The Eel River Valley Huskies and the Ferndale Mustangs each sent two teams to the Six Rivers Youth Football playoffs, which commenced this past Sunday at two different sites. Out of the four teams qualified, it is just one team remaining and will be moving on for the semifinal round this coming Sunday. The ERV Huskies Double AA Blue made a big opening round statement by shutting out the Redwood Youth Football Knights, 36-0 and will be on home turf this coming Sunday for round two as the Eel River Association is one of two sites for the semifinal round. Both the Ferndale Mustangs Single A and Triple AAA teams lost this past weekend on home turf and the Huskies Single A Blue team lost to Eureka Red by a score of 18-6.
The ERV Huskies AA Blue cast no doubts as to whether they would move past the opening round as last Sunday they scored on their opening possession and never looked back. Hauling in a 40-yard touchdown pass from quarterback J.B. Lewis, Church Crenshaw opened the scoring of last weekends Double AA game. Lewis in turn caught a 45-yard touchdown himself as he changed to the wideout position and was on the receiving end of the pass from Zac Claus. Moving back to his quarterback position, J.B. Lewis also ran in a 2-yard sneak and the halftime score read 29-0.
The third quarter passed without additional scoring but Lewis dropped back to pass on the first Husky possession of the fourth quarter and the QB instead ran a draw up the middle of the Knight defense and weaved his way up the field to a 42-yard score. Husky linebacker Church Crenshaw recovered a Knight fumble in the first half and lineman Zach Carter recovered a Redwood loose ball in the 2nd half. The Huskies will play at Fortuna High, this Sunday at noon, against the winner of Eureka Green versus McKinleyville.
It will be a unusual site to not see the Ferndale Mustangs in a championship game of the Six Rivers playoffs as in prior years, the Mustangs have excelled and particularly have dominated the Triple AAA division of local youth football. But not this year as both the Mustang teams that made the postseason were beaten this past Sunday in Ferndale. The Single A Mustangs got off to a good start against the Redwood Youth Knights and led after one quarter 7-6 on quarterback Jenner Christiansen's bootleg run for a touchdown. The Stangs were still in the game in the 2nd period when Redwood answered with a score to go up 12-7.
The Knights threatened to expand their lead on two big pass completions just before the half but they ran out of time as they got as close as the Mustang four yard line when the gun sounded for halftime. Ferndale came out for the 2nd half ready to do battle but two whistles took the wind out of their sails. First came a referee's call that reversed a fumble recovery by Ferndale's Bronson Lewis. Later came a call that took away a 28-yard touchdown pass catch and run by Mustang fullback Lane Branstetter. Both of those game changing calls came in the third quarter. In the final period, Redwood's Elias Cappelen intercepted a Mustang pass and quarterback Lane Thrap ran in a 31-yard touchdown to ice the victory with the final score of 19-7.
The final game of last Sunday was the Mustang Triple AAA hosting the Redwood Youth Football Knights. Redwood jumped to a 8-0 lead after a very defensive minded first half of play. A pass from Knight quarterback Jack Rice to tight end Lane Gomes set up the only score of the half as Rice took in a 12-yard keeper for the score. Place kicker Hunter Stapp booted in the PAT, which is worth two points in youth football. Ferndale tried to make a game of it behind the hard running of fullback Blaine Zanone however, Redwood responded with tough running by fullback Warren Freeman and a touchdown pass reception by Lane Gomes and was able to lock up the 16-0 victory.
Photo by Mark Lourenzo/Beacon
Eel River Valley Double AA quarterback J. B. Lewis looks over the Redwood Knights defense as he attempts to find an open Husky receiver downfield. Lewis was part of four Eel River touchdowns as he threw, caught and ran in scores pacing the Huskies to a 36-0 shutout of the Knights in the opening round of the Six Rivers Youth Football playoffs.