• Homer runs away with State berth in 44-26 win over Thunder Mountain
By Sean Pearson
Senior quarterback Mark McGregor was on fire in Juneau last Friday as the Mariners took the field against Thunder Mountain High School for a chance to face Soldotna at Saturday’s State Championship. McGregor ran for 235 yards on 32 carries and picked up 42 yards in the air; one of them a 35-yard touchdown pass to Konstantin Reutov in the second period.
Junior Tommy Bowe’s rushing game garnered 99 yards in 15 carries, followed by Reutov, who picked up all 68 of his rushing yards on two carries.
Homer drew first blood on a 58-yard run by McGregor and a successful two-point conversion to put the M’s up 8-0 late in the first quarter.
Thunder Mountains answered with a 41-yard pass and touchdown early in the second period, but the Mariners continued to move their way upfield, eventually scoring on a 35-yard pass from McGregor to Reutov with 5:49 left in the first half. The two-point conversion failed, leaving Homer with a 16-6 lead at halftime.
Thunder Mountain turned in their best performance of the night in the third quarter, scoring two touchdowns on a 9-yard run and 25-yard pass. A 54-yard run by Reutov left the Mariners with a skimpy 22-20 lead going into the final quarter. Apparently, however, the M’s were just getting warmed up.
Homer opened the final quarter with a 34-yard run by McGregor with 9:24 left in the game. He punched another touchdown in less than three minutes later, this time on a 32-yard scamper that put the Mariners up by 16 with less than seven minutes remaining.
Thunder Mountain would score once more at the 2:39 mark, cutting Homer’s lead to 10, but that would be the closest they would get toward making the trip this weekend to face Soldotna for the State title.
The M’s shut the door on any chance the Falcons had for a miraculous comeback, scoring with 1:57 left in the game on a 11-yard run by Tommy Bowe. A successful two-point conversion fixed the score at 44-26.
The Mariners will take on the Soldotna Stars on Saturday at Chugiak for their final game of the season and a chance at the ASAA Medium School Division Championship title. The game starts at 7:30 p.m.
Homer looks to upset the Stars, who enter the game with a No. 1 ranking and undefeated conference record. Soldotna beat the M’s 38-8 in regular-season play in September.
Mariners 44, Falcons 26
TMHS 0 – 6 – 14 – 6 — 26
Homer 8 – 8 – 6 – 22 — 44
Rushing: Mark McGregor, 32-235; Tommy Bowe, 15-99; Konstantin Reutov, 2-68; Joseph Cardoza, 6-8
Passing: Mark McGregor 2-9-0—42.
Receiving: Konstantin Reutov, 2-42.
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