AKRON - Alta-Aurelia and host Akron-Westfield combined for 883 yards of total offense in a wild shoot-out here on Friday that wound up in a 39-26 win for the Class A Westerners over the Class 1-A Warriors. It was the season opening game for both clubs, and the non-district contest featured three touchdowns of more than 50 yards. Not that unusual for an 8-player game, but in this one, both teams lined up with 11 players.
Akron-Westfield accumulated 509 total yards against the Warrior d, led by 251 yards rushing by Taylor James, including three TDs, one of them covering 53 yards. AW also picked up 121 yards through the air, as QB Chance Klemme connected on 10 of his 18 aerial attempts. He threw one TD pass, an 18-yarder to Mitchell Hedlund, who caught five balls, and also had two passes intercepted by the Warriors.
Alta-Aurelia totaled 374 yards, with most of that coming on the ground. Breakaway threat Jalen Henningsen carried the ball 20 times and gained 206 yards, scoring two touchdowns, including one scamper of 65 yards. Garrett Van Houten, the Warriors' power back, also averaged over 10 yards a carry, toting the pigskin nine times for 97 yards and one touchdown.
Alta-Aurelia added 99 yards through the air, as junior quarterback Joe Napieriela completed three of his six attempts. Henningsen had two of the receptions for 26 yards and the other 73 yards came on a touchdown completion to Alex Stephan. Napieriela also had one of his passes intercepted.
Van Houten had 12 tackles to lead the Warrior defense, while Manuel Murillo had 11 stops and Henningsen and Taylor Stevicks had eight apiece. Henningsen also had an interception on defense and returned it 30 yards.
The Warriors travel to Mapleton on Friday for another non-district game with Maple Valley/Anthon-Oto.