Nikiski football head coach Ted Riddall wanted to carry the momentum from last week's 51-12 win over Monroe Catholic into Saturday's homecoming game against Valdez. Ask and you shall receive.
The Bulldogs racked up 42 first-quarter points en route to a 56-8 Greatland Conference victory over the visiting Buccaneers. Nikiski improves to 4-2 overall and 4-0 in the league.
"Coach said, 'Hit the ground running,'" Bulldogs running back Stefan Krogseng said. "I believe that's what we did. Everyone gave 100 percent."
Krogseng found the end zone three times in the opening 12 minutes. He led Nikiski with 154 all-purpose yards and three scores. Kaden Spurgeon rushed for 103 yards and one touchdown. Floyd Armstrong also added a pair of touchdowns.
Riddall said the first two quarters was the best half Nikiski has played all year. Though homecoming week can bring distractions, the Bulldogs were focused, and it showed during the opening few series, he said.
"We're proud of the effort from everyone," Riddall said.
Krogseng gave Nikiski a quick 7-0 lead when he took in a 46-yard score just over a minute into the game. Sayyid Parrish returned a 55-yard interception less than two minutes later.
The Bulldogs scored four times in the final five minutes of the first quarter -- three of which came within a two-minute span. Krogseng began the scoring spree with back-to-back touchdowns. After running in a 20-yard score, Krogseng took a 65-yard reception from quarterback Colton Anderson to the end zone.
Armstrong ran back a 25-yard pick six and Julien Harris added a 25-yard touchdown run with eight seconds to go in the first quarter.
Nikiski's linemen provided its backs with plenty of running room, Krogseng said.
"They were making big holes for us running backs to run through," he said.
"They took it to a new level," Riddall said.
Well-executed ball fakes also led to a big day on the ground, Riddall said. The Bulldogs totaled 360 rushing yards for the game.
Nikiski was just as impressive on defense. The Bulldogs held Valdez to 68 rushing yards and 60 through the air.
Going hard on every play was the key, Krogseng said.
"We wanted it," he said.
The entire team got after the football, Riddall said. Everyone battled hard, he said.
Spurgeon scored on a 19-yard run in the second quarter and Armstrong broke free for a 30-yard touchdown run in the third to round out Nikiski's scoring.
Valdez's lone trip to the end zone came when Justin Allen took in a 38-yard fumble recovery with 9:16 to play in the fourth quarter.
Bulldogs 56, Buccaneers 8
Valdez 0 0 0 8 -- 8
Nikiski 42 7 7 0 -- 56
Nik -- Krogseng 46 run (Krogseng kick), 10:56
Nik -- Parrish 55 interception return (Krogseng kick), 9:15
Nik -- Krogseng 20 run (Krogseng kick), 5:11
Nik -- Krogseng 65 pass from Anderson (Krogseng kick), 3:25
Nik -- Armstrong 25 interception return (Taylor kick), 3:11
Nik -- Harris 25 run (Taylor kick), 0:08
Nik -- Spurgeon 19 run (Taylor kick), 5:23
Nik -- Armstrong 30 run (Taylor kick), 3:01
Val -- Allen 38 fumble return (No. 82 pass from M. Duffy), 9:16
First downs 7 16
Rushes-yards 33-68 38-360
Comp-att-int 9-20-2 2-3-0
Passing yards 60 83
Penalties-yards 2-10 2-10
Fumbles-lost 6-5 5-2
Punts-avg 4-39.5 1-35
Return yards 136 43
Rushing -- Valdez: Kendall 16-72, M. Duff 8-(-42), Deaton 8-36, Allen 1-2; Nikiski: Spurgeon 11-103, Hartley 8-61, Moore 2-(-3), Armstrong 3-39, Sauve 2-(-6), Krogseng 4-89, Harris 2-40, Brown 5-38, Anderson 1-(-1).
Passing -- Valdez: M. Duff 9-19-0-60, Kendall 0-1-0-0; Nikiski: Anderson 2-3-0-83.
Receiving -- Valdez: No. 82 3-16, Lowe 1-8, Deaton 3-13, Kendall 2-23; Nikiski: Krogseng 1-65, Parrish 1-18.
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