South beats Service for the 4A State Large Schools Championship


In a windy chilly cold weather day in mid October South head coach John Lewis had a vision and plan for a rematch against the Service Cougars. The South Anchorage Wolverines came into this game with a nasty taste in their mouth of losing to Service in last year's state championship game and a five game losing streak that stretched over two years. It was South pride on the Wolverines side and enough was enough as South beat the defending state champs Service 28-19, Photo Gallery.

The Wolverines defense boxed in Sr. QB Amu Aukusitino for much of the game and shut down the running lanes which made it difficult for Amu to run loose. Even though Amu had over 200 yards from the line of scrimmage, the Wolverine defense shadowed the elusive Aukusitino and did not let him escape outside the pocket.

One other key factor was the South defense was hitting Amu as he released the ball on pass plays. The Wolverine defense kept Amu from gaining over 500 yards of total yards in consecutive games as he did in both the quarter-finals and semi finals.

The Lujan clan called and directed an effective running game package and churned out over 240 yards on the ground. That's Gabby Lujan the South offensive coordinator and son Sr. QB Zach Lujan that schemed a game plan that kept Service off balance. Major props go out to the Wolverines offensive line; they set the tone for a very physically played game.

South set the tempo after taking the opening kickoff; it looked like on the Wolverines first possession they scripted plays with a destination of scoring a touchdown and they indeed took a early 7-0 lead.

Sr. running back Tommy Hopp had been waiting for a moment like this and ran for 101 yards on 15 carries scoring one touchdown. And, Sr. running back Dante Williams broke loose for a couple of big gainers that appeared to break the Cougars back and sealed the sweet victory. He ran for 88 yards on 8 carries scoring on a weaving and darting 51-yard touchdown run.

But, Service did have their shots but could not convert on three long passes down the middle. Amu over threw a few wide open receiver's. Then a completed pass was fumbled down the field as Service was marching towards the South goal line. Then, when Service went to their jumbo package; Sr. RB Erich Pili got the ball ripped from his arms as he broke loose for a big gainer.

In the second half of the game, momentum began to shift towards the Wolverines players. They were making stops and taking the game to the Cougars.

There was no let up in the second half of the game. And when it was all said and done, South did what they set out to do; win the state championship.