Colton Young ran for three touchdowns and passed for two more as Northern Lights Conference power Soldotna ran through the Southeast Conference’s Thunder Mountain Falcons 62-6 at Juneau on Friday.
The Stars (4-0) tallied two points above their season average, scoring on their first possession on four straight rushes by Young and holding the Falcons (2-2) to one first down in the first half.
“We just brought a lot of intensity,” Young said. “The offensive linemen executed and made huge holes. Daniel Rosin did an excellent job tonight. This was a pretty big statement for us. We learned a lot, we made adjustments and we got to it tonight.”
Three first-quarter touchdowns came on runs by Young, Jake Kooly and Drew Gibbs. The Falcons could not mount positive yardage in the first quarter and paid the price on kickoff returns as the Stars did not allow the ball to cross midfield.
“We are a physical football team,” Soldotna coach Galen Brantley Jr. said. “We want to run the football and we want to stop the run. Everything after that is just gravy for us.”
The Falcons’ Dylan Taylor felt the brunt of the Soldotna coverage, returning five kicks for no gain and getting sacked once at quarterback.
“They are a hard-hitting team,” Taylor said. “I kept getting up for the team. We don’t have that many bodies anymore with injuries, concussions and such. We just have got to keep going, keep driving and I can’t let my team down.”
Soldotna scored on each of its four possessions in the second quarter as Young took control of the game, scampering into the end zone on runs of 14 and 25 yards and hitting wide receiver Drew Gibbs for 60- and 20-yard touchdowns.
“Our kids came out and played with intensity and I felt we outhit them,” Brantley said. “We are still one of four teams in contention, we would have loved to come down here and gotten a chance to see Juneau but it didn’t happen schedulewise. I think there are four really good football teams out there and we are just one of them.”
Both coaches agreed to the use of a running clock starting the second half. Thunder Mountain had to punt on its first possession and the Stars’ Blake Riley took the first handoff form scrimmage for a 40-yard score.
The Falcons found the end zone with 9:41 remaining in the game. Senior Ben Jahn broke a 2nd-and-12 tackle for 57 yards and a touchdown. The Falcons’ Taylor was stopped on a two-point conversion as Soldotna’s Jake Kooly broke into the backfield for the tackle.
“Our team does not quit,” TMHS head coach Jeep Rice said. “I can be very proud. We were outmatched. We have a lot of freshmen and sophomores on varsity. They keep trying but they need to get a lot bigger, stronger and more mature, but they keep plugging away.”
Stars 62, Falcons 6
Soldotna 21 26 7 8 —62
Thunder Mountain 0 0 0 6 —6
SoHi: 10:11, Colton Young 12-yard run (Charalambos Asimakopoulos kick) 7-0
SoHi: 7:30, Jake Kooly 1-yard run (Asimakopoulos kick) 14-0
SoHi: 4:54, Drew Gibbs 70-yard run (Asimakopoulos kick) 21-0
SoHi: 10:49, Colton Young 14-yard run (kick failed) 27-0
SoHi: 7:38, Colton Young 25-yard run (Asimakopoulos kick) 34-0
SoHi: 3:45, Drew Gibbs 60-yard pass from Young (kick blocked) 40-0
SoHi: 1:12, Drew Gibbs 20-yard pass from Young (Asimakopoulos kick) 47-0
SHS: 7:39 - Blake Riley 40-yard run (Asimakopoulos kick) 54-0
TMHS: 9:31 - Ben Jahn 57-yard run (conversion no good) 54-6
SoHi: 6:01 - Jace Urban 11-yard run (Jesse Litrell 2pt conversion good) 62-6
TMHS-162 total offensive yards; 4 first downs; 10 penalties for 65 yards
SHS -463 total offensive yards; 11 first downs; 5 penalties for 35 yards
TMHS-Passing-Ben Jahn- 0-2; Dylan Taylor- 1-1, 30 yards; Rushing- Ben Jahn- 15 carries 114 yards TD; Russell Smith- 5 carries 8 yards; Receiving- Ben Jahn- 1 catch 30 yards; Defense- Ben Jahn- 8 tackles.
SHS-Passing- Colton Young- 3-4, 126 yards 2 TDs; Rushing- Drew Gibbs- 1 carry 70 yards, TD; Rushing- Colton Young- 3 carries 51 yards, 3 TDs; Blake Riley- 2 carries 42 yards, TD; Receiving- Drew Gibbs- 2 catches 80 yards, 2 TDs; Tyler Howell- 1 catch 46 yards; Defense- Jake Kooly- 8 tackles; Drew Gibbs- 7 tackles, sack.