By Clint Tognotti
Eureka Sentinel Correspondent
The Eureka County High football team has had their ups and downs during their 2016 season, but Friday Night during Homecoming Eureka came up with its biggest win of the year over Carlin, 38-6.
Coach Fred Minoletti eluded that this would be a good test by stating, “It’s going to be a hard fought game as both teams are pretty evenly matched, but the team with the most heart should get the victory.” Minoletti couldn’t have said it any better, as a defensive battle ensued for most of the first half.
Eureka started out very slow on offense, but their defensive effort undoubtedly kept them in the game until their offense took off. A defensive stalemate started against Homecoming opponent Carlin Railroaders. Carlin struck first with a touchdown in the first half but was unable to convert the 2-point conversion, and led 6-0 at half.
The Vandals coaching staff made necessary adjustments during the busy Homecoming halftime and it showed quickly. Minoletti said before the game that, “Carlin is going to try to be typical Carlin and be physical and run the ball and we will have to match that intensity and play our game also.” Eureka played well and followed that game plan all night and it paid off especially as the game wore on.
Junior quarterback CW Landry put up an impressive performance throwing for 101 yards and a touchdown while rushing for 67 yards and two touchdowns to ignite the Vandals offense. Landry’s touchdown pass came on an explosive play to receiver Josh Garcia as he broke across the field catching the pass in stride and then sprinting down the sideline for 65 yard touchdown run. The touchdown pass from Landry to Garcia was a huge momentum shift in the game as Eureka’s offense started to fire on all cylinders. Andy Rauh and Garrett Todd combined for 150 yards rushing to keep a balanced attack for the Vandals.
Defensively, Eureka played “their best game of the season,” according to Minoletti.
It would be hard to argue that fact with Eureka getting three interceptions from Bryson Wells (one returned for a touchdown), an interception from Landry (also returned for a touchdown), and a fumble recovery from Josh Garcia. Turnovers that led to scores and an unrelenting attack with pressure from the Vandals gave Carlin fits throughout the second half.
Eureka scored 38 unanswered points,and blanked the Railroaders after halftime.
The Vandals are currently in 2nd place in the 1A Northern-East football standings. They will travel to McDermitt this Saturday to play another league game against the Bulldogs.