The senior quarterback/safety was instrumental in leading the Loggers to an overtime victory over Arcata a week ago, and continued that on Friday as Eureka scored on three of its four first-half possessions to take control of the game.
“He’s a good football player,” said McKinleyville head coach Keoki Burbank, who says Bode has what it takes to star at the next level. “He was a weapon, just how fast he is, and at the safety position he just flies around the field.”
Just as impressive, Bode has been displaying tremendous leadership so far this season, helping develop a young Loggers team that features a large contingent of sophomores.
“He was putting the guys in the right spots all night,” Eureka head coach Andrew Haraldson said. “He did a really good job leading tonight.”
He wasn’t the only one.
“When our A’s came to the sideline they made it their goal to be the biggest cheerleaders for our B’s,” the head coach said.
Eureka struck early and often in this lopsided matchup against a young McKinleyville team that was down to just 15 players in the second half.
The Panthers had one nice drive in the first half, but had problems moving the ball against their bigger and deeper opponents.
“It’s just tough. That was a tough game to play,” Burbank said. “When we’re playing with 15 guys in the second half, that gets tough.”
There were, however, some positives for a young Mack team.
“Like I told the guys after the game, I didn’t see people quitting,” the head coach said. “I saw people get tired, but nobody quit.
“We played with a lot of heart. We just played a bigger Eureka team.”
Cornerback Hans Chalmers was one of several Eureka sophomores to shine, scoring on a 12-yard TD catch from Hayden Bode right before halftime to stretch the lead to 21.
The Loggers quickly ended any hopes of a comeback with TDs on each of their opening two possessions of the second half, the first on a 26-yard run by Her and the second on a 28-yard run by Brandon Racines.
Hayden Bode closed out the scoring on a short TD run.
“I was proud of our guys. They came out hard and they executed,” Haraldson said. “We had a lot of procedural mistakes. We’ve got a lot of sophomores, but I can’t complain too much and they played really hard. That sophomore class is playing hard.”
McKinleyville sophomore Azure Watrous de Salinas also had a huge game at defensive end, persistently testing a big Eureka O line.
“He played a fantastic football game,” Burbank said. “He was in their offensive backfield all night. He gave max effort all game long and he gave Eureka problems.”
Defensively for Eureka, brothers Hayden and Rogan Bode each had an interception to go with their TDs on offense, as did Chalmers, his second of the season.
“I was really proud of our young guys,” Haraldson said. “They’re really buying in, really working hard and learning the system.”
For the Panthers, who dropped to 0-2, the learning process continues.
“We’re just committed to continue to get better,” Burbank said. “We’re looking at this as an extended spring ball and a chance to get better.”
The Panthers host Ferndale next weekend, while Eureka travels to Del Norte.
Eureka is now 2-0.
In the JV game on Friday, McKinleyville defeated Eureka 12-0.