Juneau’s Ali Beya breaks tackles by Antelope Union’s Sam Martinez, left, and Chris Pelfry to score in the first quarter at Adair-Kennedy Memorial Field on Saturday, Aug. 24, 2019. (Michael Penn | Juneau Empire)

Juneau’s Ali Beya breaks tackles by Antelope Union’s Sam Martinez, left, and Chris Pelfry to score in the first quarter at Adair-Kennedy Memorial Field on Saturday, Aug. 24, 2019. (Michael Penn | Juneau Empire)

Huskies dominate in home opener

Juneau program earns first-ever win

The Juneau Huskies scored over 40 points for the second straight weekend, earning their first win in program history on Saturday night at Adair-Kennedy Memorial Park.

Energized from last weekend’s offensive onslaught against one of Anchorage’s best, the Huskies used a fast start to trounce the visiting Antelope Union High School, 56-18. Juneau scored on its first few drives and led 21-6 after the first quarter. Cooper Kriegmont accounted for two scores in the opening 12 minutes while piling up the yards along with fellow running back Ali Beya.

“I had a plan going in that those two guys would have a big night tonight, and they proved me right, which was great,” Juneau coach Rich Sjoroos said. “They’re good football players, so on any given night they can have a big game.”

Juneau quarterback Noah Chambers threw three touchdowns, and his 94-yard completion to Kriegmont midway through the second quarter ignited the crowd. Lined up to the Chambers’ right, Kriegmont took off in a slant pattern toward his near sideline, caught the ball around the 30-yard line and ran up the field 70 yards into the end zone.

“I trust Noah’s arm. He’s got a great arm. He’s a great quarterback, and we’ve been running that play in practice,” said Kriegmont, who finished with four touchdowns.

Juneau’s Sam Sika, center, and Cooper Kriegmont pressure Antelope Union’s quarterback Trey Hohlbein in the second quarter at Adair-Kennedy Memorial Field on Saturday, Aug. 24, 2019. (Michael Penn | Juneau Empire)

Juneau’s Sam Sika, center, and Cooper Kriegmont pressure Antelope Union’s quarterback Trey Hohlbein in the second quarter at Adair-Kennedy Memorial Field on Saturday, Aug. 24, 2019. (Michael Penn | Juneau Empire)

The Rams hail from Wellton, Arizona, located 30 miles east of Yuma. The team arrived in Juneau on Thursday after a two-hour road trip and over five hours of flying.

“We went to the Mendenhall Glacier yesterday and it was just really awesome to see the wildlife, the bears in the wild, the glacier, the salmon swimming,” said coach Gary Mauldin, whose team stays until Monday. “It was just a really, really great experience.”

Mauldin said the trip came together unexpectedly after one of last year’s scheduled opponents canceled on them. Mauldin said the school’s athletic director looked online for other teams to play and saw the Huskies’ had an opening for this season. Some of the trip’s expenses were covered by Juneau’s program, Mauldin said, but the people of Wellton raised $10,000 for part of the air travel.

Balancing sightseeing and game preparation was difficult, Mauldin said.

“This is such a physical team we just played; (it’s hard) to keep our kids focused on football while we’re up here. It’s such beautiful country,” Mauldin said.

Juneau’s Ali Beya breaks tackles by Antelope Union’s Sam Martinez, left, and Chris Pelfry to score in the first quarter at Adair-Kennedy Memorial Field on Saturday, Aug. 24, 2019. (Michael Penn | Juneau Empire)

Juneau’s Ali Beya breaks tackles by Antelope Union’s Sam Martinez, left, and Chris Pelfry to score in the first quarter at Adair-Kennedy Memorial Field on Saturday, Aug. 24, 2019. (Michael Penn | Juneau Empire)

Two of the Rams’ three touchdowns were 80-plus yard plays, including one during the opening kickoff.

As might be expected, the Rams are used to playing in much, much hotter weather. Earlier in the week, the team practiced while getting soaked with fire hoses.

Juneau was never able to take advantage of its home field last season. In the first year of the program, Juneau scored just 20 points in four home losses and finished the year 0-8.

Juneau plays next on the road against Dimond at 7 p.m. Friday at Dimond High School in Anchorage. Juneau then hosts Wasilla for its first conference game of the year. Juneau lost to Wasilla last season, 15-0.


• Contact sports reporter Nolin Ainsworth at 523-2272 or nainsworth@juneauempire.com.


Juneau’s Meki Toutaiolepo, left, tackles Antelope Union’s Bruno Zazueta in the second quarter at Adair-Kennedy Memorial Field on Saturday, Aug. 24, 2019. (Michael Penn | Juneau Empire)

Juneau’s Meki Toutaiolepo, left, tackles Antelope Union’s Bruno Zazueta in the second quarter at Adair-Kennedy Memorial Field on Saturday, Aug. 24, 2019. (Michael Penn | Juneau Empire)

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