It was smooth sailing to Kodiak, it was smooth sailing in Kodiak, and it was smooth sailing home from Kodiak for the Kenai Central football team.
The Kardinals topped Kodiak Sunday 44-0 in Northern Lights Conference action behind a dominant defensive effort that held the Bears to minus 43 yards of offense. Kenai improved to 3-1 overall and 1-0 in the NLC while Kodiak dropped to 0-1 in the NLC and 2-1 overall.
In order to cut down on the cost of the trip, Kenai traveled to Kodiak on the ferry. The Kardinals left Homer on the ferry at 4 p.m. After playing, Kenai left Kodiak Sunday at 10:30 p.m.
"Most everybody slept on the ferry," Kenai Central coach Jim Beeson said. "It wasn't that bad. But anytime you travel all night, you're out of whack for a day.
"That wasn't any excuse for the way we played in the first half."
While Beeson was pleased with what his team did on defense, he wasn't pleased with Kenai's offensive effort early.
On their first possession, the Kardinals got the ball inside Kodiak's 5-yard line, but could not punch the ball into the end zone. After that, Beeson said Kenai's offense went flat for the rest of the half.
That wasn't a huge problem because Kenai's defense was playing so well. Kodiak tried to spread the field, putting two receivers to each side, but Kenai linemen Justin Lee, Papapa Nicholas, Ronnie Rainey and Danny Autrey and Kenai linebackers Dakota Craig, Geordon Main, Michael Scheffert and Cory Whiteley dominated the line of scrimmage.
Kenai's interior linemen were able to hold the line well due to the pass coverage of defensive backs T.J. Hancock, Tyler Chappell and Marcus Reemtsma.
The Kardinals got on the board in the first quarter when Dakota Craig picked up a safety on a sack, then Craig scored on a 1-yard run and Billy Loosli scored on a 34-yard pass from Cole Chappell in the second quarter.
In the second half, Kenai relied on its ground game to take control of the game. Most of the damage was done by Craig, who finished with 176 yards on 33 carries.
Kenai took a 22-0 lead after Craig barreled into the end zone from 2 yards out. The drive capped a 49-yard drive that saw the Kardinals run the ball on every play. Craig then scored from 8 yards out in the third as Kenai went up 30-0. Every yard Kenai gained in the third quarter was on the ground.
In the fourth quarter, Ryann Hansen scored on a 4-yard pass from Cole Chappell, Rainey picked up a sack for a safety and Rainey scored on a 2-yard run.
"They're a much better team than they were two weeks ago," Beeson said of the Bears. "They're getting some players back and they played well on the defensive side of the football.
"But on offense, we were able to put too much pressure on them."
KARDINALS 44, BEARS 0
Kenai 2 13 15 14 44
Kodiak 0 0 0 0 0
Ken Kenai's Craig sacks Kodiak for safety
Ken Craig 1 run (kick failed)
Ken Loosli 34 pass from C. Chappell (Ayara kick)
Ken Craig 1 run (Ayara kick)
Ken Craig 8 run (Ayara kick)
Ken Hansen 4 pass from C. Chappell (kick failed)
Ken Kenai's Rainey sacks Kodiak for safety
Ken Rainey 2 run (Ayara kick)
First downs 16 2
Rushes-yards 62-321 21-(-77)
Passing yards 62 34
Return yards 77 55
Passing 4-11-0 7-18-2
Punts-avg 2-43 5-20.5
Fumbles-lost 3-1 2-0
Penalties-yards 9-95 8-75
Rushing Kenai: Faumui 2-2, C. Chappell 1-8, Craig 33-176, Rainey 5-7, Hansen 9-92, Miles 4-16. Kodiak: Doctolero 4-2, No. 12 8-(-58), Zemke 4-(-3), No. 44 3-(-14), No. 7 1-(-6), No. 42 1-2.
Passing Kenai: C. Chappell 4-1-0-62. Kodiak: No. 12 6-15-1-34, No. 7 1-3-1-0.
Receiving Kenai: Loosli 1-34, Hansen 2-13, Bennett 1-15. Kodiak: No. 7 2-24, Zemke 3-8, Keplinger 2-2.
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