Little to separate St. Bernard’s and Analy ahead of NCS semifinal

Photos by Ray Hamill/

By Ray Hamill — There’s a good chance of rain in Eureka on Saturday afternoon and that may play into the Crusaders’ favor.

St. Bernard’s will host Analy in a 2 vs. 3 seed matchup with a place in this year’s North Coast Section Division-5 championship game up for grabs.

And while it wouldn’t be an upset to see either team walk away with the victory, a more balanced Crusaders offense may benefit from the wet conditions.

The Tigers come into the showdown with a record of 7-4 and feature a pass-heavy offense that has put up almost two thirds of its yards this season through the air.

The Crusaders, meanwhile, have relied more heavily on the running game with 48 percent of their offense (1,760 yards) coming through the air and 52 percent (1,927) on the ground.

And that could play to their advantage in wet conditions on Saturday in what is expected to be a close game.

Both teams are coming off impressive playoff openers.

The Tigers comfortably beat Justin-Siena 49-7, while the Crusaders got the better of Terra Linda 45-7.

And there’s little to separate the two schools in the MaxPreps NCS rankings, with Analy ranked No. 31 and St. Bernard’s just one spot back at No. 32.

The two teams had one common opponent this season, Eureka, with the Tigers beating the Loggers 56-7 back in early September and the Crusaders beating their crosstown rivals 37-0 two weeks ago.

Saturday’s game, which kicks off at 1 p.m., will not be streamed live or broadcast on local radio.

The winner of this game will advance to play either No. 1 Miramonte or No. 4 Alhambra, who face off on Friday night.

If SB and Alhambra should both win, then the Crusaders would host next weekend’s NCS final.

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