“They just blew right by us most of the time,” said Eureka coach Fred Minoletti in explaining the Vandals 54-6 loss at Whittell last Friday night near the shores of Lake Tahoe. It was the first time the two teams had ever played each other in 1A football.
“They are a very solid team and with their speed, we just couldn’t keep up with them,” he said. “Their quarterback (Trent Dingman) and running back (Corey Huber) are quick. When they ran to the edge or used the option, if they got around the corner, away they went. We couldn’t stop them on defense at all. They would line up in a T-formation in the backfield and run the read option quite a bit. They took it to us pretty good that way, keeping it on the ground most of the time.” Using their speed, Whittell built up a 38-0 halftime lead.
C.W. Landry was the main offense for the Vandals. He was 7-of-15 passing for 76 yards and rushed eight times for 41 yards and he scored the team’s only touchdown on a one-yard dive.
Minoletti said Landry started slow the first half but did better the second half.
He said, “Whittell scored on the first play from scrimmage and after getting a couple more in the first quarter after we have been sort of shaken by that, we kind of settled in and played a lot better.”
Defensive mental mistakes was a problem again for the team. “We were giving up the big runs,” as Whittell (2-0) moved the ball with ease, said the coach.
He said Eureka did have three long sustained drives. “We had success up the middle against them. We ran the ball pretty well, wanting to control time of possession. “In the second quarter, we had the ball for almost 11 minutes. But when we got into the red zone, a couple of holding penalties took us right out of scoring position.” Another good drive by the Vandals happened in the third quarter. Landry threw a pass near the goal line, but the player was tackled about the one-yard line, so Landry ran the quarterback sneak for the score on the next play.
“What we need to do as a team,” Minoletti explained, “is be consistent and put it together. We do good things at times, but then we might fall into a string of turnovers and penalties. We have potential, we’re young and we can feel good about our potential.”
This week, Eureka (0-3)-begins league play with two road games. At Wells (1-1) this Friday, then a bye week, and at Carlin (1-2) Sept. 22.
“I think we can do well in the league this year,” Minoletti said. “They will probably be the toughest games for us in our league season. A couple of wins there would set us up pretty good I think.”
Eureka lost to Wells last year 38-34 and is 5-7 with the Leopards since 2005. Against Carlin, the Vandals have beaten the Railroaders the past three years including 38-6 last year.