ANCHORAGE, Alaska — The Soldotna Stars have won three small-schools state football titles on the strength of a potent rushing attack -- but in Friday's state semifinal against the Eielson Ravens, the Stars’ defense shined brightest.
Soldotna returned two interceptions for touchdowns in the first quarter and forced five Ravens turnovers in the first half to win going away, 61-27. The win assures Soldotna, 10 and 0 this season, of a fifth consecutive appearance in the championship game.
The Stars also got a pair of first-half rushing touchdowns from Robbie Smithwick. The senior might have had another, but with the score already 27-7 in the second quarter, Smithwick eluded several Eielson defenders on his way to the end zone before handing the ball to lineman Tyler Marcuson at the 5-yard line. Instead of piling up his own stats, Smithwick allowed Marcuson to score and receive some glory on the legal lateral.
Soldotna led 48-7 at halftime and will face the winner between Homer and Kenai. That semifinal takes place at 4:30 p.m. Saturday at the Anchorage Football Stadium. The Kardinals won a regular season game against the Mariners, 21-16.
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