Karletty Faamatuainu turned in a high yardage performance Friday night against the Colony High School Knights as the Chugiak High School Mustangs ended their first season in the Railbelt Conference with a win and a conference championship. West Valley High School’s Oct. 1 defeat of Lathrop High School guaranteed CHS the conference championship.
Faamatuainu, the Mustangs senior running back, rushed for three touchdowns in the 30-7 win.
He credits the Mustangs offensive line for the three touchdowns that are a game record for Faamatuainu. “That was the line working and pushing them through,” Faamatuainu said. “If the line works, I will do good. That is why we were marching them down the field.” The Rainbelt Conference championship is nice, Faamatuainu admits. But the Mustangs have bigger fish to fry. “We look forward to the bigger prize, which is the state championship.” Perhaps a better analogy would be a kitty to stomp. The Mustangs will have to get past the Service High School Cougars to continue a march toward the state championship.
While schedule details weren’t complete as of The ECHO News deadline Sun., Oct. 2, speculation after Friday night’s game was that the Cougars will be the Mustangs first opponent in the high school football playoffs. “Their quarterback is just terrific,” Roger Spackman, CHS varsity football head coach, said. “He is very fast. He throws the ball well. He is a huge threat. The rest of the Service team always has a lot of speed and they are coached very well.” Spackman is prepping his players to face Service’s spread offense. He knows Service likes to throw the ball around the field to as many players as possible. “We have got to be disciplined against them and make sure we take care of every assignment,” Spackman said.
Faamatuainu echoes that thought.
“They (Service) are a good team,” he said. “We just have to come out the way we played against Colony and we will be fine.” The Mustangs dominated the Knights on Sept. 30 with a 2-7 lead at the half with two touchdowns from Faamatuainu – one of which was set up by a punt return by Terry Park – and a field goal by senior Jacob Morey to help cement the lead. Morey missed two other attempts during the game, but Spackman said his kicker still had a terrific game and ought to be a contender for a position on the collegiate level. “He can kick for sure,” Spackman. “Sometimes, it is just getting the snap and the hold correct. Just working everything out, but our guys are learning and Jacob has been consistent all season.”
As Spackman looks back over the just-completed regular season, he said it is terrific for his team to be where they are now considering the 1-3 start.
“For us being in the new conference, it certainly was interesting,” Spackman said. “We were going on new road trips, it was a new experience and a bit of a challenge traveling much more than we used to. We had so many injuries this year as well. So for our guys to be able to overcome all of those challenges and to be on top, in the end, is really very fulfilling. I am very proud of how the kids and the coaching staff just hung in there.”