With the No. 3 seed in the Division I football playoffs up for grabs in their final game of the regular season, the West Eagles used big performances from a trio of seniors to throttle the Colony Knights 42-14 Friday night at West High.
Senior quarterback Jaideven Suesue and senior receiver Jorden Voigt-Digsby accounted for all three of the Eagles’ touchdowns in the first half on connections of 9, 12 and 17 yards. Senior running back James “Boogie” Sloan broke the game open after halftime with a pair of rushing scores in the third quarter.
“It feels good to send these seniors off in the regular season against a quality opponent, and to see them play the second half (the way) they did was cool,” said West coach Tim Davis.
The Eagles improved to 5-2 to clinch third place in the eight-team Cook Inlet Conference; Colony finished fourth with a 4-3 record (5-3 overall). Both teams will host Division I quarterfinal games next weekend; West will face the No. 6 seed and Colony will play the No. 5 seed.
West got out to a quick 14-0 lead but the Knights came back to tie the game with a little more than a minute left before halftime.
A long kickoff return by senior Mosiah Faalata set the Eagles up in Colony territory just past midfield. A quick five-play drive ended with Voigt-Digsby’s third touchdown reception of the night.
“He’s got the best hands on the team,” said Davis. “He’s the dude I would trust to catch any pass on this squad.”
The connection between two seniors dates back to a 7-on-7 camp last summer.
“We grew a great bond there like the dynamic duo,” said Voigt-Digsby. “We work on it a lot in practice and we just finally connected.
Davis took notice of what was happening at the camp, and he was happy to see it take center stage for the Eagles in the regular-season finale.
“To see them out here doing that chemistry thing was pretty special,” said Davis.
Voigt-Digsby’s first touchdown was an impressive snag over the head of a defender in the back of the end zone. He scored his second when Suesue found him after he was able to uncover late on a broken play.
“His field awareness is something else,” said Suesue. “I know he’s going to play at the next level.”
The game was the first in two weeks for the Eagles, who had last week off and lost to East 35-21 on Sept. 17.
Sloan set the tone for the West offense just about all night with punishing runs, one of them a 60-yard touchdown run where he started up the middle before cutting to the outside and galloping up the right sideline.
“I wasn’t about to run that for no reason, so I had to get in (the end zone),” said Sloan. “I had to have a big night after the East game and I did. That’s what I needed. We all needed this.
His second touchdown was a 2-yard run up the middle late in the third quarter. He finished with 142 yards on 17 carries.
Suesue ran aggressively as well and actually had to switch out his jersey at halftime to No.7 because his original No. 9 got damaged.
Colony’s pair of touchdowns came courtesy of the arm and legs of quarterback Harvey Pullen.
Pullen was able to hit Jayce Underwood down the seam for 27 yards after the West defense bit hard on the play-action fake. Colony tied the game 14-14 on a read-option play where Pullen pulled the ball from his running back’s belly and plunged into the end zone from 4 yards out.