Mariners to face defending champs in state semifinals
October 5th 5:01 pm | Staff Report
The Homer Mariners will be hoping to add a double-dose of history to the books this weekend when they face off against two-time defending state champion Eielson in the Division III state semifinals. The two teams are scheduled to face off beginning at 2 p.m. at Mariner Field.
Homer, which will be hosting its first-ever playoff game, can clinch a berth in the state championship with a win over Eielson. The Division III state title game is scheduled for Oct. 14 in Palmer.
"We have a lot of respect for Eielson," said Homer head coach Walter Love. "They play good football every year."
The Homer-Eielson matchup will showcase two of the most dominant offensive and defensive teams in the state. The Mariners, who have won seven straight games since opening the season with a loss to Kodiak in Week 1, enter the contest as the state's top offensive and defensive unit. Homer has averaged 43.7 points per game this season. Eielson, the Aurora Conference runner-up, also has an explosive offense, when healthy. The Ravens enter the game averaging 32.6 points per outing.
Defensively, both teams have owned opponents this fall. The Mariners, who did not allow a point in Peninsula Conference play this season, have allowed just 56 points in their eight games. Eielson, despite losing two games, has allowed just 66.
The Ravens' only losses this season came against West Valley and Barrow. They dropped a 17-15 decision to Division II West Valley in their 2017 season opener. They suffered a 19-6 loss in Barrow in Week 5 after losing three starters to injuries.