Brandon Pili & Zack Bowman

It took eight years, but the Miami Dolphins finally got another Alaskan and Brandon Pili on Sunday connected the dots.

The rookie nose tackle out of Anchorage became the first player from The Last Frontier to register a tackle in an NFL game since defensive back Zack Bowman of Anchorage did it in 2015 when he was with the Dolphins.

Pili recorded tackles on back-to-back plays in the fourth quarter of a 70-20 shellacking of the Denver Broncos in Miami.

The 6-foot-3, 316-pound Alaskan wrapped up Denver running back Jaleel McLaughlin twice, including a solo stop to force a third down.

Pili played a season-high 14 snaps on defense compared to a total of 11 in the previous two games combined. The former Dimond High star has also logged another 13 snaps on special teams.

Pili, 24, made the Dolphins as an undrafted pick-up out of the University of Southern California, where he played in 52 games, the most for an Alaskan in the Pac-12 Conference.

He’s now one of a half dozen Alaska defensive players to record a tackle in the NFL.

Reggie Tongue 676 1996-2005
Travis Hall 455 1995-2005
Zack Bowman 204 2008-2015
Mao Tosi 90 2000-2001
Shane Bonham 53 1994-1999
Brandon Pili 2 2023

Bowman was another former Cook Inlet Conference standout out of the University of Nebraska by way of Bartlett High.

By the time Bowman got to Miami in 2015, he was 31 and at the end of his career after previous stops with the Chicago Bears and New York Giants.

Playing in a backup role, he had seven tackles and one interception in 10 games. He retired after the season.

Bowman finished his career with 13 interceptions, second to Reggie Tongue’s 15 among Alaskans.

In 2014, the Dolphins’ offensive line featured guard Daryn Colledge of North Pole. He started all 13 games he played in that year before retiring after the season at 32.

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