Skyview's Billy Duncan wraps up Kodiak's Mitchell Pruitt at the end of the fourth quarter Saturday.
Photo by M. Scott Moon
Kodiak’s football team sent a big-time message to the Northern Lights Conference on Saturday afternoon.
These Bears have teeth.
Kodiak’s Stuart McFarland threw for 199 yards and two touchdowns to lead the Bears to a 30-6 win over Skyview in a game that may have marked the Bears as the team to beat this season in small-schools football.
“They’re just that talented,” Skyview head coach Phil Sheridan said following the game.
Running back Michael Odell added 65 rushing yards and a touchdown for Kodiak, which finished just 1-3 in the conference last year.
Sheridan said he was proud of the effort his team gave against a high-powered Bears attack that put up 430 yards of total offense.
“I don’t think we could have played any better,” Sheridan said of his team, which racked up 215 yards of offense on the day and played the Bears even in the second half.
In fact, the Panthers looked more than up to the challenge early on, eating up most of the first quarter with a solid opening drive.
Skyview's Brad Mallette takes a hit from Kodiak's Steven Leitheiser in the third quarter Saturday.
Photo by M. Scott Moon
Skyview used 14 plays to march down to the Kodiak 19 after taking the opening kickoff. But the drive stalled, and running back Gregor Bosick’s pass on fourth down gave Kodiak its first possession on its own 23.
From there, McFarland led his team on an impressive drive that culminated on a 27-yard pass to tight end Curtis Catt. McFarland completed three passes for 61 yards on the drive.
“He’s a very talented athlete,” Sheridan said of McFarland.
McFarland, a 6-foot, 200-pound senior, said it was important for his team to get things rolling early against Skyview.
“We always go into a game hoping to get the first punch in,” he said.
On Kodiak’s next possession, Odell got his first touchdown of the day on a short pass from McFarland. Odell broke three Skyview tackles, turning a minimal gain into a 36-yard touchdown and a 12-0 Kodiak lead.
Kodiak’s third score came on McFarland’s 11-yard scamper late in the second quarter. That touchdown was followed immediately by a short Kodiak kickoff, which the Bears recovered in Skyview territory.
Kodiak converted the short field, capping the drive with a 12-yard run up the middle by Odell that put the Bears up 24-0 as the half came to a close.
McFarland led the way for the Bears in the half, completing 8 of 10 passes for 166 yards and two touchdowns.
Bosick set up Skyview’s lone score of the game when he intercepted McFarland’s pass and returned the ball to midfield. Skyview then used an efficient running game to roll over the big Kodiak defense, going 51 yards and cutting the lead to 24-6 on quarterback Clark Buffington’s 1-yard plunge.
Sheridan had nothing but praise for Bosick, who finished with a game-high 143 yards rushing in addition to his stellar defensive play.
“He kept us in the game,” Sheridan said. “He’s the real deal.”
McFarland said Bosick’s big game came as no surprise to the Bears, who had prepared for Skyview’s big running back.
“We knew they had some athletes coming into the game,” McFarland said.
Kodiak’s final score came late in the third quarter on a 2-yard touchdown run by Andrew Dittman.
Skyview nearly got a second touchdown midway through the fourth quarter after Bosick ripped off a 49-yard run deep into Kodiak territory. The Bears stood firm, however, stuffing Skyview on fourth down at the 1-yard line.
Despite the loss, Sheridan said he was very pleased with how his team played and kept its composure throughout the game.
“I was really proud of how we didn’t hang our heads and stayed in the football game,” Sheridan said.
Next up for Kodiak (2-0 overall, 1-0 NLC) is a Saturday showdown in Kodiak with perennial NLC contenders Soldotna, which won 10-7 over Palmer Friday.
Skyview (1-1 overall, 0-1 NLC), next faces nonconference opponent Wasilla Friday at Skyview in a game Bosick said his team is already looking forward to after Saturday’s setback.
“We’ll be ready,” he said.
Bears 30, Panthers 0
Kodiak 6 18 6 0 30
Skyview 0 0 6 0 6
Kod Catt 27 pass from Odell (kick failed), 3:12
Kod Odell 36 pass from McFarland (kick failed), 8:20
Kod McFarland 11 run (try failed), 2:48
Kod Odell 12 run (try failed), 1:20
Sky Buffington 1 run (try failed), 6:50
Kod Dittman 2 run (try failed), 2:51
First downs 16 12
Rushes-yards 38-231 48-215
Passing yards 199 0
Return yards 22 15
Passing 10-16-1 0-3-0
Punts-avg 1-25.0 2-37.5
Fumbles-lost 3-0 3-1
Penalties-yards 11-75 5-35
Rushing Skyview: Bosick 31-143, Bauer 2-27, Mallette 4-27, Buffington 10-16, Cobb 1-2. Kodiak: Odell 9-65, McFarland 7-54, Francisco 10-51, Valdez 2-29, Pruitt 4-19, Dittman 6-13.
Passing Skyview: Bosick 0-3-0 Kodiak: McFarland 10-16-1-199.
Receiving Kodiak: Valdez 3-90, Odell 1-36, Catt 2-33, Francisco 1-18, Merick 2-16, Starrett 1-6.
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