Big 4

Loggers D prepares for big-play Ukiah QB

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Jose Quezada/HumSport – The Loggers ran out to a comfortable 41-20 win at James Logan last weekend. They will play their home opener against Ukiah at Albee Stadium on Friday. For a full gallery of photos from last week’s game, visit humSport.com.

By Ray Hamill – If week one is any indication, it’s going to be a good season for senior Zach Reed and the Eureka Loggers.

Reed was instrumental in just about every aspect of the game in the season opening 41-20 win at James Logan last Friday, impressing on both sides of the ball.

The senior running back/linebacker had two interceptions, one of which he returned for a touchdown, to go with a sack and seven tackles, while rushing for a touchdown on offense on one of his two carries.

The entire Eureka defense had a good day at the office, coming up with five interceptions for the night, including one each from Josiah Graham, Gage Ethridge and Isley Tulmau.

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Jose Quezada/HumSport – Running back Isley Tulsa in action last week.

“We’ve got a good mix of kids playing defense,” Eureka head coach Jason White said. “We’ve got some kids running around as hard as they can, trying to make plays, and we’ve got quite a few kids that can direct traffic.”

Sophomore Chase Steubing added a sack in the win, while Hunter Ethridge was in on a team-high nine total tackles, and Tyce Mullins and Alex Miller each had five solo tackles, including two for a loss from Mullins.

Offense on Cruz control

Eureka quarterback Cruz Montana turned in an effective and error-free performance in the opener, which won’t come as a surprise to anyone who has watched him play on a regular basis.

“Cruz is just really a consistent player,” White said of Montana, who completed 12-of-22 passes for 235 yards and a touchdown.

Just as importantly, the 6-2, 185-pound senior did not have any interceptions.

“If you look at his starts the last couple of years, he protects the football, which is a big part of being a quarterback, and he’s a great leader on the field,” the coach added.

Montana, in his second year as a starter, has a ton of talented weapons at his disposal.

“Like I’ve said, we’re as deep at receiver as we’ve ever been, and we spread it around,” White said.

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Jose Quezada/HumSport – Eureka head coach Jason White (right) and offensive coordinator Garett Montana on the sideline last week.

The Loggers utilized seven different receivers in the opening win, five of them catching the ball twice or more.

Miller led the way with three receptions for 89 yards, while sophomore Shannon Henry had three for 26.

Graham, Tulmau and Tony Barreno each had two receptions, the latter scoring a TD on one of his.

And that versatility makes it difficult for opponents.

“The thing about our offense is it’s really hard to focus in on any one player because we can spread it around,” White said.

Running back by committee

Even more impressively, 12 different players combined to run the ball 38 times for 236 yards.

Miller (12-for-92) and Robert Weir (8-for-46) led the way on the ground and each had a touchdown, while Ryan Sylvia added a TD on one of his two carries.

Preparing for the Wildcats, Johnson

The Loggers will welcome the Ukiah Wildcats to Albee Stadium for their home opener Friday night.

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Jose Quezada/HumSport – Eureka’s Ruben Gutierrez.

And key to the game will be how the Loggers defense can cope with playmaker quarterback Nate Johnson.

“This week, what I’d like to do better is have less penalties, and I think that’s a common theme for most teams the first week,” White said. “And the other thing we’ve been focusing on this week is containing the Ukiah quarterback.”

Johnson had several big plays when the two teams met last season in a 43-36 win for the Loggers.

The two programs always seem to play each other tough.

“With them it’s kind of always the same. It doesn’t matter how good or bad either team is, it’s always a good game,” White said. “You kind of have to battle and fight with Ukiah.”

Friday’s game is scheduled for 7:30 p.m.

For more photos from last weekend’s game, check out Jose Quezada’s gallery at Humsports.com.

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