FAIRBANKS — The Barrow Whalers recovered from last week’s shutout loss at Eielson with Saturday’s 42-22 victory over the Valdez Buccaneers in a Greatland Conference game at Cathy Parker Field in Barrow.
Joe Burke rushed for 198 yards and scored four touchdowns for the Whalers on Saturday after he was limited to nine yards in a 39-0 conference loss at Eielson on Aug. 14.
“He had a good day, just a good solid running day,’’ Barrow head coach Mark Voss said by cell phone.
Barrow set the tone for its afternoon on defense, taking an 8-0 lead after disrupting Valdez’s first play from scrimmage. Whalers lineman Nathaniel Samuelu forced a fumble and cornerback Eddy Benson collected it and returned it 30 yards into the end zone.
“The defense had a great game. The defense was studs, they really put it to Valdez,’’ Voss said. “They’re the ones that allowed us to play some good strong football and get better field position.”
Valdez coach Lea Cockerham agreed.
“They outplayed us on the line, no doubt about it,’’ Cockerham said by cell phone. “We could never get out offense in sync. It was herky-jerky and their defensive line played a large part in that disruption.”
Valdez (1-2., 1-1) also committed seven turnovers and gave up a safety to Barrow in the third quarter.
Trace Hudson contributed to Barrow’s offense with a 25-yard touchdown on a reverse and safety Jesse Sanchez added to the Whalers’ defense with two interceptions.
Valdez got its touchdowns with two rushes from sophomore running back Jake Kendall and a 50-yard pass from quarterback Max Duffy to wide receiver Chris Lowe. Wide receiver Christian Duffy also caught a pair of two-point conversion passes.
In a pair of Northern Lights Conference games Saturday, the Kenai Kardinals, last year’s small schools state champion, rolled to a 44-14 win over the Houston Hawks, and the Soldotna Stars, the 2009 small schools state runners-up, edged the Homer Mariners 26-20.
In a Cook Inlet Conference contest, the Bartlett Golden Bears topped the East Anchorage Thunderbirds 27-13. The West Anchorage Eagles faced the Chugiak Mustangs and the South Anchorage Wolverines took on the Service Cougars in late CIFC action Saturday.
On Friday, the Dimond Lynx pulled away from the Eagle River Wolves for a 34-14 CIFC win, while the Juneau-Douglas Crimson Bears improved to 3-0 this season with a 17-7 win over the host Palmer Moose in a Railbelt Conference game.
The host Thunder Mountain Falcons of Juneau went to 3-0 in their inaugural season with a 47-22 nonconference win over the Nikiski Bulldogs.
In a nonconference game Thursday in Soldotna, the Skyview Panthers dominated the Sitka Wolves 35-12.
Contact the Daily News-Miner sports department at 459-7581.