have increased in two of the three schools and the district welcomes several newcomers to its faculty. Combined enrollment at the three schools is an estimated 473 students to start off the year, up from 431 just two years ago.