By Ray Hamill — The Eureka Loggers will look to continue what has been a stellar season so far when they welcome Livermore High to Albee Stadium for a rare Saturday night game.
The Cowboys, who are on the road for the sixth straight game, have struggled to a 2-3 record, including back-to-back losses at Alhambra (23-13) and Monte Vista (45-13).
Things won’t get any easier for them against a Eureka team that has dominated opponents for much of the season, and one that came through its toughest test so far last weekend in a 34-22 win over a good Lincoln side.
The Loggers continue to impress in just about every aspect of the game, with an experienced group of seniors and plenty of depth.
Eureka head coach Jason White, however, is taking nothing for granted against the Cowboys, and is expecting another challenge for his team.
“They’re a pretty physical team,” White said of Livermore. “It’s one more challenge for us before we get going in league.”
Standout tight end
The Loggers will have their hands full on the defensive side of the ball containing 6-foot-4, 240-pound tight end Bradley Archer.
Archer has reportedly already committed to play at Cal next year and leads the Cowboys with 24 catches for 298 yards and six touchdowns.
Senior kicker Jeremy Theobold is another weapon the Cowboys have at their disposal and has nailed 14 of his 15 kick attempts this year, including three field goals, one of them from 42 yards.
“They’re not afraid to kick field goals,” White said.
The Loggers have plenty of weapons themselves, with senior quarterback Cruz Montana continuing to enjoy a stellar season directing a very balanced offense.
Montana has now thrown for 1,444 yards and 14 touchdowns, and could very well surpass last season’s yardage total (1,618 yards and 18 TDs) before league play begins in two weeks.
Isley Tulmau has been Montana’s favorite receiver, pulling in 26 catches for 405 yards and a pair of touchdowns.
Tony Barreno has a team-high four TD receptions.
A different challenge
The Loggers will face a different challenge against the Cowboys, something they have not seen yet this year.
“They’re a true cover two team, which you don’t see very often,” White said. “So we’ve got to pay attention to that and plan for that.”
Mostly, however, White and his players will be looking to just continue to do what’s worked for them this season.
“You know, for us, it’s just about executing what we’re doing,” the head coach said.
Jensen ready to step in if needed
The Loggers come into the weekend about as healthy as they can be.
Senior lineman Lari Racines remains a slight doubt with an injury, and if he is unable to go, junior Drew Jensen will step in.
Jensen started two games earlier in the year for the injured Reese Walters and is another example of the tremendous depth the Loggers have.
“We’re pretty healthy right now,” White said.
A new twist on defense
Two months into the season, complacency has not been a problem for this year’s Loggers, although White and staff are starting to change some things up slightly to keep the interest up.
Practices have been shortened, because, as the head coach said, “you kind of know your stuff at this stage.”
The Loggers will also be throwing a few wrinkles into this week’s game plan.
“We’ll have a couple of little twists on defense,” White said. “It’s more to make it fun, and our players look forward to doing something new.”
Saturday’s game is scheduled for 6:30 p.m.