The Seward Phoenix Log - News of the Eastern Kenai Peninsula since 1966

By Tommy Wells
Seward Phoenix LOG 

Miscues doom Seward to 45-0 homecoming loss to rival Homer


September 14, 2017 | View PDF

Tommy Wells/Seward Phoenix LOG

The Seward Seahawks swarm over Homer running back Teddy Croft during Saturday's game. The Seahawks held the HHS standout to less than 100 yards rushing.

Playing in front of a large homecoming crowd on a muddy Steinbrecher Field on Saturday, the Seward High School Seahawks learned a brutal lesson-that being, if you beat yourself, you will have no chance to beat your opponent.

Hampered by four turnovers and seven penalties-several of which crippled impressive drives-Seward found itself on the tough end of a 45-0 loss to the conference-leading Homer Mariners. In addition to the turnovers and penalties, the Seahawks also surrendered a 60-yard kickoff return for a touchdown on a short kick that started a 26-0 second-half run by Homer.

"We have a lot of respect for them," said Homer head coach Walter Love. "Not too many things went right for them today, but they kept fighting. They never quit."

Defensively, the Seahawks controlled the Mariners' high-scoring offense early in the contest. Seward, backed by a key tackle by Beau Freiberg on a third-down play at the Homer 39, forced the Mariners to punt away their first possession

Homer had marched to the Seahawk 40 earlier in the drive but were forced backward by a fumble and an unsportsmanlike conduct penalty. Four plays later, Freiberg dragged down Joe Ravin after an 8-yard gain on a reverse and forced the Mariners into a punting situation.

The Seahawk offense wasn't able to take advantage of the opportunity. An 11-yard loss on the second play of Seward's ensuing possession resulted in an 11-yard loss. Two plays later, they were forced to punt from their own 9.

Homer, which is averaging better than 40 points per game this season, managed to get its offense in gear late in the first. After taking the SHS punt at the Seward 29, quarterback Teddy Croft pieced together a quick 5-play scoring drive. He finished the drive with an 8-yard run with 1:51 left in the opening frame.

Croft finished the game with 63 yards on 10 carries.

Seward's fortunes didn't get any better from there. After being flagged on back-to-back plays, the Seahawks began their ensuing series at their own 21. Three plays later, Fisk forced a fumble by stripping the ball from Chris Kingsland's hand. Homer defensive tackle Kyle Wells scooped up the ball and raced 21 yards into the end zone.

Homer stretched its lead to 19-0 just 1:48 into the second quarter. After the Mariners had recovered a fumble snap on a punt try at the SHS 28-and benefited from a 15-yard penalty that moved the ball to the 13-Croft sprinted around the left end for 13 yards and a TD.

Despite trailing by three scores at the half, the Seahawk defense played well against the Mariners in the first half. Seward limited Homer to just 98 first-half yards and forced Homer to punt twice.

Tommy Wells/Seward Phoenix LOG

Homer generated a huge spark at the start of the second half. Senior Justin Sumption picked up a squib kick that had bounced to him at the Mariner 40 and raced the other direction for a 60-yard TD return.

Sumption's TD staked Homer to a 26-0 lead with 11:50 left in the third quarter.

Homer tacked on a 13-yard touchdown run from Jack Heimbold at the 3:07 mark of the frame and went into the fourth quarter leading 32-0.

The Mariners closed out the game with touchdown runs of 24 yards by Sean Love and a 6-yard reception by Ravin.

As a team, Homer managed just 267 total yards in the game, including 153 via 30 rushing attempts.

Freiberg rushed for 59 yards on 11 attempts.

Seward will return to action this weekend when they travel to face Monroe Catholic in Fairbanks.


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