Homer Alaska - Sports

Story last updated at 4:09 PM on Wednesday, September 5, 2012

Mariners fall to Stars; take on Sitka Saturday

By Norm Anderson
For the Homer News

Get up to the minute sports information with Norm Anderson's Sports Blog

Because of the track reconstruction at the Homer Mariner field, the Ms played host to the Soldotna Stars at Skyview High School in Saturday's Northern Lights Conference game. Coming off last week's victory over Kenai, Homer came out of the gates strong in a matchup with many playoff and possibly state implications.


Photo by Brian Smith, Morris News Service - Alaska

Homer Mariner quarterback Sheldon Hutt, center, tries to find room to run with the help of senior running back Mark McGregor, 32, outside of the pocket during last Saturday's game at Skyview High School. Homer fell to the Stars 38-8.

Unfortunately for the Mariners, the Stars grabbed the victory by beating Homer 38-8. Homer now has a 2-1 record for the season.

The first offensive series for Homer ended with a punt to Soldotna's Colton Young who cut across field and shed many tackles before he was brought down inches from the end zone. The play was called back to the 40 yard line due to an illegal block by the Stars, giving Homer some room for defense. After both teams traded offensive possessions with no success, Soldotna began running misdirection counter plays, fooling the Homer defense and racking up the yards on the ground for consecutive first downs.

Young then caught a 25 yard pass for the first score of the afternoon. Excessive celebration by the Stars caused an unsportsmanlike conduct penalty, but the touchdown still counted, concluding the first quarter with a score of 7-0, Soldotna.

Homer began the second quarter by running the ball up the middle, but not fooling the Stars defense, turning the ball over on downs. Soldotna then started to show off their offense with a mixture of runs and passes, confusing the Mariner defense. However, a fourth down red zone stop gave the Ms another opportunity to even the score.

A SoHi face-mask penalty gave Homer a first down, but a forced fumble on the next play was picked up by the Stars, giving them the ball with less than 20 yards to go. A well defended pass by Homer's Konstantin Reutov bounced off his helmet and into the hands of Soldotna's tight end Zane Miller for another unanswered touchdown.

The Mariners once again started their offensive march downfield, spreading the running duties out to Tommy Bowe, Mark McGregor and Reutov, who combined for 98 yards on the ground. Another failed fourth down conversion turned the ball over to the Stars who immediately threw an interception back to Reutov. Homer fumbled the next play, giving Soldotna a fresh set of downs and two minutes remaining in the half. Miller went deep once again; catching a long pass by exploiting the holes in Homer's secondary, pushing the lead up to 21 by halftime.

Homer came out with an aggressive look in the second half, but was unable to stop Soldotna's running game, as they gained big chunks of yardage on their way to a field goal and a 24-0 lead. Despite all of the penalties called on Soldotna, the Mariners were unable to take advantage of the free yards and continued to be held down by the opposing defense. With their backs against the wall, the Ms were stopped short yet again on fourth down. A few runs by the Stars were topped off with an end around by Young in the corner of the end zone to make the score 31-0.

In Homer's following possession, Sheldon Hutt completed a deep pass to Quinn Daugharty and then ran the ball himself up the middle to set the Mariners up in position to score.

Daugharty then ran a clean route to the left side of the field and was hit with a pass awarding the Mariners their first touchdown of the afternoon. Hutt then completed the same pass to Daugharty again for the two point conversion.

"Everyone did their job on the pass both times. It was the same play and everyone did their job," said Daugherty, who scored all of Homer's 8 points.

Soldotna quickly charged into Mariner territory again with many runs, capping off yet another drive with a long touchdown pass to Young in no time, giving the Stars an impressive 38-8 lead heading into the last quarter of play.

The Mariners' run game was stopped short and an errant pass turned the ball over on downs yet again. After a great showing of defense, Homer received the punt and began completing short passes to keep the clock from running out. Sohi's Young grabbed another interception for the Stars as they let the last minute of play run out, winning this conference game 38-8.

"Mainly, we started hanging our heads. That was our biggest problem. We just got down on ourselves, but at least we still tried." stated Daugharty after the loss.

This was senior Konstantin Reutov's second time playing in a football game. He did not have much time since the Mariner's win last week against Kenai.

"This was my first game with actual throwing in it; I didn't know exactly how to read the coverage." Reutov said, noting the Mariners' passing game seemed to go right, despite the lack of scoring.

The Mariners face Sitka on Saturday at 3 p.m. at home.

Stars 38, Mariners 8

Soldotna 7 14 17 0

Mariners 0 0 8 0

Stars Mariners

First downs 13 6

Rushing Yards 38-224 41-110

Passing Yards 113 51

Comp-Att-Int 6-16-1 3-9-2

Return Yards 46 74

Punts 1-46.0 2-30.5

Fumbles 0-0 2-4

Penalties 9-80 3-20