Defending small-schools state champion Kenai Central advanced to the semifinals of the football playoffs by defeating Barrow 25-0 on Saturday at Ed Hollier Field in Kenai.
After getting run over by Soldotna in the last week of the regular season, Kenai coach Jeff Baker said it was good to see the defense earn a shutout. Johnny Trux put an exclamation point on the shutout with an 80-yard interception return as time expired. Barrow had just 108 yards of total offense.
"The defense definitely played a good ballgame," Baker said. "We're still sputtering on offense, but in the steady rain it's tough to be superproductive."
Alex Nason got the scoring started in the first quarter with a 29-yard touchdown from AJ Hull, who missed the last game of the regular season with an injury. Hull rushed for 93 yards and passed for 66.
"It was really nice to have AJ back on both sides of the ball," Baker said.
Kai Risung added scoring runs in the third and fourth quarters for the Kardinals.
Baker said the rain led to a sloppy game. Barrow fumbled six times and lost four, while Kenai fumbled five times and lost three. Kenai had 17 penalties, while Barrow threw three interceptions.
"It was very wet, not to make excuses," Baker said. "We definitely have room for improvement."
Baker said the important thing is that his team moves on. He told his team to take note of the disappointed Barrow players in the handshake line at the end of the game. Baker told his squad that unless it plays a lot better against Homer, they will be the disappointed ones next week.
Kardinals 25, Whalers 0
Barrow 0 0 0 0 --0
Kenai 6 0 6 13 --25
Ken -- Nason 29 pass from Hull (run failed), 1:40.
Ken -- Risung 12 run (pass failed), 7:30.
Ken -- Risung 15 run (Hayes kick), 11:53.
Ken -- Trux 80 interception return, 0:00.
First downs 5 16
Rushes-yards 19-16 67-294
Comp-att-int 5-19-3 3-12-0
Passing yards 92 66
Fumbles-lost 6-4 5-3
Penalties-yards 5-35 17-120
Punts-avg 3-32 1-32
Rushing -- Barrow: Burke 13-43, Benson 6-(-27). Kenai: Hull 16-93, Risung 28-168, Hansen 5-15, Carlson 9-26, Glidden 4-1, Sandahl 4-0.
Passing -- Barrow: Burke 5-19-3--92; Kenai: Hull 3-12-0--66.
Receiving -- Barrow: Long 3-82, Unutoa 1-5, Snow 1-5; Kenai: Risung 1-29, Nason 2-37.
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