After spending the week watching tape of the Houston High School football team, Soldotna coach Sarge Truesdell figured the Stars would put a few points on the board in Friday's nonconference competition at Justin Maile Field in Soldotna.
He also expected the Hawks to be able to put up some points, and guessed that his defense would determine the outcome of the game.
To say he was on the money might be an understatement. The Stars defense limited the Hawks to 54 yards of total offense and didn't allow any points until the fourth quarter, leading Soldotna to a 43-7 win.
"The defense has played real well," Truesdell said. "Coach (Jeff) Baker has put a lot of wrinkles in that are his own. He's watched film, worked hard, and put in his own style, and it seems to be working."
In fact, the Hawks didn't gain a yard until the third play of their second possession, and that 5-yard pickup came after losing five yards on a sack.
With the defense shutting down the Hawks, Soldotna's offense exploded. The Stars needed just two plays to notch their first touchdown, a 25-yard run around the left end by Derek Martin just 2:20 into the game.
The Stars were even more efficient with their second possession, scoring on one play, a 44-yard ramble by Scott Laurion with 8:16 on the clock in the first quarter.
Not to be outdone, Martin caught a short pass off a rollout by quarterback Eric Simpson, slipped a few tackles and took the ball 82 yards for the Stars' third touchdown of the game with 4:58 remaining in the first quarter.
"I caught the ball a lot today," said Martin, who finished with three catches for 135 yards and a pair of touchdowns to go with his 68 yards rushing with one touchdown.
"Our waggle play where I go out and receive the ball was working well today."
Simpson completed 11-of-13 passes, most of them on rollout plays, for 211 yards for the Stars.
"I felt good that we were able to throw the football -- I can't think of a bad pass," Truesdell said.
Laurion and Martin each added a touchdown in the second quarter. Laurion converted a 5-yard run for a score, and Martin made a nifty one-handed catch of a pass from Simpson for a 36-yard score.
Martin, a first-year player with the Stars, said he hasn't had any problems fitting in with Soldotna's offensive unit.
"It's a new offense this year, so everybody's in the same boat I was as far as learning it," Martin said. "We ran it real good today, and the defense was just awesome."
Laurion completed his hat trick with a touchdown 1:42 into the second half, and the Soldotna defense put the Stars' final points of the game on the board when Houston snapped the ball out of the end zone on an attempted punt play.
Laurion finished with 99 yards on 14 carries.
"I would attribute everything to our line, both on defense and offense," said Soldotna's Matt Meacham. "We've got talent running and passing the ball, but we've also got a good line. That's where we get out yards. They help us win games."
Truesdell was impressed with Meacham's defensive effort, as well as that of Mark Baker, who picked off a pair of Houston passes.
"We had a lot of fun," Meacham said. "Last week, when we played West Valley, we gave it up at the end. That's been eating at us all week. We wanted to play the whole game. That's what we've been going for this week."
Peninsula Clarion ©2014. All Rights Reserved.