Courtesy photo
Eureka’s Chris Drayton carries the ball during the Vandals 44-30 loss at Smith Valley last Friday. The Vandals host Coleville tonight in their home opener at 7 p.m.

On the road to open the season at Smith Valley last Friday, Eureka had a lead in the first quarter, but couldn’t hold it and eventually lost the game to the Bulldogs 44-30.

“We gave up a big pass play with about a minute left in the first half which put us behind 24-14 at the break,” said coach Fred Minoletti. “Even though we pulled it together in the second half, we could never really close the gap and catch back up. We’d score, they’d score, etc.”

Quarterback C.W. Landry was 6-for-8 passing for 94 yards and rushed 12 times for 57 yards and two touchdowns. In addition, freshman Wyatt Anderson played quarterback in the fourth quarter, went 3-for-3, 52 yards and a touchdown pass to freshman classmate Chris Dolan.

“Our passing game was not too bad,” Minolleti said. “We didn’t have any big hitters but were pretty efficient (9-for-11, 146 yards). He added, “Our weakness at the moment is our pass defense. Two of our better players, including our top defensive back, were out with injuries. We hope to have them back soon. May have to miss the next game.”

Junior running back Garett Todd rushed 10 times for 49 yards and freshman Brandon Lee had eight carries for 47 yards.

Minoletti had high praise for the three freshmen players, Lee, Anderson, and Dolan. “Pretty pleased with what we saw with them for their first high school game.”

Dolan had six receptions for 75 yards and a touchdown. He also ran for one touchdown. “Offensively, we did well,” Minoletti said. “We could do most of what we wanted. It was defensively where we need to get stronger, didn’t play well, didn’t stop them very well at all.” Stats for Smith Valley were not available.

Tonight Eureka (0-1) hosts the Coleville Wolves in non-league action. It is the season opener for Coleville. “They like to pass and spread you out,” Minoletti said. “They’re pretty efficient. Coach (Will) Sandy does a good job and is pretty consistent. And they run it well, too. It was their passing game that hurt us pretty good last year.”

Coleville won the game last year 44-20, jumping out to a 36-20 halftime lead and holding the Vandals scoreless in the second half.

The Wolves were 6-3 last year, but finished fourth in the 1A Northern – West, and missed the playoffs.