Happy mid-October, the time of year for homecomings and rivalries, and games played in cooler weather with the playoffs looming.
Or if you’re in Alaska, it’s the time of year to crown a football state champion.
No, really. One of the first high school football state champions will be crowned this weekend as Anchorage (Alaska) Service will meet Anchorage (Alaska) South Saturday afternoon for the Alaska large-school championship.
The small and medium classifications held their championship games last weekend, making Eielson AFB (Alaska) Eielson and Soldotna (Alaska) High the first two official state champions in the country.
Alaska begins its high school football season in early August, due to the changing seasons (and changing amounts of daylight). According to the Anchorage Daily News, last weekend’s semifinal games were played under already snowy conditions.
South (8-2) already suffered a loss this year to Service, a 21-14 game in mid-September. Its only other loss was to Murrieta (Calif.) Vista Murrieta.
Service (9-1) is the top-ranked team in the state, with its lone loss of the season coming at the hands of Wahiawa (Hawaii) Leilehua on the opening week in the annual Fire and Ice Bowl.
And, yes, there is some talent in Alaska. Service quarterback Amu Aukusitino (pictured above, carrying the ball) played a role in all seven touchdowns his team scored in its semifinal win. Aukusitino rushed for just over 300 yards and passed for 232.
Texas Player Missing
Diving crews in Texas are continuing to search for 17-year-old Jacob Logan after he jumped into a lake on Sunday and never resurfaced.
Logan, a senior at Coppell (Texas) High, is a defensive back and wide receiver and one of the team’s captains. Coppell is 6-0 on the year.
Members of the Coppell team met with head coach Joe McBride early Monday morning to mourn the apparent loss of their teammate.
“We’re holding up as good as expected and are trying to move on, but our hearts are broken,” McBride told the Coppell Star on Tuesday. “Anybody that has played football knows that within the locker room it is very tight. We consider each other family, and that’s why it hurts so much. But it’s also why it’s important to be together and pull tight. We’re in a place and time where we all love each other.”
The Good and the Bad
Good: Talk about short notice. Fort Bragg (Calif.) High named Roy Perkins its head football coach just two days before the season started. Now, after a win last weekend over Kelseyville (Calif.) High, Perkins has his team sitting at 4-0 and a surprising contender for a league title.
“I didn’t have a lot of time to prepare,” Perkins told the Willits News. “But I’ve got a very aggressive, fun-loving and passionate group of football players.”
Bad: In Michigan, a post-game brawl involving both players and coaches sent one person to the hospital. According to AnnArbor.com, the fight broke out as the coaches of Ann Arbor (Mich.) Huron and Ann Arbor (Mich.) Pioneer met to shake hands at midfield Friday night.
Huron head coach Cory Gildersleeve was upset by the fact that Pioneer continued to run plays despite being ahead by a significant margin at the end of the game. Harsh words were exchanged, and according to the site, Pioneer head coach Paul Test was pushed and a Pioneer assistant coach punched Gildersleeve. Both benches emptied, a player from Huron was sent to the hospital in need of stitches, and at least one parent was told to leave the field.
An Update …
Remember Erin DiMeglio, the third-string quarterback at Plantation (Fla.) South Plantation who made history by being the first girl to play quarterback in a preseason game in Florida? According to CBS Miami, DiMeglio was named homecoming queen at South Plantation last weekend. She’s also made appearances in a couple of regular season games and completed her first pass in September.
Refugio (Texas) High quarterback Travis Quintanilla set a new state record last weekend by throwing 10 touchdown passes in a single game. According to Caller.com, Quintanilla threw touchdowns to five different receivers. He finished the game 13-of-15 for 383 yards.
Ames (Iowa) High cornerback Jake Mills tied a national mark by returning two interceptions for touchdowns in the same quarter. According to the Des Moines Register, Mills had returns of 96 and 76 yards in the second quarter against Des Moines (Iowa) North.
Danville (Ind.) High likes to run the football. A lot. How much? How about 80 rushing plays in one game. According to the Indianapolis Star, Danville’s triple-option offense piled up 522 yards on the ground on 80 plays in its win last weekend over Lizton (Ind.) Tri-West.
Mentor (Ohio) High was an offensive juggernaut of its own last weekend, scoring seven touchdowns in its first seven drives of the game in a win over Medina (Ohio) High.
“We just do what we’re trained to do,” Mentor quarterback Mitch Trubisky told the Medina Gazette. “Our coaches did a great job preparing us, so we knew exactly what we were going to do. We came out and executed, so that makes it seem easy.”
Edmond (Okla.) Santa Fe quarterback Justice Hansen scored seven touchdowns – four passing and three rushing – in his team’s win over Lawton (Okla.) High. According to The Oklahoman, Hansen (pictured at right) finished with 104 yards rushing and 286 yards passing.
Gastonia (N.C.) Forestview racked up 506 yards on offense last weekend, the fourth-highest single-game yard total in school history. Unfortunately, it came in a loss. According to the Gaston Gazette, Forestview fell to Gastonia (N.C.) Ashbrook, 40-36. Ashbrook had 633 yards of total offense in the win, including 521 yards passing by quarterback Tre Brice, which set a new county record.
Clairton (Pa.) High won its 54th consecutive game last weekend, topping Bishop Canevin, 53-15. According to the Pittsburgh Post-Gazette, running back Tyler Boyd scored four touchdowns in the win.
Park Ridge (Ill.) Maine South took its conference winning streak to 59 games with a win last Friday over Waukegan, 44-20. According to the Chicago Tribune, Maine South quarterback Matt Alviti threw for 329 yards and four touchdowns in the win.
And congratulations to Woods Cross (Utah) High, which defeated rival Bountiful (Utah) High, 14-0, last weekend for the first time since 1989.
According to the Deseret News, students, the band and cheerleaders rushed the field after the game as players were receiving high-fives from their parents and the principal. (Watch the video above.)
“We haven’t won in 23 years, so it’s just intense,” Woods Cross quarterback Skyler Farnes told the paper. “To get this victory is something like nothing else.”