By Ray Hamill — The Fighting Zebras are coming to Eureka.
And not only do they possess one of the most unique mascots in all of sports, but they are arguably the most dangerous team on the Loggers’ schedule this year.
“It’s going to be a challenge for us,” Eureka head coach Jason White said.
The Zebras of Lincoln High in the Sacramento area are off to a 2-2 start, but their two losses were against a pair of top programs, and they possess a couple of dangerous weapons on offense
At quarterback, senior Tommy Turner is 6-foot-5, 200 pounds and a top Division-I prospect.
“He’s a two-star recruit,” White said of Turner, who has completed 53 percent of his passes for 588 yards and six touchdowns, again against some top-notch opposition.
Senior Harry Rounds is Turner’s favorite target, with 382 yards receiving, well over half the team’s total.
The Loggers will also have to account for the dangerous Rounds as a kick returner.
The Fighting Zebras are coming off a 30-14 loss at Center High and are ranked 121 in the state, according to Max Preps, the highest ranked team on the Loggers’ schedule.
Eureka is ranked No. 92.
Montana, offense continue to impress
The Loggers possess plenty of dangerous weapons themselves, with an assortment of big-play makers on both sides of the ball.
Quarterback Cruz Montana continues to impress, and now has 1,195 yards passing and 11 touchdowns, with just one interception.
Numerous players have contributed to the team’s 1,012 yards rushing, led by Alex Miller (263 yards) and Robert Weir (225).
Fumbles early in last week’s game at Shasta, however, caused problems for the Loggers in the red zone, as they have at times this season, and holding onto the ball against a team as good as Lincoln will be crucial.
But even considering the turnovers, the Loggers ran out to a comfortable 35-14 win and were never really in any danger of losing.
The team offense is balanced and firing on all cylinders right now, with the versatility to adapt to whatever teams are throwing at them.
“Shasta did a good job of loading up the box, and we went to our passing game,” White said. “Cruz is doing a great job, and coach (Garett) Montana is doing a great job calling the games. If you’re going to key in on one thing, then we can do the other.”
Mullins leads dominating defense
Defensively, the Loggers have been arguably even better.
Senior linebacker Tyce Mullins leads the way on a physical unit, that has essentially shut down the past four opponents.
“I knew we were going to be good, but sometimes you say, ‘oh boy, we’re a little better than we thought we were going to be,’” White said. “Our defensive line is playing extremely well right now, and that makes it easy on our linebackers, and our linebackers are playing great too.”
Mullins has been the team’s inspirational leader, and is enjoying a memorable senior campaign.
“Tyce Mullins is just a spectacular player,” White said. “He’s all over the field, and he hits you with everything he’s got.”
Friday’s game is scheduled for 7:30 p.m.