The Soldotna football team notched a 14-13 comeback victory over Kodiak on Saturday in Kodiak.
Kodiak dropped to 1-1 in the Northern Lights Conference and 2-1 overall, while Soldotna improved to 1-0 in the conference and 2-1 overall.
The Stars trailed 13-0 entering the final quarter after Kodiak quarterback Stuart McFarland had scored on a 12-yard run in the second quarter and a 40-yard run in the third quarter.
With just over nine minutes to play, Soldotna got on the board on a play where Bryce Gardner took a handoff from quarterback Anthony Griglione, then handed off to Marvin Tate. Tate went over 65 yards for the score. Mike Reed had the two-point conversion for a 13-8 score.
Soldotna then got the ball back at their own 25 with five minutes left.
The situation was similar to last week, when the Stars had a late drive to come back and defeat Palmer.
A roughing-the-passer penalty got the Stars moving. Soldotna faced a fourth-and-five with two minutes left, and again ran the double handoff to pick up the first down.
After that, the Stars ran Reed off tackle until he scored on a 6-yard touchdown.
After McFarland got hurt, Kodiak’s backup quarterback threw an interception to Gardner to seal the victory for Soldotna.
Soldotna coach Sarge Truesdell said his team talked about overcoming adversity all week. He said his squad had at least 15 penalties in the game, but was still able to win.
“The kids are not only in great shape, but they have a ton of heart,” Truesdell said. “Senior leadership is something you can’t teach. They gutted it out when it mattered.”
Truesdell said the field was a sloppy mess and a rain fell off and on throughout the game.
“With their offensive firepower, it was a great day for us,” Truesdell said of the weather.
Truesdell said Kodiak’s receivers dropped a lot of balls, but also that Soldotna dropped two sure touchdowns.
“This was a huge win as far as playoff stuff is concerned,” Truesdell said. “Our next showdown will be in two weeks at Homer.”
Kenai 64, Seward 0
Bill Chimphalee scored five touchdowns as the Kardinals defeated the Seahawks in a nonconference game at Seward Saturday.
“Bill had a pretty good game. He ran back a touchdown on a kick return there wasn’t much doubt who was going to win the football game,” said Kenai head coach Jim Beeson.
Beeson said the Kardinals were forced to punt on their first possession of the game, but then Seward had trouble hanging on to the ball after that, and Kenai led 36-0 at the half.
Beeson played his starting unit for one possession in the third quarter, then was able to get all his reserves into the game.
The Kardinals, 2-1 overall and 1-0 in the Northern Lights Conference, will visit Houston next weekend for a nonconference game. Beeson pointed down the road to a Sept. 9 date with Kodiak as one the Kardinals would be working toward.
“I think we played a lot better,” Beeson said, noting several players had returned to the lineup after being ineligible. “It’s the third game of the season and things are starting to click for everybody. We’ve got a nonconference game, then a conference game against Kodiak.
“We’ll continue to get better and better and hopefully by that time, we’ll be competitive with them.”
Ketchikan vs. Homer
A score from the Northern Lights Conference game in Ketchikan was not available as the Clarion went to press.
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