For the second straight season, Homer traveled to Nikiski for the first round of the small-schools playoffs and notched a victory to advance to the state semifinals.
The Mariners topped the Bulldogs 34-0 behind two touchdowns each from Dyllan Day and Hoss Frank, and a dominant day from the defense.
"They really studied up on the scheme," Homer coach Camron Wyatt said of his defense. "The scheme was perfect and they believed in it and executed it."
Nikiski had 45 yards rushing and 48 yards passing, while Homer rushed for 343 yards and passed for 108.
Nikiski coach Ted Riddall said the Bulldogs could not overcome Homer's size advantage on the lines.
"Up front, they pretty much handled our offensive line," Riddall said.
Despite the large advantage in yards, Homer was slow to open a decisive lead due to penalties. The Mariners were penalized 15 times for 95 yards.
On their first drive, the Mariners escaped from a third-and-long situation with a pass to Joseph Resetarits. Day then had a 41-yard scoring run.
Homer's next scoring drive also came when the Mariners overcame a third-and-long by drawing a pass interference. Taylor Downes finished off that drive with a 25-yard run where he bulled straight up the middle. Downes had 107 yards on nine carries.
"He ran hard, really hard," Wyatt said. "He was like a diesel truck coming through there."
Riddall said Downes and Frank, who rushed for 72 yards, were not with Homer in the first week of the season when the Bulldogs lost to the Mariners. Riddall said those two players make a big difference for the Mariners.
Wyatt was surprised his team was able to pull away from the Bulldogs after the half.
"The second half is usually when they hook it up and go," he said of the Bulldogs.
Day scored on a 5-yard run in the third, and Frank scored on a run and pass in the fourth to complete the scoring.
Riddall said he is still proud of his kids for winning the Greatland Conference by posting an undefeated record. "They took a step up the ladder," Riddall said. "We're excited we were able to win the conference and host another home playoff game. We just have to win a home playoff game now."
The Bulldogs lose three seniors.
Meanwhile, Homer is anxious for another shot at Kenai Central. The Kards topped the Mariners in the regular season.
"We just have to clean up the game plan we used earlier in the season and not make two or three big mistakes this time," Wyatt said.
The coach gave credit to the Homer fans for driving to Nikiski and cheering the team on through an intense rain.
Mariners 34, Bulldogs 0
Homer 8 6 7 13 --34
Nikiski 0 0 0 0 --0
Hom -- Day 41 run (Downes run)
Hom -- Downes 25 run (pass failed)
Hom -- Day 5 run (Glosser kick)
Hom -- Frank 35 pass from Cotney (Glosser kick)
Hom -- Frank 15 run (kick failed)
First downs 15 6
Rushes-yards 48-343 19-48
Comp-att-int 6-8-0 4-10-2
Passing yards 108 45
Fumbles-lost 2-1 5-3
Return yards 30 60
Penalties-yards 15-95 2-20
Punt-avg 1-20 3-41.7
Rushing -- Homer: Day 14-142, Frank 15-72, Downes 9-107, Shealy 1-7, Resetarits 2-29, Cotney 7-(-14). Nikiski: Spurgeon 9-42, Krogseng 6-15, Anderson 1-(-15), Hartley 1-(-2), Harris 1-13, Parrish 1-(-5).
Passing -- Homer: Cotney 6-8-0--108; Nikiski: Anderson 4-10-2--45.
Receiving -- Homer: Resetarits 1-19, Downes 3-50, Day 1-4, Frank 1-35. Nikiski: Taylor 2-29, Krogseng 1-7, Spurgeon 1-9.
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