Cubs to play for league title after high-scoring weekend showdown

Submitted photos – South Fork’s John Harding in action against CSD on Saturday.

The South Fork Cubs will go into the final game of the regular season with a shot at winning a league title after taking care of business in a very high-scoring affair against California School for the Deaf in Fremont over the weekend.

An 80-60 win lifted the Cubs to 4-1 in the eight-man NCL-II and a victory over undefeated Stuart Hall (5-0) in the regular season finale would likely leave a three-way tie for the championship, along with Branson.

Branson defeated South Fork earlier in league play, with Stuart Hall then getting the better of Branson, so if the Cubs can beat the Knights on Friday, they are guaranteed a share of the league  championship.

That could also secure a home playoff game next week.

And that means, this weekend’s game will be a huge one for the South Fork players and fans.

South Fork and Stuart Hall have met twice in the past four years, with each winning once.

“They’re another private school like Branson that just continues to have a mature team,” South Fork head coach Karl Terrell said of the Knights. “That’s what keeps them going. They just come to play football.”

The game against CSD might have been just what the Cubs needed as a warm-up for the big showdown, with the Eagles giving them everything they could handle offensively, especially early in the game.

The Cubs trailed 20-8 after the opening quarter, but battled back to tie the game 34-34 at halftime, before taking control with a dominating third quarter that saw them outscore the home team 40-6.

But the Knights kept battling.

“It was a tougher game that anyone would think. They just kept coming at us,” Terrell said.

Sophomore running back Wesley Way had a monster of a game and finished with 171 yards and four touchdowns on 13 carries, while senior receiver John Harding was equally effective and had 188 yards receiving and three touchdowns on seven receptions.

Junior quarterback Shevy Bero-Vanmeter also continued to impress and completed 10 of 19 passes for 210 yards and three TDs and also ran for 69 yards on nine carries.

Junior Justin Freitas also scored a pair of rushing TDs and finished with 36 yards on 12 carries.

Defensively, however, the Cubs struggled to match up against the Eagles offense.

“The week before we had a good defensive game, but this week we were just lackluster,” the head coach said. “It’s just with different matchups everything’s different. But all in all I was happy with the W.”

One bright spot defensively was the play of senior defensive end Jasper Wilkes, who led the Cubs with 13 tackles and had all of his team’s tackles for a loss.

The win was the Cubs’ third straight and their sixth in the last seven games.

They are now 6-1 in eight-man football this season and will be hoping to close out the regular season with one more victory.

“Whoever makes the less mistakes will come out the victor,” Terrell said. “We’ll see what happens.”

Game time is set for 6 p.m.

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