By Ray Hamill — The Fortuna Huskies are gearing up for a second straight North Coast Section championship game this weekend, hoping to secure a second straight NCS title.
To get it, they’ll have to win on the road, traveling to Dublin High School on Saturday to face unbeaten No. 1 seed Moreau Catholic.
So what can the Huskies expect from the Mariners?
Well, first up, most obviously, they can expect them to be pretty good.
At 12-0. the Mariners have been ranked atop the Division-IV NCS rankings most of the season, and have put up more than 50 points in each of their two playoff wins.
Moreau Catholic won the Mission Valley League crown with a 6-0 record, edging out 5-1 James Logan, a common opponent.
The Mariners and Huskies, in fact, have played two common opponents this season, whom they each defeated.
Moreau Catholic beat James Logan 42-14, while Fortuna won 38-21, and the Mariners beat Kennedy 68-0 while the Huskies won that game 42-18.
The Mariners feature an offense that averages 161.4 yards passing a game and 271.7 yards rushing, led by a pair of strong running backs.
Junior Fresh Ison is coming off an outstanding season, rushing for 175.5 yards a game, including a massive 16.4 yards a carry.
For the season he has 1,931 yards and 28 TDs.
Providing a nice complement for the stocky 5-11, 205-pound junior is senior running back DeAndre Askew (5-9, 150) who has 590 yards and nine TDs.
At quarterback is another junior standout Bowen Dickstein (6-2, 195), who has thrown for 1,730 yards and 23 touchdowns to just eight interceptions.
For comparison, the Mariners are ranked No. 207 in California by MaxPreps, while Fortuna is No. 260.
Impressive playoff streak
That, however, won’t bother the Huskies, who have won nine straight playoff games, including three straight this season.
They are also one of the most experienced teams around, with most of these players having won six playoff games a year ago on the way to a 5-A state championship.
The Huskies have also won back-to-back road games against higher seeds the past two weekends, so another trip to the Bay Area for a tough challenge won’t bother them.
Defensively, the Huskies have stepped up the past few weeks.
In addition to getting healthier on that side of the ball, they have also raised the level of their game in recent weeks, holding their three playoff opponents to a combined 38 points (12.6 a game).
Saturday’s game is set for 7 p.m. and will be broadcast live on 95.1 and 106.7 FM, with the pregame show getting under way at 6:40 p.m.
For a more in-depth preview of the big game, log on to Humboldt Sports on Friday.