Defense dominates as Cubs keep their league hopes alive

File photo – The South Fork Cubs are 3-1 in the NCL-II

The South Fork Cubs improved to 5-1 in eight-man football with a 30-6 win over Upper Lake on Homecoming night in Miranda on Friday.

The home team scored a touchdown in each of the four quarters to gradually pull away, but it was the Cubs defense that really set the tone all night.

“We dominated on defense,” head coach Karl Terrell said. “I don’t have any stats for Upper Lake, but I doubt they got 100 yards. I was just impressed with how the starting eight came together from the opening gun.”

The South Fork D-line of John Harding, Justin Freitas, Jasper Wilke and Cannon Baker, in particular, caused problems all night for the Upper Lake offense, making several big tackles for losses.

Harding, who just returned from injury but remains less than 100 percent, was in on a team-high 12 tackles and had a sack, while Freitas had seven tackles and a sack and Baker added seven tackles.

The win lifts the Cubs to 3-1 in league play with two games remaining and leaves them still in the hunt for a league title.

Their only loss came against Branson, which has since lost to Stuart Hall.

If South Fork can get the better of California School for the Deaf next week and Stuart Hall in the season finale they will likely share the NCL-II championship.

Against Upper Lake, Shevy Bero-Vanmeter continued to impress on both sides of the ball.

The junior quarterback completed 4 of 9 passes for 104 yards and two TDs, both to Harding, who had 99 yards receiving on three catches.

Bero-Vanmeter also had eight tackles on defense.

Teammate Wesley Way rushed for 73 yards and a TD on 15 carries, while Freitas added 42 yards rushing and a TD on 12 carries.

It could have been worse for the visitors had it not been for a Cubs TD called back, which was their third in two two games.

“We’re moving the ball, but we’re still making little mistakes,” Terrell said. “But I’m pretty happy overall. We’re progressing.”

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