Juneau’s Gaby Soto is tackled by West’s Dhar Montalbo in the first quarter at Adair-Kennedy Memorial Field on Friday, Sept. 13, 2019. West won 43-14. (Michael Penn | Juneau Empire)

Juneau’s Gaby Soto is tackled by West’s Dhar Montalbo in the first quarter at Adair-Kennedy Memorial Field on Friday, Sept. 13, 2019. West won 43-14. (Michael Penn | Juneau Empire)

Huskies take tough lessons away from West Anchorage game

Despite promising first half, winning streak snapped at 3.

The final score wasn’t pretty, but Juneau’s game against West Anchorage wasn’t all bad news.

Huskies head coach Rich Sjoroos said there were some positives his football team could take away from a 43-14 defeat at the hands of an Eagles team that’s been to six straight state championship games.

“We did enough good things to build on,” Sjoroos said of the non-conference loss that brought Juneau’s overall record to 3-2.

Most of those good things came in the first half of the Friday night game at Adair-Kennedy Memorial Field. Juneau was able to keep it to a two-possession ball game in the first two quarters.

[Huskies play a gem against Wasilla]

The Huskies trailed 20-7 going into half time, and that was only after a late second-quarter score by West Anchorage.

“It was a competitive game going into the third quarter,” Sjoroos said. “I really do believe West Anchorage and East Anchorage are at the top of the pile. The fact we were competitive in the first half gives us a sense of where we’re at.”

He particularly praised the efforts of Ali Beya, a defensive back and running back, who Sjoroos said played a great game on both sides of the ball.

Juneau’s Ali Beya, right, runs against West’s Romeo Vaimili in the third quarter at Adair-Kennedy Memorial Field on Friday, Sept. 13, 2019. West won 43-14. (Michael Penn | Juneau Empire)

Juneau’s Ali Beya, right, runs against West’s Romeo Vaimili in the third quarter at Adair-Kennedy Memorial Field on Friday, Sept. 13, 2019. West won 43-14. (Michael Penn | Juneau Empire)

After hanging with the Eagles for the first two quarters, the wheels came off for the Huskies in the second half.

West Anchorage got the ball to open the third quarter and cracked the game open with a long passing touchdown.

“They were throwing the ball well,” Sjoroos said. “They found a couple of matchups they liked.”

West Anchorage ultimately put up 23 unanswered third-quarter points on a pair of passing touchdowns and a rushing score. The defense chipped in two points from a safety, too.

Juneau’s Dawson Hickok disrupts a pass to West’s Lucas White in the third quarter at Adair-Kennedy Memorial Field on Friday, Sept. 13, 2019. West won 43-14. (Michael Penn | Juneau Empire)

Juneau’s Dawson Hickok disrupts a pass to West’s Lucas White in the third quarter at Adair-Kennedy Memorial Field on Friday, Sept. 13, 2019. West won 43-14. (Michael Penn | Juneau Empire)

Sjoroos said the Eagles’ special teams also played exceptionally and well-executed punts pinned Juneau deep in their own territory on multiple occasions.

The third quarter also featured several Juneau miscues, and their opponents capitalized on the opportunities.

“They took advantage of some turnovers,” Sjoroos said. “We had three last night in that third quarter.”

West Anchorage’s scoring stopped in the fourth quarter, and the Huskies added a rushing touchdown and extra point to their scoring total to make it 43-14.

At that point, it was too late to mount a comeback, and 43-14 was the final score. Before running into West Anchorage, Juneau had won its previous three contests.

Next week, the Huskies will travel for a Saturday conference game against Chugiak High School.

The Mustangs had a spotless 4-0 overall record and were 2-0 in conference play as of Saturday afternoon, but were scheduled to play Wasilla High School 7 p.m. Saturday.


• Contact reporter Ben Hohenstatt at (907)523-2243 or bhohenstatt@juneauempire.com. Follow him on Twitter at @BenHohenstatt.


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