By Ray Hamill — The Eureka Loggers took care of business on the field of play on Saturday night.
Now it comes down to a coin flip at the North Coast Section offices on Sunday morning to decide whether their season continues.
“I’m just dumbfounded that our whole season is coming down to this,” Eureka head coach Jason White said after Saturday’s playoff win.
The Loggers are seeded No 2 in the Division-III bracket and comfortably defeated No. 3 Las Lomas at Albee Stadium in muddy conditions, winning 21-0.
In the Division-IV semifinal in Crescent City, Fortuna senior Joey Pontes scored four touchdowns to lead the Huskies to a 30-6 win over Del Norte.
The Huskies have now won nine straight playoff games and will play for an NCS championship next weekend.
Eureka, meanwhile, lost five fumbles in the first half alone, but a dominating defensive performance was enough to see them comfortably through.
Defensive tackle Isaak Gutierrez in particular was a nightmare for the visiting Knights, and turned in what White said could have been his most dominating performance ever as a Logger on defense.
The Loggers took the lead early, driving 59 yards on seven plays and scoring on a 41-yard Zach Reed run up the middle six minutes in.
Five of their next six possessions ended in fumbles, but with a dominating defensive performance, they never really appeared in danger of giving up a score to the Knights, who failed to get a first down in either of the second or third quarters and managed just three on the night.
The Loggers opened the second half with back-to-back scoring drives to put the game away, with Alex Miller and Ryan Sylvia each scoring on TD runs.
With Cardinal Newman opting for a coin toss to decide who moves on to the CIF regional game next week instead of playing out the NCS, the Loggers’ fate will now be decided at the NCS offices at 8:30 a.m. on Sunday.
More to follow shortly on both games …