• Quarterback Kalugin rushes for 93 yards, passes for 193
By Sean Pearson
The Voznesenka Cougars football team picked up its first 11-man victory in school history on Friday, defeating Valdez 42-28 in Greatland Conference action at Homer High School. The Cougars are now 1-1 in the league and 1-1 overall.
With only 16 players suiting up for the game, Voz Head Coach Justin Zank said the team is “feeling pretty good about our victory.”
“While we have much to work on in preparation for the rest of our conference games, it was a big win for the program,” Zank said. “Especially being our first home game.”
Avraam Kalugin rushed for 93 yards in 19 carries, scored a touchdown and completed 10 of 19 passes for 193 yards and three touchdowns. He also picked up an intercepted on defense.
Mavrick Ivanov ran for 70 yards in 20 carries, scored and made eight tackles. Dennis Martishev led the team with 11.5 tackles.
Martishev picked up a little groundwork of his own, logging 56 yards in 10 carries. Kosta Reutov led receivers with five catches for 81 yards and two scores, while Kiril Sanarov had a 37-yard touchdown catch.
Voznesenka led 30-20 at the half, but Zank said he thought the team’s play looked “pretty sloppy” in the first half.
“If we want to continue to win games, we cannot be giving up 17 penalties a game,” he explained. “I also would like to see our ground game improve.”
Zank said the team tried some new things on defense and looks to continue improving on defense; especially against the run.
“Valdez had success running through the A gaps Friday night,” he said. “While I am happy with the team, there are always things to tweak and/or change.”
The team will focus on defense again this week in preparation for Voznesenka’s homecoming game against Seward on Sept. 14.
“As far as our chances for state, we just want to be a competitive team in the Greatland Conference,” Zank said. “We are focused on one game at a time. Hopefully we can come away with a win.”
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