Week 4: Kardinals back home after high seas adventure

The Kenai Peninsula is football central this week. Soldotna, Kenai, Seward and Voznesenka will play home games, and the region's two teams playing on the road aren't leaving the peninsula. Homer is at Seward and Nikiski will play at Voznesenka.

Soldotna returns home after back-to-back triumphant road trips. The Stars traveled to Anchorage last week to administer a 79-39 bruising to Service, and the week before that they were in the Valley, where they handed Colony a 45-20 loss.

No doubt the Stars, who are 3-0 and riding a 32-game winning streak, will be welcomed home by an appreciative crowd for Saturday's 2 p.m. Northern Lights Conference game against Kodiak.

But it's unlikely there will be a team happier to be home this weekend than the Kenai Kardinals.

Kenai takes on Houston in a 6:30 p.m. game Friday at Ed Hollier Football Field, where free hot dogs will be given to students wearing school colors – red and black.

As for the players, they still may be a little green around the gills.

The Kardinals weathered a hellacious trip to Kodiak last weekend. High seas and strong winds turned their ferry ride on the Gulf of Alaska into a 31-hour endurance test, according to the team's Facebook page.

"Only in Alaska," began an update about the team's bumpy ride. "Kenai Central High School JV and Varsity teams are on a ferry, going on nearly 24 hours, still waiting to dock in Kodiak."

Another six hours passed before the team was on solid ground. Once the ferry docked, Kenai Peninsula Borough School District spokeswoman Pegge Erkeneff gave this report to KSRM Radio of Kenai:

"They've just docked right around noon after 31 hours on the ferry… They had winds blowing 30-50 (knots) and seas were 16 to 20 feet. There's a fire on Kodiak so the school they were going to stay at has become an evacuation center and they've been moved to another school but those boys are ready to play football."

A photo of the Chiniak fire was posted on the team's Facebook page along with an update that said players and coaches watched from the boat as the village was evacuated.

But the adventure didn't end with high seas and a wildfire.

"And then there's this warning alert from NOAA," said another Facebook post by the school. "Volcanic ash from the 1912 eruption of Katmai Volcano is blowing across Shelikof Strait and onto parts of Kodiak."

The good news? The Kardinals came home with a 48-18 victory over Kodiak.They take a 1-1 record into their game against the 2-1 Houston Hawks.

Week 4 of Alaska football gets an early start with a pair of Thursday night games.

Eagle River takes on Palmer at 6:15 in a Northern Lights Conference game in Eagle River, and Dimond travels to Wasilla for a 7 p.m. nonconference game.

The biggest game of the week is the latest No. 1 versus No. 2 showdown – top-ranked West faces second-ranked Chugiak in a Friday night game in Chugiak. Last week, top-ranked West stopped second-ranked Dimond, which slipped to No. 4 in this week's Alaska Sports Broadcasting Network large-school poll.

Week 4 games


Palmer at Eagle River, 6:15 p.m.

Dimond at Wasilla, 7 p.m.


Homer at Seward, 5 p.m.

Houston at Kenai, 6:30 p.m.

West at Chugiak, 7 p.m.

Lathrop at Colony, 7 p.m.

Juneau at West Valley, 7 p.m.


Kodiak at Soldotna, 2 p.m.

Monroe at Valdez, 2 p.m.

Eielson at Barrow, 2 p.m.

Nikiski at Voznesenka, 2 p.m.

South at Bartlett, 4 p.m.

Service vs. East, West High, 4 p.m.

Thunder Mountain at North Pole, 7 p.m.

Alaska football standings


Large schools

Cook Inlet Conference

Team W L Conference

West 3 0 2-0

Chugiak 2 1 2-0

Dimond 2 1 1-1

Bartlett 2 1 1-1

East 2 1 0-1

Service 1 2 0-1

South 0 3 0-2

Railbelt Conference

Team W L Conference

Lathrop 1 1 1-0

West Valley 2 1 0-0

Colony 1 2 0-0

Wasilla 0 3 0-1

Medium schools

Northern Lights Conference

Team W L Conference

Kenai 1 1 1-0

Kodiak 2 1 1-1

Soldotna 3 0 0-0

Palmer 2 1 0-0

Eagle River 0 3 0-1

Southeast Conference

Team W L Conference

North Pole 2 1 2-0

Thunder Mtn 1 2 0-0

Ketchikan 1 1 0-1

Juneau 2 1 0-1

Small schools

Aurora Conference

Team W L Conference

Eielson 3 0 1-0

Barrow 1 2 1-0

Monroe 2 0 0-0

Houston 2 1 0-1

Valdez 0 1 0-1

Peninsula Conference

Team W L Conference

Nikiski 2 1 1-0

Seward 1 2 1-0

Voznesenka 0 2 0-1

Homer 0 3 0-1