The Kenai Central High School football team opened its Northern Lights Conference schedule with a 72-0 win over the visiting Ketchikan Kings Saturday at Ed Hollier Field in Kenai.
"Everybody worked hard," said Kenai running back Cory Janson. "I think we accomplished all the goals that we set for today."
In fact, the Kardinals defense held the Kings to minus 22 yards of total offense -- 15 passing yards and minus 37 rushing yards -- while the Kenai offense churned out 314 yards on the ground and another 30 through the air.
"Aside from a few mental mistakes jumping offsides, we tackled really well and we blocked really well," said Kenai lineman Dane Myers. "We've been improving every week, doing the things we need to do. So far, we're happy with our performance."
Fullback Wally Ward gave the Kardinals their first score of the game, finding the end zone after a 23-yard run to cap Kenai's opening drive.
Janson added a pair of rushing touchdowns in the first quarter and two more in the second quarter, and quarterback Michael Tunseth ran for a touchdown in the first and connected with Drew Cramer on a 12-yard pass play in the second quarter.
Place kicker Jamie Montgomery converted 4-of-7 PAT attempts to give the Kardinals a 46-0 lead at the half. Montgomery finished the game with six extra-points.
Dakota Craig scored three touchdowns for the Kardinals in the second half, two on the ground and one on a 45-yard interception return as time expired in the fourth quarter. Michael Scheffert scored a touchdown on a 4-yard run early in the fourth quarter for Kenai.
"There's always a lot of positives when you win like we did," said Kenai coach Jim Beeson. "We have some excellent running backs, and it helps when we get the blocks up front. Defensively, the kids came and did their job. Our front line on offense and defense has been doing a great job."
Kenai's defense kept the Kardinals in excellent field position all day. The Kardinals started drives in their own end of the field twice, and both drives lasted all of one play.
Janson scored on a 73-yard run when Kenai started from their own 27 in the second quarter, and Craig broke loose for a 56-yard touchdown run on the Kardinals' first possession of the second half.
"It was a great game by our linemen and our receivers," Janson said. "Dane Myers and Casey Crowder, we got some great blocks from them, and from Patrick Van Heck. Ward was leading me on runs and on the outside runs we had great blocks from the receivers, (Tyson) Jollifle and (Scott) Kornfield."
Despite the score, the Kings (0-2 overall, 0-1 NLC) were able to stay positive about their season.
"You just keep your head in the game and try not to get beat," said Ketchikan linebacker Logan Hooker, adding that the Kings had improved since last year and that new coaches Todd Stanley and Bob Webb were pushing the team to play even better.
The Kardinals, now 3-0 overall and 1-0 in the NLC, will have a tougher row to hoe in the second half of their season.
"We have Seward next week, then we've got Eielson," Beeson said. "Then we get into Skyview, Homer and Soldotna, so it's going to get more difficult from now on."
KARDINALS 72, KINGS 0
Ketchikan 0 0 0 0 -- 0
Kenai 27 19 6 20 -- 72
Ken -- Ward 23 run (Montgomery kick), 9:25
Ken -- Janson 4 run (Montgomery kick), 6:53
Ken -- Tunseth 2 run (kick failed), 4:34
Ken -- Janson 7 run (Montgomery kick), 2:50
Ken -- Cramer 12 pass from Tunseth (kick failed), 10:31
Ken -- Janson 27 run (Montgomery kick), 7:44
Ken -- Janson 73 run (kick blocked), 4:20
Ken -- Craig 56 run (Kick failed), 11:13
Ken -- Scheffert 4 run (Montgomery kick), 7:53
Ken -- Craig 13 run (Montgomery kick), 1:40
Ken -- Craig 45 interception return (no PAT), 0:00
First downs 1 9
Rushes-yards 26-(-37) 27-324
Passing yards 15 30
Return yards 0 95
Passing 2-13-3 2-7-0
Punts-avg 5-22.8 0-0.0
Fumbles-lost 4-1 1-0
Penalties-yards 9-64 6-45
Rushing -- Ketchikan: Eide 6-10, Holmberg 5-4, Ostrom 8-(-3), Secrest 1-(-9), Tombaugh 6-(-39). Kenai: Janson 11-168, Craig 5-94, Ward 5-33, Tunseth 3-17, Scheffert 3-12.
Passing -- Ketchikan: Tombaugh 1-7-1--6; Eubanks 1-6-2--9. Kenai: Tunseth 2-6-0--30, Ward 0-1-0--0.
Receiving -- Ketchikan: Ostrom 2-15. Kenai: Ward 1-18, Cramer 1-12.
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