By Ray Hamill — The South Fork Cubs open the North Coast Section eight-person football playoffs at home to Rincon Valley Christian on Friday night.
The Cubs come into the semifinal matchup at 7-3 on the year and seeded second, while the No. 3 Eagles are 6-4.
“Well, we want to play another week, so we’ve got to play well,” South Fork head coach Karl Terrell said.
The Cubs have been impressive on the offensive side of the ball all season long, with senior standouts Cody Wyatt and C.J. Van Meter leading the team on the way to the North Central League-III North title.
But with a young team and a roster of just 11 players, the Cubs have had their problems on the defensive side of the ball with an up-and-down campaign.
And with the Cubs likely to score plenty of points again on Friday, the game will probably be decided on the defensive side of the ball.
“I really believe we need to start fast and finish strong,” Terrell said. “Defense is a key to winning this game and whatever comes after.
“The key is we’ve got to get some three-and-outs, and put some points up on the board. We scored the most points in the league, so I know they’re capable of that.”
Iron man football
With such a small roster, injuries have not helped matters for the Cubs, who lost another player to injury this week.
And with just 11 on hand for the big showdown, rotating players in and out at the right time will be crucial.
“We have to try and use some rotation and get some breaks for some people,” the head coach said. “It’s been iron man football at South Fork for at least a dozen years, and we train for that, to play like that.”
The Eagles rely heavily on a pair of underclassmen, junior quarterback Josh Silvashy and sophomore running back Allen Gray, the team’s two biggest playmakers.
The winner of Friday’s game will advance to play either No. 1 Branson or No. 4 Tomales in next weekend’s championship game.
The two teams met in the playoffs a year ago, with the Cubs winning out 28-14.
Game time at South Fork High is set for 7 p.m.