Two weeks remain in Alaska’s high school football season.
Championship trophies will be handed out in the Division II and III classifications on Saturday, while Division I will conclude next week.
Last week’s matchups were pretty much chalk, as I rolled to a 7-1 record. I misfired on Barrow’s surprising win over Houston. I enter this week with an 85-31 mark.
West Anchorage (5-4) vs. Bartlett (8-1) — This is a rematch of last year’s Division I state championships, a game won by Bartlett, 40-34. West has lost the last three games in this series, with its last win coming in the 2016 state championship game. The Golden Bears roll to the finals … GOLDEN BEARS 45, EAGLES 24.
East (8-1) vs. Colony (8-1) — What a fantastic DI semifinal matchup. A pair of 8-1 teams battling for a spot in next week’s championship game. East is undefeated against Alaska opponents this season, with the Thunderbirds only loss coming to Cesar Chavez of Arizona in Week 2. Colony’s only defeat was to Bartlett, 59-40. East has won two straight against Colony, with the Knights last win against the Thunderbirds coming in 2014 … THUNDERBIRDS 28, KNIGHTS 14.
Division II championship game
Soldotna (8-1) vs. Eagle River (6-2) — It has been a magical season for Eagle River. In order to reserve a spot in their first state championship game in program history, the Wolves needed a last-minute touchdown heave from Ryan Adkins to escape Lathrop in last week’s semifinal round.
Can the good times continue for Eagle River this week against six-time defending state champion Soldotna? It will be tough sledding. The Stars defeated the Wolves, 55-19, in Week 5 of the regular season. Soldotna has been held to less than 50 points once this season and that was during a Week 1 18-13 loss to Division I West Anchorage. That defeat snapped Soldotna’s 59-game winning streak. Since then, the Stars have rattled off eight straight wins, outscoring opponents 474-151.
As much as I want to see Eagle River win, I just don’t see it happening … STARS 51, WOLVES 23.
Division III championship game
Barrow (5-4) vs. Eielson (7-1) — Barrow earned the chance to defend its DIII title by upsetting Houston in last week’s semifinals, while Eielson steamrolled Ketchikan by 55 points in the other semifinal.
Eielson took out Barrow, 44-6, in Week 5, and enters the championship game as the clear favorite. The Ravens will lean on running back Jayden Manibusan, who rumbled for 249 yards and five touchdowns last week, to their sixth state title and first since 2016 … RAVENS 48, WHALERS 14.