With the clock ticking down Friday at Adair-Kennedy Field, Juneau-Douglas High School needed just one more defensive stop in a game full of them. The Crimson Bears were poised to even their record at 1-1 with a 20-18 lead and visiting Kodiak High School mired in their own territory. That is, until Kodiak quarterback Andreas Carros decided to run the ball.
Carros led his team down the field in a last-minute drive, scoring a game winning TD on second and goal with less than a minute left to push the game to 20-26 for Kodiak, leaving the Crimson Bears crushed after leading the entire game.
“We just had to ground and pound it,” Carros said. “I believe they were giving us a three man front and three, four yards on every run so we just said, ‘You know what, we’re just going to run the ball until we score.’”
Carros followed up his three-yard touchdown run with a successful two-point conversion. JDHS got the ball back with less than a minute to go and JDHS QB Bubba Stults nearly outdid Carros’ heroics.
With 37 seconds left, Stults hit receiver Donavin McCurley with a pass to Kodiak’s 25 yard line to set up a last shot at the end zone. Stults then lobbed a shot to Liam Van Sickle at the corner of the end zone. Kodiak’s Scott Larionoff then intercepted Stults’ last-ditch effort to end the game.
McCurley was the star for JDHS in the losing effort, scoring the Crimson Bears’ first touchdown on a fumble recovery and adding their second on a 70-yard punt return. He also recorded a third quarter interception.
The speedy junior running back, receiver and defensive back leads the team in swagger — you’ll often see him dancing on the sidelines — but McCurley enjoyed no glory after Kodiak stole the game.
“The defense was awesome tonight, we just need to pick it up on offense,” McCurley said. “We can’t be messing around in practice anymore.”
JDHS’ defense looked much improved after giving up 50 points to Thunder Mountain High School in their first game. They held Kodiak out of the red zone for the first two quarters, ceding their only first half points on a pick six from Kodiak’s Derek Rastopsoff. JDHS recorded two interceptions on the night.
Kodiak coach Bill McGuire knew he faced a shorthanded JDHS who fielded only 19 players. McGuire said his team needed to stick to the run until they wore down the Crimson Bears’ defense.
“It looked to me that the linebackers might not have been coming as hard and maybe we were in a bit better shape,” McGuire said of the game-winning drive. “I know that Juneau is pretty thin and I think they wore down a little bit and we kept after it. We want that to be a power run game, we want to be able to run the ball like that.”
McGuire called JDHS QB Bubba Stults “one of the best in the state.” Carros was likewise complimentary of his opponent.
“Juneau is high class,” Carros said. “They never stuck their head down and are always trying to say, ‘Good job.’”
JDHS 20, Kodiak 26
JDHS – 6, 7, 0, 7; 20
Kodiak – 0, 6, 6, 14; 26
JDHS – McCurley, fumble recovery, 6-0
KHS – Rastopsoff TD, interception, 6-6
JDHS – McCurley TD, punt return, 13-6
KHS – Galindez TD, pass, 13-12
JDHS – Shultz TD, pass, 20-12
KHS – Carros TD, run, 20-18. Carros TD, run, 20-24.