Third-quarter surge lifts Kodiak past Mariners
Homer football's passing game falters against Bears
For 45 minutes and 12 seconds on Saturday, the Homer Mariners outhustled and outplayed the Kodiak Bears. Unfortunately for Homer, games last 48 minutes.
Kodiak scored twice in the first 2:48 of the second half and then held on to claim a tough 21-8 come-from-behind decision over Homer in the 2017 season-opener for both teams. A non-conference showdown, the contest was played on a wet field at Homer High School.
The Mariner defense didn't waste any time in putting Kodiak on its heels. After forcing Kodiak to punt away its first possession of the game, Homer's Teddy Croft ended their second series even more dramatically. He picked off a pass thrown by Bears' receiver Joel Francisco at the HHS 40 and returned it the distance for a touchdown.
Noah Fisk tacked on the two-point conversion seconds later and staked the Mariners to an 8-0 advantage at the 3:46 mark of the first quarter.
Kodiak managed to get its offense in gear late in the second — barely. In the final seconds of the first half, Kodiak managed to push the ball into the end zone on a 1-yard plunge from running back Isaiah Galindez. Jovani Paneda's ensuing kick cent the game into the half with the Mariners holding an 8-7 lead.
Homer almost stuffed Kodiak's momentum in the final moments of the first half. After the Bears had driven to the HHS 3, the Mariners stepped up. After a short 2-yard run on first down, Homer stuffed the Bears' ground attack on back-to-back plays, setting up a crucial 4th-and-Goal play with 7 seconds left in the half.
Kodiak answered the buzzer for the second half with a flurry. The Bears scored on a one-yard dive by Kaleb Finley in the early seconds of the third to nab their first lead, at 14-8. Moments later, they added a second touchdown on an 8-yard run by Hamo Sega.
Sega's touchdown, which came at the 9:11 mark of the third, was set up by a pass interference penalty by Homer that moved the ball the Mariner 8.
Offensively, Kodiak managed to roll up 322 total yards in the affair, including 126 passing yards from quarterback Shaun Walton and a 100-yard rushing performance from Finley.
Fisk and Croft powered Homer's offensive attack. Fisk rushed for 73 yards on 19 carries. Croft added 68 and 14 attempts.
Homer's passing game struggled to get untracked against the Bears. The Mariners failed to complete a pass against the KHS secondary, going 0-for-7.
Defensively, Croft starred for Homer. He rolled up 10 tackles in the contest, while also recovering a fumble and intercepting two passes. Fisk and Levi King also registered double-digit efforts in tackles, recording 12 and 11, respectively. Sean Love and Kyle Wells both were credited with half of a sack.
Homer will return to action this weekend when they travel to Barrow.