A pair of No. 1 seeds closed out their respective campaigns with a championship on Sunday, as the Six Rivers Youth Football season came to a close.
In the AAA championship game, Ferndale got the better of McKinleyville in a tight affair by a score of 19-16, finishing their season with a record of 9-0.
Joining them in winning a championship and claiming perfection was the Eureka Junior League single-A squad, which defeated Del Norte Gold 19-0 to close out at 10-0.
The AA championship was an all-Del Norte affair, with the Gold team defeating the Blue team 31-7.
The win lifts Del Norte Gold to 9-1 on the season, while Del Norte Blue saw its remarkable playoff run come to an end.
The No. 5 seeds upset the odds on back-to-back weeks to reach the championship game.
Ferndale battles back
The AAA championship was an exciting matchup between two in-form teams.
Ferndale came in at 8-0, while No. 3 seed McKinleyville was riding the momentum of a pair of impressive playoff wins.
The McKinleyville players struck first, opening up a quick two-touchdown lead in the opening quarter, but were unable to add to their tally after that, with some miscues deep in Ferndale territory proving costly as the game went on.
The top seeds, meanwhile, battled their way back into the game, with a touchdown in each of the second, third and fourth quarters to take a late three-point lead.
And the Ferndale players made it count, holding on for the win and the championship.
“We had to overcome a little adversity,” Ferndale head coach Jim Cook said. “We got ourselves in an early 16-0 hole and some heads hung at first, but we kind of got things going.”
The Ferndale coach was particularly pleased with the way his players answered the adversity they faced.
“It was definitely a character test for them,” he said. “And they passed. It was a fun game.”
Afterwards, the Ferndale head coach also paid tribute to the McKinleyville players.
“McKinleyville had a good team,” he said. “They came out with a plan and they executed well.”
The win was Ferndale’s second win over McKinleyville this season.
Despite the disappointment of the loss, McKinleyville head coach Brian Corning was more than happy with the effort of his players and the season they managed to put together.
“I was ecstatic with the season we had,” he said. “It was a great season for the kids. They busted their butts and played hard all year.
“It just came down to a few miscued plays. It’s like they say, on any given Sunday, and it just didn’t really go our way today.”