Kodiak will be welcoming a new opponent to the island on Friday. 

For the first time, West Valley and Kodiak will collide on the gridiron at Joe Floyd Track and Field. The game kicks at 5 p.m., an hour earlier than normal because of the lack of daylight. 

The two teams met for the first time ever last year in Fairbanks. West Valley won 46-28. 

“They beat us up good in the first half,” third-year Kodiak coach Bill McGuire said. “We got it together at halftime and came back in the second half.” 

West Valley, a Division I team out of the Railbelt Conference, nearly registered the state’s biggest upset of the season last week.

Undefeated Colony needed a 31-yard field goal as time expired to escape with a 10-7 win. West Valley dropped to 2-4. 

McGuire watched the film from last week’s game and was impressed with the Wolfpack.  

“They are full of athletes and look a lot better execution-wise than they did earlier in the season,” the coach said. “It should be a good test for us.”

West Valley owns wins over Division III Eielson (17-15) and Eagle River (30-14), while losing to East Anchorage (36-11), undefeated Chugiak (60-12) and Wasilla (17-13). 

Kodiak fell to Eielson (24-7) in Week 3 and will host Eagle River next week. 

The Bears emerged from their brutal three-game stretch with Northern Lights Conference big boys Palmer, Kenai and Soldotna with a 1-2 record. The tough slate took a toll on Kodiak’s already thin roster. 

“We are pretty banged up,” McGuire said. “Against Soldotna we started quite a few guys in positions that they haven’t been playing.”

With one NLC game left, Kodiak remains in the playoff picture. However, a Palmer victory over Kenai and a Soldotna win over Eagle River this weekend would eliminate the Bears from postseason play.

Soldotna is 2-0, Palmer 2-1, Kenai 1-1, Kodiak 1-2 and Eagle River 0-2. The top two teams advance to the Division II playoffs. 

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