Kodiak football took the ferry to Homer for its Northern Lights Conference game against Soldotna last week.
According to coach Bill McGuire it wasn’t that bad of a ride.
The ferry trip reminded me of Kodiak’s game at Skyview — a school no longer in existence — to end the 2010 regular season.
It was, by all accounts, one heck of a roller coaster ride. The reported 20-foot swells rocked the M/V Tustumena on the overnight trip to Homer.
Kodiak felt the affects of the rough sea, turning the ball over on its first five possessions and trailing 34-0 in the second quarter of a game it needed to win to qualify for the small-school playoffs.
“Our guys came out and did the best they could to hake off the ferry ride,” Kodiak coach Todd Cook told the Daily Mirror in 2010. “It was the worst ferry ride I have ever been involved in ... it was an intangible that made an impact on the game.”
It also set the stage for the greatest comeback in program history.
Led by a deadly ground attack, Kodiak chipped away at the lead, scoring 14 points in both the second and third quarters.
Incredibly, the Bears tied the game at 34 when Riley McFarlin scored on a 2-yard run with just over four minutes left in the fourth quarter. Kodiak attempted to take the lead on the two-point conversion, but failed.
It appeared Kodiak was going to complete the comeback when Skyview mishandled a snap on a field-goal attempt, giving the Bears the ball at their 42-yard line with 1:12 left.
However, on the first play of the series, quarterback Matthew Chavarria was picked off — one of six on the day for the signal caller.
The Panthers turned the interception into points when backup quarterback Nick Symonds connected with Albert White for a 30-yard touchdown strike that gave the home team a 40-34 lead with 17 seconds left.
Offensive statistics were gaudy in this one. The two teams combined for 1,134 yards. Kodiak rushed for 493 yards, with the speedy McFarlin motoring to 181 yards and two scores. The bruising Anthony Atonio pounded away for 155 yards.
Skyiew countered with a lethal air attack. Jordan Jones passed for 348 yards before getting knocked out of the game in the fourth quarter.
Kodiak finished the season a win shy of reaching the playoffs with a 1-4 NLC record, 3-5 overall. The win pushed Skyview into the small-school playoffs for the first time in school history.