Ravens, Wolfpack come up short in state football playoffs

FAIRBANKS, Alaska (KTVF) The West Valley Wolfpack and the Eielson Ravens football programs were paired up with a couple of undefeated teams for their semifinal matchups in the state playoffs. The Soldotna Stars of Division II and the Houston Hawks of DIII, ended the Interior teams' seasons Friday night.

Stars Still Shining

On the bright side, West Valley scored more points on the seven-time defending state champions than anyone else has this season. On the flip side, the Stars high powered offense scored a touchdown on all five of their first half drives, which was ultimately too much for the Wolfpack to overcome in a 54-22 loss in the state semifinals Friday night.

Senior Keegan Daoust was a bright spot for the Wolfpack offense, breaking off a 67-yard touchdown before finding the end zone again on an 87-yard catch and run from quarterback Shaun Conwell. Conwell finished the game with 263 yards and two touchdowns, including a one-handed touchdown reception from Tyriq Nance.
While West Valley found their spots to score, they struggled to slow down the Stars' offense, as they were able to methodically march down the field with ease.
While the Wolfpack season comes to an end, they were able to turn their year around after a controversial off season. They put their fate in their own hands, winning three of their last four games of the season, before being paired up with Soldotna in the first round, who are going for their eighth consecutive state championship.

Houston, We Have a Victory

Over in Division III, the Eielson Ravens also got a tough draw, squaring off against the undefeated Houston Hawks.

The defending state champion Eielson Ravens struck first on a Will McManus rushing touchdown, but it was the third quarter that defined the game. Leading by 12 at the start of the second half, the Hawks poured in 29 points in the third quarter, running away with a 64-21 victory. It is the first time Houston has defeated the Ravens in school history. McManus found the end zone twice for Eielson, while Brandon Polesky tallied 105 yards on the ground and a touchdown, but the defense struggled to bottle up Houston's rushing attack.

With Eielson's run to defend their title coming to a close, the Division III state final will feature Houston taking on the Aurora Conference champion Barrow Whalers.

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