The Juneau Huskies handed the Kenai Kardinals their first loss of the season on Saturday night at Adair-Kennedy Field, rolling to a 59-18 victory.
The Huskies raced to a five-touchdown lead in the first quarter before laying off the gas and sitting several starters in the second half. Junior running back Ali Beya led the Huskies with three touchdowns, two of which came on 50-plus-yard runs.
Junior Dawson Hickok also had a big game for the Huskies. Minutes after catching a touchdown pass from Noah Chambers, Hickok intercepted the Kenai quarterback’s throw and ran it back about 70 yards for the score. Both plays took place in the first quarter.
“We jumped on them early, then got the quick stop, and then scored on them again, and then the real big one was the interception returned for a touchdown by Dawson,” Juneau coach Rich Sjoroos said. “Because they started getting a drive together, and they were trying to get some momentum, and that big interception run back just kind of took the wind out of them.”
Kenai scored its first points on Tucker Vann’s 54-yard touchdown run midway in the second quarter. The play made it 35-6, but the Huskies responded with two scoring drives to end the first half.
Kenai added two more touchdowns in the second half courtesy of Braedon Pitsch and Zach Burnett. After Burnett’s score, Juneau’s Wallace Adams made a 37-yard field goal.
It was the Kardinals’ first game in three weeeks. After defeating the Homer Mariners 28-14, Kenai couldn’t play its next two games due to wildfire smoke. The Kenai Peninsula Borough School District restricted all outdoor athletics last week while numerous wildfires burn around the region.
The Huskies lost their season opener, 58-42, to Service, but rebounded at home last week and defeated Antelope Union from Arizona, 56-18. Juneau was scheduled to play Dimond High School in Anchorage on Friday, but poor air quality led Anchorage and Juneau school officials to call the game off.
Juneau (2-1) hosts Wasilla (3-0) on Friday at 7 p.m. at Adair-Kennedy Memorial Field.
• Contact sports reporter Nolin Ainsworth at 523-2272 or firstname.lastname@example.org.