With the outcome hanging in the balance on a play that would either prolong overtime or end the football game Friday night, Chugiak defensive lineman Jake Brownlee made two critical calls to keep the Mustangs undefeated.
First, with West facing fourth-and-3 and Chugiak coach Duncan Shackelford screaming pleas to officials for a timeout but failing to gain the audience he sought, Brownlee noticed his coach's dilemma and quickly signaled timeout. In the ensuing huddle, Brownlee and teammate Kenny Pegues predicted the Eagles would roll out quarterback Tyrone Davis.
Given the green light to make an outside move from his position over West's right tackle, Brownlee delivered a one-handed sack of Davis to preserve Chugiak's 14-7 Cook Inlet Conference victory at Tom Huffer Sr. Stadium.
"Jake basically ended up calling exactly what they were going to do and made a fantastic play,'' Shackelford said.
Brownlee figured his outside move on the final play would at least keep Davis from gaining the edge. West coach Tim Davis said the plan was to roll out Davis to the right and have him throw a jump ball to wide receiver Leroy Elliott. Brownlee, though, sniffed out the play and never gave Davis enough room to get off the pass.
"I just made a move outside and got some jersey'' -- with his right hand -- "and used my weight to throw him down,'' Brownlee said.
The Mustangs improved to 1-0 in conference and 2-0 overall -- they beat nonconference West Valley 17-6 last week. Every league win in a eight-game conference season has been magnified because five of the CIC's eight teams will advance to the playoffs this season, and three league wins could be enough to qualify for the postseason.
West, meanwhile, fell to 0-1 in conference, and 0-2 overall, and faces the prospect of losing starting quarterback Sam Wedin, who suffered a knee injury on the first possession of the game, for a significant time.
"We're at a fork in the road,'' Tim Davis said. "We can either grind it out or mail it in.''
Chugiak suffered significant injuries too. Two-way standout Matt Oldenkamp (two catches, 36 yards) left the game in the first half, as did running back Dylan Timberlake, whose 54 yards on six carries nonetheless led all Mustangs rushers.
The Mustangs also lost kicker Tyler Tulare to a second-half injury, but Catherine Jorgensen stepped up in overtime to nail the extra point after quarterback Ben Stewart scored his second touchdown of the evening on a third-down sneak with the ball literally on the 1-inch line.
The first half was not elegant. Both teams stymied themselves with penalties. West racked up seven for 52 yards of backtracking, and committed 16 penalties in all, for a whopping 137 yards. Chugiak's six first-half penalties came on groaners -- five false starts and a delay of game.
After a scoreless first half, West gained a 7-0 third-quarter lead when Lui Faamasino (11 carries, 102 yards) bolted 57 yards for a touchdown and Wil Troxel added the extra point.
Chugiak answered just seven plays later when Stewart sneaked over the right side for a 1-yard touchdown and Tulare added the extra point for a 7-7 tie. The pivotal play on that 58-yard, third-quarter drive was Stewart's hookup with Karson Forbush for a 46-yard catch and run.
Neither team sniffed the red zone in regulation after that. West was buried deep in its own territory in the waning seconds of regulation, when Chugiak was out of timeouts, which prevented it from getting the ball back. Tyrone Davis scrambled to his right to kill time on the final play of regulation and the sack he absorbed came within inches of his own goal line.
In overtime, when each team gets the ball at the 10-yard line, and four plays to do something with it, Chugiak prospered.
"First half, we played terrible,'' Brownlee said. "Third quarter, we played terrible. But I was really proud of my guys for stepping up in the fourth quarter and overtime.''
Find Doyle Woody's blog at adn.com/hockeyblog or call him at 257-4335.
West \t0 \t0 \t7 \t0 0 -- 7
Chugiak \t0 \t0 \t7 \t0 7 -- 14
West -- Faamasino 57 run (Troxel kick), 7:32.
Chugiak -- Stewart 1 run (Tulare kick), 3:38.
Chugiak -- Stewart 1 run (Jorgensen kick).
First downs 8 9
Rushes-yards 29-106 36-106
Passing yards 81 128
Return yards 99 31
Passes 8-19-3 9-21-1
Punts 5-26.2 4-28.3
Fumbles-lost 2-0 2-1
Penalties-yards 16-137 7-45
RUSHING -- West: Faamasino 11-102, Seui 1-15, Faualo 6-6, Tuilimu 2-2, Wedin 1-1, Murchison 1-(-2), Davis 7-(-17). Chugiak: Timberlake 6-54, Mingledorff 10-44, Quigley 2-5, Bensel 2-0, Forbush 3-(-4), Stewart 5-(-18).
PASSING -- West: Davis 7-17-3--65, Wedin 1-2-0--16. Chugiak: Stewart 9-21-1--128.
RECEIVING -- West: Rayford 4-11, Elliott 1-26, Cordero 1-18, Davis 1-16, Leon 1-10. Chugiak: Oldenkamp 2-36, LeKites 2-22, Mingledorff 2-18, Forbush 1-16, Quigley 1-10, Carnahan 1-(-2).