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By JOE JUDD
Daily News Sports Editor
The Ketchikan High School football team fell by a final score of 42-9 to Thunder Mountain High School in a nonconference game on Friday night at a soaked Esther Shea Field.
With the loss, Kayhi’s record on the season falls to 0-5.
Kayhi jumped out of the gate with a touchdown via a 5-yard run by junior Jake Taylor, capping off a 67-yard drive on the game’s opening drive.
It was the first time that the Kings had a lead all season.
“They just really played together,” Byron said. “They put everything together that we game-planned for that we practiced during the week.”
Byron also complimented his defense’s efforts during the first half of play, but said the team came out of the locker room flat for the second half.
Despite the loss, Byron said spirits on his team are still positive and in the right place, with three more games left on the schedule for Kayhi.
“The mood is really good. The kids, and myself included, really feel like we can go up (to Juneau) and compete with them,” Byron said.
A quick glance at the scoreboard once the clock hit zero might leave an onlooker with the perception that the game was never close, but this was not the case for the Kings, at least as far as the first half was concerned.
The Kings remained in control of the game for a vast majority of the first half, forcing a fumble and intercepting a pass to mitigate the Falcons’ offensive efforts.
Mark Jasper also connected on a field goal for Kayhi, which was the team’s first made attempt thus far in 2017.
Thunder Mountain soon took the game over by scoring a pair of touchdowns in the final 90 seconds of the first half.
“I was proud of the kids,” Byron said. “It was the best half of football we’ve played all season, offensively and defensively. I think we’re headed in the right direction; the score doesn’t dictate how well we played today.”
After scoring the two quick touchdowns at the end of the second quarter, Thunder Mountain’s offense slowly took the game over.
The Falcons scored a touchdown on a 55-yard pass from quarterback Owen Mendoza to Jacob Tapia to extend the lead. This was quickly followed by a 51-yard touchdown run by Falcon running back Ray Tupou.
Mendoza capped off the scoring for the evening with a 21-yard touchdown run, his second rushing touchdown of the game.
Kayhi and Thunder Mountain will play once more this season in a conference game in Juneau on Sept. 22
Kayhi will next play at 6 p.m. on Sept. 15 against the Juneau-Douglas High School Crimson Bears from Esther Shea Field.
The Kings fell to JDHS back on Aug. 19 by a final margin of 32-8.
Kayhi has never beaten the Crimson Bears in its brief football existence.