Senior Hansel Hinckle intercepted a pass for a 100-yard touchdown, but most of the big plays between Juneau and West Anchorage High School on Friday night belonged to the home team.
Juneau coughed up the ball numerous times and was shut out for the final three quarters in a 55-9 nonconference loss at West Anchorage High.
It was just the second game on the season for Juneau’s unified football team, who fell 31-8 in Week 1 to Palmer.
Hinckle’s play, which put Juneau up 7-0 in the first quarter, would stand as Juneau’s only touchdown of the game. Juneau’s only other points came later in the quarter on a Jake Ferster safety that made it 14-9. Head coach Randy Quinto said his team was outsized and outmanned but not necessarily outworked.
“We’re super proud of these guys and the effort they gave tonight,” Quinto said by phone after the game. “There’s a lot of positives in what we saw tonight.”
West’s Joel Martinez scored two touchdowns in the win. The Eagles led 14-9 after the first quarter and 34-9 at halftime. West Anchorage coach Tim Davis thought his team’s defense was sharp, and delivered a key turnover in the second half that helped ice the game.
“They’re creative in how they try to get the athletes the ball and our defense I think had to regroup there for a second,” Davis said. “Juneau didn’t score but they marched down the field for a pretty long drive, got down to the red zone and then we got an interception. That was the farthest Juneau got the rest of the night.”
Quinto complemented quarterback Thomas Willhoite for staying composed throughout the game.
“He stayed in the pocket under pressure and delivered some beautiful balls tonight,” Quinto said. “We had a few untimely drops so he was putting the ball in good spots for the most part.”
Juneau’s opening drive resulted in a fumble but the Eagles turned the ball back over soon after on a pass to the end zone.
“The quarterback rolled out to his right and Hansel stepped in front of a receiver and got a couple blocks and then found pay dirt,” Quinto said.
Juneau will take on East Anchorage in its first home game of the season on Saturday at 2 p.m. at Adair-Kennedy Memorial Park. The Thunderbirds are coming off a 40-14 loss to Arizona school Cesar Chavez.
• Contact sports reporter Nolin Ainsworth at 523-2272 or firstname.lastname@example.org. Follow Empire Sports on Twitter at @akempiresports.