By Ray Hamill — Playing on the road against higher seeds doesn’t seem to bother the H-DNL teams when it comes to the North Coast Section football playoffs.
Of the seven squads to make the postseason, four won this weekend to advance to next week’s semifinals, including three who beat higher seeds in the process.
On Friday night, Del Norte won 50-14 at Tennyson in Division 4, McKinleyville beat Willits 9-0 in Division 7, and South Fork topped Tomales 42-0 in the eight-person bracket.
On Saturday afternoon, Arcata fell 42-13 at Saint Mary’s in Division 6 despite leading 13-0 early in the game, while Hoopa fell 28-15 at St. Vincent de Paul in Division 7.
On Saturday night, Fortuna lost 25-12 at Pinole Valley in Division 6, while just three miles away St. Bernard’s got the better of De Anza 51-25 in Division 5.
Del Norte will now advance to play at No. 1 seed Marin Catholic in the D-4 semis next Saturday at 1 p.m., while McKinleyville will play at No. 1 St. Vincent de Paul in D-7 action, also on Saturday at 1 p.m.
In Division 5, the St. Bernard’s Crusaders will play their semifinal at No. 1 seed San Marin on Friday night.
And rounding out next week’s action involving local teams, No. 3 South Fork will play at No. 2 Branson on Saturday at 1 p.m.
Al four local teams will be on the road.
The postseason has been one of rematches for the Crusaders, who got the better of De Anza in the opening round for the second straight year, and will now play San Marin in the semifinal round for the second straight year.
St. Bernard’s lost by just one point a year ago and pushed the Mustangs closer than any other team on their way to a state title.