Derek Clarkston/Kodiak Daily Mirror

Kodiak’s Derek Rastopsoff prepares to tackle Eielson running back Jeremiah Brown during a high school football game, Aug. 25 at Joe Floyd Track and Field.  

Kodiak football looks to break a three-game losing skid when it hosts Kenai for a Week 5 Northern Lights Conference battle at Joe Floyd Track and Field. 

Today’s varsity game kicks at 6 p.m. 

This is a key game for both teams as they jockey for a playoff spot. Kodiak is 0-1 in the NLC, while Kenai is 1-0. The winner stays alive for one of the conference’s two playoff spots, while the loser is not eliminated but on life support. 

“It is a must-win. They are all must-wins,” third-year Kodiak coach Bill McGuire said. “I don’t know if anybody is going to beat Soldotna this year, again. The chance is still there.”

Soldotna (0-0 NLC, 4-0 overall) is riding a 53-game winning streak and plays its first conference game this week against Palmer. The Moose are the last team to beat the Stars, and that was in 2012.

Kodiak (1-3) is coming off a 57-0 loss at Palmer (1-0, 1-3). The Moose rushed for 558 yards on 30 carries. McGuire said the team has switched around some things on defense to prevent Kenai from running wild. 

The Kardinals, under first-year head coach Ted Riddall, the former Nikiski coach that led the Bulldogs to small-school state titles in 2011 and 2013, rushed for 233 yards in last week’s 42-28 victory at Eagle River.

“They have big kids and some athletes on that football team,” McGuire said. “They have a good set of backs. They are going to run a Wing-T, and run downhill at us.”

Kenai has won five straight against the Bears and lead the all-time series 12-4. Kodiak’s last win came on the Kenai Peninsula in 2012.  

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