The Huskies executed their game plan to near perfection on Saturday night, comfortably taking care of business in their North Coast Section playoff game at Kennedy High in Richmond.
Fortuna pieced together four time-consuming first-half scoring drives to open up a commanding 28-6 lead at halftime, keeping a dangerous Kennedy offense on the sidelines for large chunks of the game, and running out to a 42-18 win.
Adam Medeiros was instrumental in the victory, scoring three touchdowns, as the Huskies’ offense showed little signs of a long layoff on the way to posting an eighth straight playoff win.
The No. 6 seeds had not played in three weeks due to the poor air quality in the Bay Area delaying the postseason schedule, while the No. 3 Eagles had not played in four weeks, and it was the latter who appeared the more rusty early on.
The Huskies moved the ball with precision and balance in the opening half, scoring TDs on their opening three possessions.
“After the long kind of wait, we really performed better than I expected,” Fortuna head coach Mike Benbow said. “We were rolling in all three phases.”
Quarterback Zac Claus ran in from a yard out to get things started barely two minutes in, after the Huskies had recovered an onside kick to start the game.
After a big defensive stand on the ensuing possession, the Fortuna offense quickly went to work again, with Medeiros’ first touchdown giving them a 14-0 advantage late in the first quarter.
Medeiros came up big on defense just moments later, stripping the ball to force a fumble that was recovered by the Huskies.
On the very next play, Claus found Joey Pontes on a short pass, and the senior broke free for a 43-yard gain, setting up a Levi Nyberg TD run a few minutes later to give Fortuna a 21-0 lead.
The home team got its first TD of the game with 8:32 remaining in the half, but the Huskies replied with Medeiros’ second TD late in the second quarter, this time on a 42-yard pass from Claus.
The senior quarterback now has 20 TD passes on the season.
The Eagles got their second TD of the game early in the third quarter to pull within 16 points, but that was as close as they would get.
Medeiros found the end zone a third time on a 10-yard run before the third quarter was over, and Fortuna led 35-18 heading into the final period, with Travis Lourenzo closing out the scoring on a 17-yard TD run with five and a half minutes remaining.
Luis Atilano nailed all six PATs for the Huskies, who improved to 7-5 on the season.
Kennedy dropped to 8-3.
Defensively, the Huskies did a good job holding a dangerous and speedy Kennedy offense in check for much of the game.
“They had a lot of playmakers, and I was very, very happy with the way we contained them and held them at bay,” the coach said.
The Huskies racked up an impressive 479 yards of offense, with 312 of them coming on the ground.
Pontes was again one of the main contributors, with 118 yards rushing and 67 receiving, while Medeiros had 102 yards combined.
Claus completed 8-of-13 passes for 167 yards and the one TD.
Lourenzo had 74 yards rushing on 11 carries, including the TD, while Claus had 47 yards on the ground.