By Ray Hamill — There were no major surprises for any of the local teams when the North Coast Section football playoff brackets were released on Sunday afternoon, although Del Norte and Fortuna avoided each other in the opening round in Division 5.
As expected, Del Norte received the No. 2 seed in the bracket and will host No. 7 Alhambra on Friday night at 7 p.m.
Fortuna, which was projected to be a seven or eight seed, received the latter and will open on the road at No. 1 Encinal in Alameda, also on Friday night at 7 p.m.
The Huskies are two-time defending NCS champions and won’t be intimidated after winning three road games against higher seeds on the way to last year’s title.
In Division 6, meanwhile, St. Bernard’s also received the No. 2 seed and will open at home on Saturday against No. 7 Ygnacio Valley at 1 p.m.
Local fans will have their choice of games on Saturday, with Ferndale also hosting at 1 p.m.
The Wildcats, who are coming off an impressive regular season that saw them win eight of their final nine games, received the No. 2 seed in Division 7 and will open against No. 7 California School for the Deaf, which qualified for the postseason after a big win at Hoopa on Saturday.
Two other local teams also made the playoffs, as expected.
In Division 6, Arcata is seeded No. 8 and will open on the road at No. 1 Kennedy in Richmond on Friday night at 7 p.m.
In eight person football, South Fork received the No. 3 seed and will open at home to No. 6 Laytonville on Friday night, also at 7 p.m.
The Cubs and Warriors have already played each other twice this season, with South Fork winning both games by scores of 44-8 and 38-22.