Nikiski football blows out Delta

Bulldogs rebound from loss to Barrow

The host Nikiski football team opened with six consecutive touchdown drives, overpowering Delta 56-0 in Greatland Conference action on homecoming Saturday.


With the win, the second-place Bulldogs improve to 4-1 overall and 2-1 in the conference. Delta, which suited 15 players, falls to 1-4 overall and 1-2 in the conference.

Nikiski built a 36-0 lead through 12 minutes and never looked back, regrouping after a 34-28 loss at Barrow last week.

"It feels great just to get back on track," Nikiski running back Josh Brown said. "We went hard and had a tough mentality."

Delta had no answer for Nikiski's rushing attack, which accounted for seven touchdowns and 425 yards.

Brown, Kaden Spurgeon and Stephen Hartley were each over the 100-yard mark at halftime. The numbers would have been more eyepopping had there not been a running clock the entire second half, when Bulldogs coach Ted Riddall emptied his bench.

Brown led the way with four touchdowns, while Hartley added two and Spurgeon tallied one.

Brown's first score came on an 8-yard plunge on the opening drive. He then followed a Spurgeon 74-yard scamper with a 2-yard dive to make it 22-0 midway through the first.

Hartley scored his touchdowns in span of less than two minutes to close the first, scoring from 5 yards out at 2:12 and from 10 yards out with 26 seconds remaining.

A point of emphasis during practice, Riddall said, was to get out to bury Delta from the opening snap.

"It was something we challenged the kids to do, to start fast," Riddall said, reflecting on the team's 34-28 loss to Barrow in Week 4. "Last week was disheartening a little bit, there was a little lack of focus. That's what we've been talking about all week, is being focused and starting fast."

Brown scored on runs of 34 and 32 yards to bump the score to 49-0, and Christian Riddall finished the ambush with a 7-yard burst late in the third.

Delta made little attempt to build a ground game, rushing 16 times for 13 yards.

Huskies quarterback Caleb McLaren completed 5 of 24 for 48 yards and an interception. He faced pressure much of the day and looked out of sync with the receivers.

Meanwhile, it didn't matter that Nikiski was without starting quarterback Colton Anderson, who missed the game with a bruised back. The Bulldogs used three different players under center, throwing one pass.

Brown finished with 117 yards on eight carries. Hartley piled on 115 yards on eight carries. And Spurgeon needed just three carries to get 107 yards.

Christian Riddall chipped in with 58 yards on six carries.

"When our offense gets rolling, it can be pretty hard to stop," Ted Riddall said.

Nikiski visits Valdez in Week 6, looking to maintain a hold on second place in the conference. Barrow controls its own destiny for the regular-season championship, having already edged the Bulldogs as well as perennial small-schools power Eielson.

"For where we are at, you can't really control anyone else," Ted Riddall said. "So we are just focused on getting better each day."

Bulldogs 56, Huskies 0
Delta 0 0 0 0 -0
Nikiski 36 6 14 0 -56
1st Quarter
Nik - Brown 8 run (Brown run), 8:23.
Nik - Spurgeon 74 run (run failed), 6:30,
Nik - Brown 2 run (Green pass from Moore), 5:57.
Nik - Hartley 5 run (Harrison kick), 2:12.
Nik - Hartley 10 run (Harrison kick), 0:26.
2nd Quarter
Nik - Brown 34 run (run failed), 10:04.
3rd Quarter
Nik - Brown 32 run (Harrison kick), 8:58.
Nik - Riddall 7 run (Harrison kick), 0:00.
4th Quarter

Del Nik
First downs 4 18
Rushes-yards 16-13 34-425
Passing yards 48 0
Passing 5-24-1 0-1-0
Punts-avg 6-27.2 0-0
Fumbles-lost 2-1 4-1
Penalties-yards 3-12 4-25

Rushing - Del: McLaren 12-18, unlisted 4-(-5). Nik: Spurgeon 3-107, Brown 8-117, Hartley 8-115, Stangel 2-9, Riddall 6-58, Sauve 4-8, Carstens 1-6, Griffith 1-(-1), Armstrong 1-6.
Passing - Del: McLaren 5-24-1-48. Nik: Sauve 0-1-0-0.
Receiving - Del: Dvorak 1-13, Tappen 2-29, Ware 1-2. Nik: none.




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