Doyle Woody

Football teams ranked No. 1 among Alaska’s large schools have rented, rather than owned, the top poll position this season, and Friday night yet another was evicted from that lofty perch.

Now, the Chugiak Mustangs will undoubtedly wear the crown that has proved temporary through just four weeks of the season.

Buoyed by quarterback Ben Stewart’s four touchdowns and three pivotal fourth-down successes in the second half, No. 2-ranked Chugiak knocked off visiting and No. 1-ranked West, 28-21, at Tom Huffer Sr. Stadium.

Chugiak’s victory in the Cook Inlet Conference clash marked the second time in three weeks it has beaten a fellow CIC team ranked No. 1. The Mustangs beat then-No. 1 Bartlett, 36-35, which prompted West’s two-week run at No. 1...

Doyle Woody

For once, the Eagle River Wolves football team feels the light at the end of the tunnel isn’t an oncoming train heralding certain, impending doom.

Granted, the Wolves fell to 0-4 with Thursday night’s 47-6 Northern Lights Conference loss to visiting Palmer, but their drop this season to the medium-school division from their previous station among large-school teams has softened the blow.

Neither a 20-0 loss to Kodiak nor last week’s 33-14 loss to Ketchikan in a game Eagle River led 14-13 after three quarters were anything like the sort of blowouts the Wolves routinely suffered in nearly a decade of large-school competition...

Doyle Woody

The Alaska Aces are taking measures to avoid repeating one of their early season shortcomings a year ago: Dearth of depth on the blue line.

The ECHL club on Thursday announced it has re-signed defenseman Felix-Antoine Poulin, and that already gives the Aces six defensemen among the 12 players they have reported as secured for the upcoming season.

Coach Rob Murray expects to add at least two more blueliners, and possibly more, before training camp opens in a month...

Doyle Woody

The Alaska Aces have added another returner to the fold with Thursday's announcement defenseman Felix-Antoine Poulin will be back in the upcoming ECHL hockey season.

Poulin, who turns 25 later this month, joined the Aces in February after four seasons with St. Thomas University in New Brunswick.

The 6-foot-2, 200-pounder had three assists and a minus-1 rating in 25 games.

Poulin is the sixth defenseman among the 12 players the Aces have announced as secured for the upcoming season.

Check later Thursday for more on Poulin's signing.

Doyle Woody

Harboring NCAA Division II tournament ambitions again – UAA has qualified two straight volleyball seasons and five of the last six seasons under coach Chris Green – the Seawolves face a daunting season-opening tournament.

Their SpringHill Suites Invitational is loaded.

“Hopefully, we can survive the weekend,’’ Green said in a nod to the field he calls the strongest he’s faced in his eight seasons...

Doyle Woody

The Alaska Aces revealed two more signings Tuesday, and by coincidence the young players announced sounded like an ideal defensive pairing: A right-handed blueliner with offensive upside and a left-hander blueliner whose forte is defending.

The ECHL club announced the impending arrival of defenseman Garrett Haar and the return of defenseman Nilan Nagy.

Those additions bring to 11 the number of players the Aces publicly say they have secured for the upcoming season. Doubtless, there are more – the Aces announce a few players each week this time of year to get a succession of publicity hits.

Anyhow, Haar is the guy with intriguing offense, and a right-handed shooter who was a Washington Capitals draft pick in 2011...

Doyle Woody

The Alaska Aces’ string of announced signings continued Tuesday when the ECHL club revealed two young defensemen who will skate for them in the upcoming hockey season.

The Aces say they have signed returner Nilan Nagy – he joined the club late last season after finishing his college career at Holy Cross – and newcomer Garrett Haar.

Nagy, 23, played six games for the Aces, scored one goal and was plus-2.

Haar, 22, as a rookie last season played 35 games with ECHL South Carolina and delivered 4-12—16 totals and a -8 rating. He played the previous season, 2013-14, with the WHL’s Portland Winterhawks and went 7-38—45 and plus-32 in 61 games. Haar prior to that played two seasons for Western Michigan University...

Doyle Woody

Chugiak High flipped an old axiom when it mattered most Saturday night to remain one of just two football teams with unbeaten records in Cook Inlet Conference games:

The No. 3-ranked Mustangs in crunch time used exceptional offense as their best defense and racked a 27-12 CIC victory over South at Anchorage Football Stadium.

South’s Evan Benedict blew around the right side for a 21-yard touchdown run to cut Chugiak’s lead to 20-12 and furnished the Wolverines hope with 4 minutes, 31 seconds remaining.

South needed a defensive stop.

But there was no stopping Chugiak’s time-eating, first down-delivering rushing game...

Doyle Woody

Each football season, Bartlett and East clash for possession of “The Eastside Boot,’’ a trophy that honors the memory of former East all-state defensive end Aanooalii “Auno’’ Filoialli, who died in a 2002 car accident.

The traveling trophy is topped by one of Filoialli’s cleats, and footwear seemed fitting Saturday afternoon when Bartlett ran all over East, and then away from the visiting T-birds, to seize a 56-28 Cook Inlet Conference victory.

No. 5-ranked Bartlett rushed for 520 yards on 56 carries and battered No. 4-ranked East for four third-quarter touchdowns in a span of less than seven minutes. All four scores came from running back Ethan Falaniko, who rushed 27 times for 211 yards and five touchdowns...

Doyle Woody

No one exhaled harder than West’s Julo Tagalu when time expired Friday night and his No. 1-ranked football team remained unbeaten with its 18-13 win over No. 2-ranked Dimond.

In the space of just three plays and 42 seconds of clock time late in the game, Tagalu covered an emotional journey from agony to elation.

Tagalu’s fumble in Dimond territory as the Eagles hoped to run out the clock furnished the Lynx the ball at their 34-yard line with 1 minute, 13 seconds left.

But on Dimond’s second snap from scrimmage, Tagalu sacked Lynx quarterback Vondell Pilcher and forced a fumble West’s Ozzie Seuteni recovered with 31 seconds left. That turnover enabled the Eagles (3-0, 2-0 Cook Inlet Conference) to run out the clock at Dimond’s Alumni Field...

Doyle Woody