Homer Alaska - Sports

Story last updated at 2:43 PM on Wednesday, August 29, 2012

Mariners knock off Kards, 20-0

Team faces SoHi Stars on Saturday

By Norm Anderson
For the Homer News


Kenai's T.J. Wagoner, right, tries unsuccessfully to stop Homer's Joseph Cardoza's touchdown run in the third period last Saturday at Kenai Central High School. (Morris News Service-Alaska)

The Homer Mariners collided with the Kenai Kardinals on Saturday at Kenai Central High School and walked away with a 20-0 victory. The Mariners, who were coming off a loss to the Eielson Ravens the previous week, took control of the game with some new faces on the varsity squad.

The Mariners set the pace early using a hard snap count to catch the Kards off guard and draw penalties at the line of scrimmage. Senior Konstantin Reutov showed his speed, leading the Mariners inside the opponents red zone numerous times but coming short of a touchdown.

Although they didn't put up any points in the first quarter, the Ms' defense didn't allow any momentum to be gained by the opponents, keeping the game even at the end of the first quarter, tied 0-0.

Both teams traded offensive possessions to no avail in the second quarter until senior Mark McGregor fumbled the ball which was picked up and run for a touchdown by the Kardinals. Kenai appeared to have drawn first blood until the referee called back the score due to an illegal block in the back.

The Kards were now 30 yards away from scoring with only 40 seconds left in the half. With the running game failing, they looked to score with a deep pass that was picked off by Homer junior cornerback Quinn Daugharty. The Mariners ran the clock out, and went into halftime with this defensive-minded game still knotted up at zero.

As the second half got under way, more defense was being shown by both squads, forcing both offenses to consecutively turn the ball over. The Ms' offensive line, led by seniors Drew Raymond and Joseph Resetarits quickly turned the game around by making it easy on the running backs to find lanes downfield. Reutov then capped off the drive with the game's first touchdown.

After a deep kick by Daugharty, the Kards were unable to gain any sort of momentum offensively, eventually turning the ball over once more on a fumble recovered by senior Willy Deaver on the opponent's 20-yard line. Sheldon Hutt then dropped back for his first varsity pass to Daugharty who snagged the ball with one outstretched arm and ran in for another score. Reutov capped the drive off with a two-point conversion, bringing the lead up to 14.

On the ensuing Kardinal possession, Daugharty intercepted another pass and shed three tackles on his way to the end zone for his second touchdown of the afternoon as time expired in the third quarter.

The fourth quarter showed another dominant output by Homer's defense as they forced yet another fumble and didn't allow Kenai within the 20-yard line. As the clock ran out, the Homer Mariners beat the Kardinals 20-0 and evened out their record to 1-1 overall and 1-0 in the Northern Lights Conference.

After the game, Raymond shared how the linemen were able to control the pace on both sides of the ball.

"We came out really intense and we were able to keep it up in both halves and that was a big factor. We played with more heart and that was a huge thing today," he said.

Saturday was the first time Reutov and Daugherty had played competitive football.

"We're a football family," Homer coach Camron Wyatt said. "We've always wanted those two boys out, but it was tough because of fishing.

"They helped us out today."

The Mariners are on the road again this Saturday to take on the Soldotna Stars in a conference game starting at 3 p.m.

Norm Anderson is a Homer High School graduate now going to school at the Kachemak Bay Campus, Kenai Peninsula College.