• Homer offense racks up more than 300 yards on the ground
By Sean Pearson
Following a momentum-crushing 38-8 pounding by the Soldotna Stars two weeks ago, the Homer Mariner football team returned to defend their home turf with an authoritative 38-0 win over the non-conference Sitka Wolves on Saturday.
It was the first game the M’s were able to actually host at their home field this season, as work on the new track at the stadium was far enough along to allow competition.
And, once the Mariners were finally able to hit their home field running, they apparently had a lot of it to do.
Senior standout Mark McGregor racked up 110 yards on 17 carries, intercepted a pass and scored a touchdown. Fellow running back Konstantin Reutov rushed seven times for 47 yards, while Joseph Cardoza had four rushes for 31 yards and two touchdowns. Junior tight end Tommy Bowe had five rushes for 46 yards and a touchdown … and felt the key to the team’s success was good communication on the field.
“We were calling out key defensive shifts on the field that reset personnel and took advantage of every player’s special abilities,” Bowe said. “That is a huge aspect that many teams fail to see when they watch only 14 Mariners walk out onto the field.”
Homer dominated early, scoring two touchdowns and one two-point conversion to take a convincing 16-0 lead at the half.
It was early in the third quarter when Bowe found a hole up the middle and scampered into the end zone on a short run.
“It felt awesome,” Bowe said of his touchdown. “I have always been a strong runner and tend to rack up lots of yards, but I usually miss out on most of our red-zone carries. It felt really good to finally punch one in.”
Bowe’s excitement wasn’t apparent on the field, however, as he calmly tossed the ball to the referee following his touchdown run.
“There are a lot of guys on the team who like to get super pumped up on the field, yelling and showing their pride,” he explained. “We need those guys, but I’m just not one of them. I show mine by staying calm and collected on the field. I slow things down, breathe as much as possible, and just focus on making the play if the ball comes near me.”
Bowe said the team’s jerseys certainly don’t help with their running game.
“They stretch for about a mile and are easy to grab,” he said. “I really think we were robbed of a few touchdowns because of easy jersey tackles.”
Both Mariner offensive and defensive lines looked tight, working in a steady rhythm and executing plays nearly flawlessly. Their continued clean play this season has kept them relatively penalty-free.
“I’ve really noticed, especially in the first two games, the lack of flags thrown against us,” Bowe said. “We had a few mental miscues this game that racked up some penalty yards against us. But, you know, that’s just part of the game. Mental mistakes can kill you, and we fought hard to not let them against Sitka.”
The M’s host conference rival Skyview this Saturday, and Bowe says the boys in blue still have a few tricks up their sleeve
“We will definitely be tuning up the passing defense in practice this week,” he explained. “We had some coverage breakdowns against SoHi — and even Sitka — that should have been easy interceptions.”
For the game, Quinn Daugharty ran for 22 yards on two carries, and quarterback Sheldon Hutt had four rushes for 22 yards. Sophomore Connor Seay rushed for 26 yards on two carries, and scored a touchdown. Hutt also hit one pass to Daugharty for 17 yards.
Homer improved to 2-2 overall. Their varsity game on Saturday against the Panthers starts at 3 p.m.
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