Juneau-Douglas' Lance Galletes-Flagatusa is left no where to run by Thunder Mountain's Alofa Sua, left, and Ivan Williams in a cross town conference game at TMHS on Friday. TMHS won the game.

Juneau-Douglas' Lance Galletes-Flagatusa is left no where to run by Thunder Mountain's Alofa Sua, left, and Ivan Williams in a cross town conference game at TMHS on Friday. TMHS won the game.

Thunder Mountain honors slain teammate as Falcons beat Bears in Glacier Bowl

Despite having to rewrite the playbook in a season marked by tragedy, the Thunder Mountain Falcons authored a storybook ending to their season Friday night at the Thunderdome: they clinched the Southeast Conference with a Glacier Bowl win on senior night.

“There’s no script, there’s no playbook for something like this,” TMHS head coach Randy Quinto said after the game. “They’ve been resilient. I am super proud of the boys sticking together.”

Mourning the loss of senior wide receiver and defensive back Ryan Mayhew, who tragically died Sept. 17, the Falcons beat Juneau-Douglas High School 37-0 in the last game of the season, preserving their undefeated Southeast Conference record and sending them to the state semifinals with a No. 1 seed.

Seven interceptions — three by TMHS and four from JDHS — kept the game lively, but the result was a foregone conclusion by halftime when the Falcons had a 19-0 lead.

“There’s some regret that we’re not going to have any more games here, but there’s also happiness that we were able to finish out the season with a win and a conference championship,” senior quarterback Cale Jenkins said.

Playing without junior starting quarterback Bubba Stults and effectively out of playoff contention, the Crimson Bears started sophomore quarterback Maximus Wheat, who showed some poise under center and a willingness to sling the ball. Wheat completed 12 of 29 passes for 105 yards and four interceptions.

JDHS coach John Hamrick was happy to see some of his younger players see the field.

“That’s the main thing for these young guys,” Hamrick said. “Now that they have a taste of it, when we coach them, they know what we’re talking about. Most importantly, they have to get in the weight room.”

Thunder Mountain opened scoring on a 20-yard reception from junior Roy Tupou. Team-leading tackler Mahina Toutaiolepo was hurt on the opening kickoff with a leg injury and didn’t return to the game.

Hansel Hinckle put a sophomore shine on senior night by adding two second-quarter touchdowns, a 3-yard reception and a 70-yard interception return for a touchdown. Hinckle’s pick-six deflated a JDHS drive that would have put the Crimson Bears within a touchdown at halftime.

“I think it just boils down to our boys playing fundamental, the way they’ve been taught,” Quinto said. “JD was able to drive the ball at times and put some plays together, but our boys were able to persevere.”

A field goal by exchange student Franco Vidal and scoring runs by Hinckle and Tupou in the second half capped the game. The Falcons will face Palmer in the semifinals of the medium-school state championships.

Seniors honor late teammate

Friday’s game was dedicated to Falcons senior Ryan Mayhew, who died in an accidental shooting two weeks before the Glacier Bowl. For Mayhew’s 10 senior teammates, it was an emotional moment.

“It was really, really difficult. The seniors have all known him since we were kids. It really brought us together because we had to rally around each other. He was always cheering you on, he was never down, even when the team was losing. He loved the game,” Jenkins said.

Riley Olsen, a senior wide receiver, said Mayhew was his best friend. After speaking with his family, Olsen donned Mayhew’s No. 28 for the game, something he said brought powerful emotions and a sense of honor.

“I talked to his mom and brother and they wanted me to wear it,” Olsen said. “Me and Ryan would go fishing and hunting all the time together. We started football in fifth grade. He played before me, and we played defensive back together freshman year. He was just my best friend, always fun to be around. It just really hurts me to see him go, and I am playing for him.”

The team lit dozens of Chinese lanterns after the game in honor of Mayhew, who was remembered as a friendly, fun and positive teammate. During a point-after touchdown attempt in the first quarter, the Falcons laid Mayhew’s jersey on the field where he would have lined up as placeholder. Cheerleaders and supporters wore Mayhew’s No. 28 on their backs.

“He was very outgoing, emphasis on very,” Crawford said. “He could be tough, he was talented. Seeing Riley wear his helmet and jersey, it was emotional. I thought he was Ryan every time he had the ball.”

“Off the field, he was a big part of everybody’s lives,” Tupou said. “Not just on the field, but off the field as well. He’d always be there for you when you needed him.”

“He was a great teammate,” Dawson Chilton said.

Graduating this year for the Falcons are Sami Sami, Cale Jenkins, Dawson Chilton, Dominique Maua, Dylan Chilton, Gabe Crawford, Mahina Toutaiolepo, Riley Olsen, Shannon Olmstead and Tristan Mead.

“We’re going to miss them next season; they’re a big part of this team,” Tupou said.

Falcons 37, Crimson Bears 0

Thunder Mountain — 6 13 11 7 —37

Juneau-Douglas — 0 0 0 0 —0

1st quarter

TM — Tupou 20 pass (PAT no good) 10:57

2nd quarter

TM — Hinckle 3 pass (2pt. no good) 1:25

TM — Hinckle 70 interception return (PAT good) :23.6

3rd quarter

TM — Vidal 8 kick 8:34

TM — Tupou 3 run (2pt. Payne) 2:25

4th quarter

TM — Hinckle 7 run (PAT good) 9:18

TM, JD

Rushes-yds 25-164 20-47

Pass yds 199 105

Comp-att-int 13-29-3 12-29-4

INDIVIDUAL STATISTICS

Rushing — TM: Tupou 20-138, Crawford 1-12, Hinckle 1-8, Payne 2-5, Jenkins 1-1. JD: Galletes 6-22, Wheat 6-13, Galletes-Fiagatusa 4-7, Hamrick 4-5.

Passing — TM: Jenkins 13-23-3—199. JD: Wheat 12-29-4—105.

Receiving — TM: Crawford 4-72, Tupou 3-43, Olsen 4-35, Mendoza 2-14, Hinckle 1-7. JD: McCurley 3-37, Schultz 3-20, Van Sickle 2-19, Galletes-Fiagatusa 4-18, Hamrick 2-14.

Juneau-Douglas' Donavin McCurley loses his grip on Thunder Mountain's Gabe Crawford in a cross town conference game at TMHS on Friday. TMHS won the game.

Juneau-Douglas’ Donavin McCurley loses his grip on Thunder Mountain’s Gabe Crawford in a cross town conference game at TMHS on Friday. TMHS won the game.

Juneau-Douglas's quarterback Maximus Wheat passes under pressure from Thunder Mountain's Steven Rosales in a cross town conference game at TMHS on Friday. TMHS won the game.

Juneau-Douglas’s quarterback Maximus Wheat passes under pressure from Thunder Mountain’s Steven Rosales in a cross town conference game at TMHS on Friday. TMHS won the game.

Thunder Mountain's Roy Tupou is tackled by Juneau-Douglas' Lance Galletes-Flagatusa in a cross town conference game at TMHS on Friday. TMHS won the game.

Thunder Mountain’s Roy Tupou is tackled by Juneau-Douglas’ Lance Galletes-Flagatusa in a cross town conference game at TMHS on Friday. TMHS won the game.

Thunder Mountain's  Hansel Hinckle runs the ball in for a touchdown against Juneau-Douglas in a cross town conference game at TMHS on Friday. TMHS won the game.

Thunder Mountain’s Hansel Hinckle runs the ball in for a touchdown against Juneau-Douglas in a cross town conference game at TMHS on Friday. TMHS won the game.

Juneau-Douglas's quarterback Maximus Wheat is chased by Thunder Mountain's Dominique Maua in a cross town conference game at TMHS on Friday. TMHS won the game.

Juneau-Douglas’s quarterback Maximus Wheat is chased by Thunder Mountain’s Dominique Maua in a cross town conference game at TMHS on Friday. TMHS won the game.

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