By Ray Hamill — Games between Nos. 2 and 3 seeds are not supposed to be this lopsided.
But when teams accustomed to playing on all-weather fields come to Humboldt County in November, those games don’t always go according to form.
On Saturday afternoon, St. Bernard’s rolled over Analy 49-0 in wet and very muddy conditions at Crusader Field to advance to next weekend’s North Coast Section Division-5 championship game.
But that’s only half the story.
Simoni, who now has an incredible 36 offensive TDs on the season, can thank his offensive line, tight end and fullback for paving the way for his incredible day.
“I’ve been singing the praises of our offensive and defensive lines all year and they did it again today,” head coach Matt Tomlin said. “I think that was the most impressive performance from our offensive line I’ve seen in the 11 years I’ve been (head coach) here.”
The unit includes left tackle Kyler Smith, left guard Hunter Floyd, center Land Ford, right guard Thomas Rinker and right tackle Jonathan Cortez, as well as tight end Ethan Hagler and fullback Lawrence Renner.
Those magnificent seven dominated from the opening snap and allowed their running backs and QBs to run for 430 yards on 44 carries.
“And Simoni, I don’t know what to say about him. He’s simply the best. He’s so physical, and when he gets that type of blocking …”
Simoni found the end zone four times in the opening half alone and the Crusaders carried a 28-0 lead into halftime.
Check out Wyatt Simoni’s sixth touchdown of the afternoon below …
There was simply no way back for the Tigers after that.
And the SB defense was equally impressive, completely shutting down an explosive and fast-paced Analy offense that had scored 112 points in its last two games.
“I was just as impressed with our defense,” Tomlin said.
It was the Crusaders’ second shutout in three weeks and they have allowed just seven points in their last three games combined.
Kicker Tyler Hinrichs also had an outstanding day and nailed all seven of his PATs in difficult conditions, with Luke Brunton the holder.
The victory sets up a championship game showdown against No. 1 seed Miramonte as the Crusaders look to win a first NCS crown since 2019 and a third under Tomlin.
That game will be played at Acalanes High School next Saturday night.
Miramonte defeated Alhambra 34-17 in the other semifinal on Friday.