The Kenai Central High School Kardinals played a winning game of football Saturday against a Service Junior Varsity team sent to fill the spot in the schedule created by Ketchikan's abrupt withdrawal from the season. The Kardinals won 75-0.
Kenai head coach Jim Beeson minced no words in acknowledging that this game was no ordinary game of football for his team.
"It's a no-win situation from the coaching standpoint," he said. "I wish we could've done more throwing the football, but the defense kept putting us in the position to score from short yardage. I told my guys it looked like we played really well, but there were some things we didn't do."
Senior running back Cory Janson, who had 154 rushing yards on the day, led the Kardinals in scoring, converting three rushing touchdowns, one passing score and a fourth-quarter, 56-yard punt return for 6 points.
"We had great blocking today," Janson said. "We are learning we can go all of the game with intensity."
Beeson echoed Janson's statement, saying his goal for the team Saturday was to play a total game.
"I guess we played all four quarters well," he said.
The game began with Janson scoring on a 43-yard run after only 26 seconds had expired from the clock in the first quarter. After the extra-point kick from Micah Reynolds, who scored 8 of 10 point-after kicks on the day, the Service offense moved the ball 12 yards from their own 14 and fumbled.
The ensuing Kenai recovery turned into a 21-yard Michael Tunseth touchdown pass to Janson. Luke Pierce recovered a bobbled Service punt snap in the end zone less than a minute later for a third Kenai score. Drew Cramer and Janson both added touchdowns before the close of the first period.
In the second period, Reynolds carryied the ball 15 yards for a touchdown in the first six seconds of play. Dakota Craig scored on a 28-yard scamper and Reynolds logged a 44-yard touchdown to close the second quarter.
After the half, Janson took the ball into the end zone from four yards out, then returned a punt near the end of the period.
With 1:43 left on the swiftly winding game clock, freshman fullback Papapa Nicholas rumbled into the end zone for Kenai's final score from five yards out.
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