Anchorage — South High's defense has surrendered just one touchdown in four Cook Inlet Conference football games this season, and the Wolverines do not seem particularly pleased about that lapse.
"We're serious about it,'' said Wolverines linebacker Matthew Keogh. "We don't want to be scored on. We didn't want to give up a touchdown all year.''
That stingy attitude was evident Thursday night, when top-ranked and defending large-school state champion South limited fourth-ranked Chugiak to less than three yards per snap from scrimmage and dropped a 56-0 anvil on the Mustangs at Anchorage Football Stadium.
The CIC-leading Wolverines (4-1, 4-0 CIC) forced six turnovers -- five interceptions and a fumble recovery -- and received interception returns for touchdowns from Sam Cook and Alec Valdez. South made 14 tackles for negative yardage.
"I'd give it an A,'' South coach John Lewis said of his defense.
Seems like a fair grade, especially considering his team's dominance made the fourth quarter a mercy-rule, running-clock situation.
South has given up just two touchdowns in conference games this year, but only one to an offense -- Bartlett scored that lone marker in South's 17-7 win. The other touchdown came from East on a fumble return in the season opener, in which South romped 65-6. Chugiak three times reached the red zone Thursday night, and came away with nothing. In conference this season, South has outscored opponents, 162-13.
And after gaining 64 yards on its first five plays from scrimmage, Chugiak (3-2, 2-2 CIC) managed just 108 yards total offense on its subsequent 56 snaps.
Basically, the giant slayers -- Chugiak beat Service, then No. 1, last week -- found out how it feels on the other end of the sword.
"I couldn't understand our lack of execution and lack of intensity this evening,'' said Mustangs coach Duncan Shackelford.
South, meanwhile, pierced Chugiak's defense for 235 rushing yards on 41 carries. And quarterback Valdez completed all three of his passes -- two went for touchdowns, a 19-yarder to Alain Devoe and a 14-yarder to Justice Augafa. Augafa, who also rushed for two touchdowns and returned a punt 45 yards to set up a touchdown, gained 99 yards on 11 carries, and Jacob Hoover required just six carries for 94 yards and a touchdown.
After a scoreless first quarter, South reeled off 29 second-quarter points in a span of 7 minutes, 27 seconds.
Augafa's 3-yard touchdown run capped a 15-play, 80-yard drive. Keogh's second interception of the game set up Valdez's touchdown pass to Devoe. A three-and-out and short punt by Chugiak prompted a six-play, 46-yard drive Augafa closed in spectacular fashion. He took Valdez's screen pass in the left flat and was quickly tackled by Chugiak's Matt Oldenkamp.
But when Oldenkamp twisted Augafa to the turf, Augafa rolled over the top of Oldenkamp, regained his footing and scampered to the end zone. Three plays later, Cook intercepted a tipped pass and returned it 26 yards for a touchdown.
Augafa added a 13-yard touchdown run early in the fourth quarter, Andrew Maisey followed with an 11-yard touchdown run. Valdez, who also recovered a fumble, returned a pick-six 46 yards. And Hoover closed the scoring in the fourth quarter with a 4-yard run that he set up with his 67-yard dash.
While the Mustangs appeared listless -- after flashing their hunger against Service, they looked Thursday like a team with no appetite -- the Wolverines remained relentless on defense.
"The statement this year is that last year's 'D' wasn't a fluke because of all the seniors,'' Lewis said, noting the many juniors who play on this season's defense. "It's because of the scheme.''
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Chugiak 0 0 0 0 -- 0
South 0 29 20 7 -- 56
South -- Augafa 3 run (Imlach kick), 11:56.
South -- Devoe 19 pass from Valdez (Imlach kick), 9:30.
South -- Augafa 14 pass from Valdez (Imlach kick), 5:55.
South -- Cook 26 interception return (Hudson pass from Kile), 4:29.
South -- Augafa 13 run (Imlach kick), 9:16.
South -- Maisey 11 run (Imlach kick), 4:51.
South -- Valdez 46 interception return (kick failed), 4:38.
South -- Hoover 4 run (Imlach kick), 4:23.
First downs 9 15
Rushes-yards 40-119 41-235
Passing yards 53 42
Return yards 99 170
Passes 6-21-5 3-3-0
Punts 3-21.3 1-35.0
Fumbles-lost 3-1 2-1
Penalties-yards 5-40 6-69
RUSHING -- Chugiak: Mingledorff 13-61, Forbush 12-30, Quigley 8-27, Bensel 2-3, Stewart 5-(-2). South: Augafa 11-99, Hoover 6-94, Stephan 6-30, Maisey 2-15, Alsworth 3-11, Morman 2-2, West 2-(-1), Hanks 2-(-2), Valdez 7-(-13).
PASSING -- Chugiak: Stewart 6-20-4--53, Quigley 0-1-1--0. South: Valdez 3-3-0--42.
RECEIVING -- Chugiak: Forbush 3-12, Oldenkamp 2-19, Quigley 1-19. South: Devoe 1-19, Augafa 1-14, Morman 1-9.