After blowing out Service's junior varsity squad last week, the Kenai Central High School football team is expecting a stiffer challenge this week when it takes the field against Anchorage Christian Schools Saturday at 1 p.m.
"ACS is a much better team," Kenai coach Jim Beeson said of the Lions (1-2), now in their third season of football.
In Friday's games, the Nikiski Bulldogs (1-2) will visit the Soldotna Stars (2-1) for a 6 p.m. game at Justin Maile Field while the fledgling Kodiak Bears squad will play at Skyview (2-1) at 6 p.m. The Homer Mariners (2-1) travel to Dimond for a 5 p.m. game with the Lynx. Saturday, the Seward Seahawks (1-2) will host the Sitka Wolves (1-1).
Beeson said the Kardinals (2-1) are focused on the final three games of the regular season -- Northern Lights Conference games against Skyview, Homer and Soldotna -- but that games of the past two weeks have given Kenai a chance to develop and improve in game situations.
"We got a look at some other kids, and some other kids got to play," Beeson said. "It's been good in terms of being able to run some stuff correctly, and see how it's supposed to be run."
The Lions enter the game coming off a loss at Skyview in which ACS showed it was able to move the ball and put some points on the board.
"We're hoping to improve and get better," Beeson said. "We need to improve upon the things we did well last week."
The Bulldogs have been down on their luck of late, but always play well against the Stars.
Soldotna is coming off a big win against Houston, and the Stars are hoping to put together another complete game. Scott Laurion has led the Soldotna offense with 264 yards on 41 carries, and quarterback Eric Simpson was 11-for-13 passing last week, throwing for 211 yards and two touchdowns.
The Panthers have won two straight games after opening the season with a loss to Eielson, and Skyview will look to keep that momentum going against the Bears. Mike Waer leads the Skyview offense with 370 yards on 46 carries, an average of 8 yards a carry.
David Drake continues to pile on the yardage for the Mariners, running behind a big offensive line. Drake leads the state in rushing yards with 630 on 68 carries in three games -- an average of 9.3 yards a carry and 210 yards per game. Drake also has nine rushing touchdowns and one touchdown on an interception return to his credit.
The Seahawks notched their first win of the season with a 33-0 victory at Kodiak last week, and Seward will try to keep it going with its first Great Land Conference game of the season against Sitka.
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