Three Kenai Peninsula high school football teams have made it to the “big dance.” Two of them – the Homer Mariners and the Soldotna Stars – will face each other at Chugiak High School Saturday for the Medium Schools State Championship.
Homer returns to the championship game for the second consecutive year. The Mariners have won five straight games, capped off by a 44-26 victory over Thunder Mountain Friday night in Juneau. Homer running back Mark McGregor paved the way for the team with 235 yards on 32 carries.
The Soldotna Stars head to the championship game on the heels of a blowout 62-7 playoff win over Kodiak Saturday. Soldotna pounced on the Bears early in that game, piling up 349 total yards and scoring 35 points in just the second quarter.
Soldotna has been the team to beat in the Northern Lights Conference all season, amassing a 7-1 record with zero losses to conference teams. Earlier this year, the Stars handled the Mariners, 38-8, in a game played at Skyview High School.
The defending Small Schools state champion Nikiski Bulldogs, meanwhile, will get a chance to defend their title, after a 49-6 playoff win over Monroe Catholic. The Bulldogs will face the undefeated Eielson Ravens Saturday at Tom Huffer Stadium in Chugiak.