Junior Matthew Maka put the Crimson Bears on his back and carried short-handed Juneau-Douglas to a 36-7 win over Railbelt Conference rival Palmer on Saturday at Adair-Kennedy Memorial Park.
Maka's performance was one for the record book as he carried the ball 32 times for 301 yards and four touchdowns. He also had a key interception that set up a Bears scoring drive just before the half to put a lock on the momentum for JDHS heading into the break.
I had my cousin Villy (Tupou) blocking for me at fullback, and I got my cousin Lawrence (Fenumiai) at tight end blocking for me, and I followed the hole," Maka said.
2008 state defensive player of the year and starting fullback Jack Perkins was out with an injury, so Maka stepped in and filled the void.
Jack talked to me 1-on-1 and told me I had to step up, so I did for him," he said. "The line made nice holes for me, nice cutbacks for me, and I took them."
Maka broke a few tackles and raced toward the right sideline for a 47-yard gain on the Bears' first play from scrimmage, setting Juneau-Douglas up at the Palmer 33. On third-and-3, Maka picked up a first down at the Moose 15-yard line. He then sealed the deal with a 10-yard touchdown run up the middle, giving the Bears a 7-0 lead with 6:25 to go in the first quarter.