ERV Huskies move on to SRYF Championship game; AA Blue Huskies blank Eureka in football semis

Mark Lourenzo

Beacon Correspondent

The Eel River Blue Huskies shut out the No. 1 seeded Eureka Green Jacks this past Sunday, in the semifinal round of the Six Rivers Youth Football Conference. The Double AA Huskies have been so hot down the stretch this season that they have allowed just six points, while averaging 35 points themselves in their last four games. Two of those games have come in the Six Rivers AA playoffs where they have blanked both of their opponents in the first two rounds of the postseason. We shall see if they can continue their streak as this Sunday they will face the Del Norte Blue team for the conference title at Humboldt State University, kickoff slated for noon. Their Double AA battle will be the second of three games in the youth football championship series. The Single A division will pit the No. 1 seed Del Norte White versus the No. 3 Eureka Red Loggers at 9:30 a.m. Following the Double AA game, it will be No. 1 seed Del Norte facing No. 2 seed McKinleyville in the Triple AAA Division at 2:30 p.m.

Last Sunday, at Fortuna High School, it was all ERV Huskies Blue from the opening minutes as they played host to No. 1 Eureka, a team they lost to in week five of the regular season. On the Huskies' opening possession and just several plays into the contest, Eel River quarterback J.B. Lewis tore through the Eureka defense on his way to a 48-yard touchdown run. The Huskies missed the PAT attempt but led early 6-0. Eel River did not score on their next possession but did pin the opponents down with an excellent punt that laid to rest at the Eureka 7 yard line. After a defensive stop by the Huskies, it was a short punt that gave Eel River its next scoring opportunity.

Starting at the Eureka 30 yard line, Eel River pushed forward and converted a 4th and goal at the 5 yard line with a quarterback Lewis keeper. Though once again missing on the PAT, matter not as Eel River led 12-0 with just :39 to play in the first quarter. Eureka answered with a solid running game and gained a couple of first downs on the ground, but before midfield the Green was forced to punt again. Just as the Huskies were starting to move into Jacks territory, a fumble gave the ball back to Eureka. However, just five plays into the drive a Eureka pass was intercepted by the Huskies Church Crenshaw and Eel River regained the momentum.

It took seven plays to go 45 yards and once again J.B. Lewis outran the Eureka defense to the end zone, this time a 10 yard keeper around the end. A Eureka drive fizzled to end the first half and Eel River led 18-0. The momentum did not change with the new quarter as just three plays into Eureka's initial possession of the 2nd half, a fumble was recovered by Hunter Turner for the Huskies. Though the Huskies offense did not cash in on that turnover, the defense was keeping the opponents at bay. In fact a desperate Eureka attempt on 4th down led to a Husky sack of the opposing quarterback by Turner and Adam Medeiros. Eel River took over in the Eureka redzone and five plays later, Lewis ran in a one yard keeper to up the advantage.

A QB Lewis pass to tight end Zac Claus gave the Huskies a PAT conversion and the lead was now 25-0 with just 1:51 left in the 3rd period. The quarter ended with another Eureka possession that this time brought them to the Eel River 27 yard line and perhaps a score. However, an incomplete 4th down pass ended that hope. Eel River ended the game with their longest drive, a dozen plays took the Huskies to the goal line and Mason Fields pounded it in from two yards out. The Eel River defense was led up front by Sheaden Sanderson and Brendon Harralson, linebackers Church Crenshaw and Adam Medeiros filled the gaps and defensive backs Travis Lourenzo and Hunter Turner cleaned up from there. Del Norte came to the title game with wins over Del Norte Gold and Southern Humboldt. Both Eel River and Del Norte sport a record of 8-2.