A Lucas White (21) block buys Jarrell Williams (1) more room to work during a 49-32 win against Service High School. (Ben Hohenstatt / Juneau Empire)

A Lucas White (21) block buys Jarrell Williams (1) more room to work during a 49-32 win against Service High School. (Ben Hohenstatt / Juneau Empire)

Juneau cooks up a conference title

Huskies are back-to-back Cook Inlet Conference champs after lopsided win.

It didn’t take long for Juneau to find the end zone for the first time. Or the second time. Or the third time.

The Huskies scored three times in the first quarter with the first points coming just 49 seconds into the game on a 43-yard Jarrell Williams run.

Juneau would need that early scoring barrage to survive the visiting Service High School Cougars, who put up 26 second-half points in a 49-32 game that ended with Juneau’s undefeated record intact and the Huskies as back-to-back Cook Inlet Conference champs.

“I’m happy for the kids, it’s kind of a goal they set early in the year. We’ve got a veteran group,” coach Rich Sjoroos said after the game. “I’m happy for them. I’m happy for our program. It’s a hard thing to do go through the whole grind of the season and be the No. 1 seed right now, so pleased with that.”

Juneau is now 7-0 on the season, with a 6-0 in-conference record and set to enjoy home-field advantage in the playoffs.

“We’ve got a lot more football to play and hope that we get better each week,” Sjoroos said.

The Huskies’ latest win —a senior night victory that featured standout play from the team’s seniors — saw Juneau set new season highs for both points scored and points given up. Juneau scored 42 points in an away game against Colony High School and had not allowed more than 14 points in any previous game.

Williams, a senior signal-caller, got the scoring started for the Huskies and had a hand in all three of their first-quarter touchdowns. He added a short rushing touchdown and 51-yard toss to sophomore Jayden Johnson.

Jayden Johnson nears the goal line after catching a long pass from Jarrell Williams. Johnson scored twice in a 49-32 win against Service High School. (Ben Hohenstatt / Juneau Empire)

Jayden Johnson nears the goal line after catching a long pass from Jarrell Williams. Johnson scored twice in a 49-32 win against Service High School. (Ben Hohenstatt / Juneau Empire)

His scoring output was nearly even gaudier. Williams had two punt returns that went all the way and were called back due to penalties.

Sure-handed Service receiver Tinius Manu added his own 50-plus-yard score late in the first quarter for the Cougars’ first score of the game. He finished the game with three scoring receptions and at least that many tough catches.

A 24-yard scamper from Johnson in the second quarter made it a 28-6 Huskies ballgame. That would be the score at the half after Juneau’s defense made a red zone stand near halftime.

In the third quarter, both Juneau and Service added scores with the Huskies’ touchdown coming on an 11-yard run by senior Lucas White. That frame would end with the Huskies up 35-12 — but there was more scoring for both teams to come.

Juneau found pay dirt on the ground twice with senior Payton Grant taking the ball from about midfield to the end zone on a long run, and White adding a two-yard score with just over two minutes left. Service scored through the air three times in the final quarter with the last touchdown coming on a late heave with 16 seconds left on the clock.

Jarrell Williams (1) talks to Payton Grant (9) during a 49-32 win against Service High School. The seniors had big games against the Cougars. Williams rushed for two touchdowns and threw for a score — all in the first quarter. Grant also rushed for a score and broke up passes in key moments on defense. (Ben Hohenstatt / Juneau Empire)

Jarrell Williams (1) talks to Payton Grant (9) during a 49-32 win against Service High School. The seniors had big games against the Cougars. Williams rushed for two touchdowns and threw for a score — all in the first quarter. Grant also rushed for a score and broke up passes in key moments on defense. (Ben Hohenstatt / Juneau Empire)

“We got some points, it was great, but at the same time they’re explosive on offense, and they kept coming, and they put a lot of points on the board, so we just knew we’d have to keep going. I felt like once we didn’t set ourselves back, we were able to sustain drives and put points on the board —whether penalties, or a fumbled snap — we just had some issues we gotta clean up. I think you can see it on the kids’ faces after the game. They’re not satisfied, they know they can play a game of football than they played today and hopefully that happens next week.”

Juneau’s Sage Richards interrupts Service’s Jonathon Tautua’s throwing motion during a 49-32 win for the Juneau Huskies. The win netted Juneau its second consecutive Cook Inlet Conference Title. (Ben Hohenstatt/ Juneau Empire)

Juneau’s Sage Richards interrupts Service’s Jonathon Tautua’s throwing motion during a 49-32 win for the Juneau Huskies. The win netted Juneau its second consecutive Cook Inlet Conference Title. (Ben Hohenstatt/ Juneau Empire)

Juneau’s on the road next week and will take on the Bettye Davis East Anchorage Thunderbirds. Kickoff is set for 2 p.m.

On Oct. 8, the Huskies will return to Adair-Kennedy Memorial Field for the first round of the playoffs. The game is scheduled to kick off at 3 p.m., Sjoroos said.

Contact Ben Hohenstatt at (907)308-4895 or bhohenstatt@juneauempire.com. Follow him on Twitter at @BenHohenstatt.

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