• Homer to face Lathrop in Saturday Homecoming game
By Sean Pearson
Nobody said it would be pretty.
And it wasn’t.
While Saturday’s football game between the Homer Mariners and the Soldotna Stars has consistently been referred to as a “rematch” of the two teams that met in the 2012 medium-schools state championship game, perhaps “mismatch” would be a better word choice.
The defending State Champion Stars (who obviously won last year’s title game as well), handed Homer a 59-0 loss at Justin Maile Field in Soldotna.
Things got off to a rocky start for the M’s, as SoHi blocked an early Homer punt that bounced out the back of the end zone and forced a safety on the Mariners’ opening drive.
And then the torrent of Soldotna touchdowns began.
The Stars had little trouble moving the ball up and down the field, scoring touchdowns on their first four possessions of the game.
Homer struggled to shut down the Stars’ inside running game, resulting in a total of 421 SoHi yards.
Mariner junior Sheldon Hutt completed 10 of 21 passes for the game, for a total of 152 yards. Four of those passes went to sophomore Josh Fisk, who logged 57 yards receiving.
Senior Joseph Cardoza connected with Hutt on two passes for 34 yards, and Connor Seay caught two for 23 yards. Seay also turned in three impressive kick-off returns for a total of 55 yards, and Cardoza’s three returns resulted in 32 yards.
Otherwise, Homer’s ground game was virtually non-existent, as the larger SoHi team held the M’s to a mere 35 yards rushing.
Defensively, Mariner sophomore Zach McKenna picked up 11 tackles, while Cardoza had eight. Hunter Harris, also a sophomore, logged five tackles.
The Stars have turned in several outstanding performances so far this season, giving up only six points in the last three games. Their last two games have been shutouts.
However, the ongoing effort to maintain those impressive stats at all costs became glaringly apparent in the fourth quarter of Saturday’s game.
After mounting a consistently purposeful and productive drive in the fourth quarter, Hutt found Cardoza in the corner of the end zone with less than two minutes to go. Cardoza out-jumped the three defenders covering him to bring down Hutt’s 8-yard pass. The score, however, was negated by an offensive pass interference call.
With the win, Soldotna improves to 3-0 in the Northern Lights Conference, and 6-0 overall. Homer drops to 1-3 in the conference and 1-4 overall.
The Mariners host Lathrop this weekend for Homecoming, but still find themselves struggling to come up with enough healthy players to fill voids created by injuries. Senior Derek Johnson and juniors Drew Brown and Ian Lowe are all three out for the season with shoulder separations.
Stars 59, Mariners 0
See Homer Tribune Newspaper for stats.
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