The Eureka County High football team departed for their closest away game of the season this past Friday. The Vandals showed up in Carlin to face the Railroaders in their second divisional game, and lost a heartbreaker by six points.
Eureka was again part of another closely fought battle on the gridiron last Friday as both the Vandals and Railroaders know how important division games are. Offensively, Head Coach Fred Minoletti said, “We played better, but still didn’t execute at the level we need and should be at by this time of the season.”
Trevor Merritt scampered from his quarterback position for a 50 yard touchdown run as well as a 50 yard pass play to Nick Gordon which also went for a touchdown. Paul Padilla added two rushing touchdowns and a kickoff return touchdown for Eureka to account for the Vandal scoring.
A solid performance from some familiar faces helped Eureka lead or at least stay in the game against Carlin all night, but crunch time again proved to be Eureka’s downfall. After a questionable spot on fourth down, Carlin kept their potential game winning drive alive. With 15 seconds left, Carlin scored the game winning touchdown which made the final score 44-38 in favor of the Railroaders.
“Too many mental mistakes by a few of the players, they made the plays they needed to make and we didn’t,” Coach Minoletti explained.
A heartbreaking loss for Eureka is hard to swallow, but there will be little time to dwell on the past. Eureka can win the tie-breaker by beating Wells and Carlin in the second match-up with both teams. It is looking like Eureka will need to take care of business against the other teams on their schedule and get a win against either Carlin or Wells on the road to make the playoffs. Eureka will play their homecoming game this Friday night, Oct. 3 at Crutchley Field beginning at 7 p.m. Their homecoming opponent will be another divisional opponent, the Mcdermitt Bulldogs.