Courtesy photo
Eureka junior Tristin Burchim makes a play in the Vandals 50-8 win at Independence
in Elko last Friday afternoon.

Eureka ended the regular season with a win on the road, 50-8 at Independence (Nevada Youth Training Corp) in Elko last Friday.

Why it’s the end of the season coach Fred Minoletti said is because Owyhee, (0-5, 0-8) this week’s scheduled opponent, has forfeited their final games of the season, including to Wells last week.

Minoletti explained the reason for ending the season before Halloween is “because some of our kids are usually attending the national FFA convention, so we try to have a bye there.”

So, after losing their first three games of the season, the boys rallied to win the next four to take the 1A Northern East title which they have won three of the past four years. Minoletti had said at the beginning of the season he thought they would do well when they got to league play.

Now, however, he will be waiting to see who from the western division will be the opponent in the first round of the NIAA playoffs Nov. 3-4 in Eureka.

The game with Independence Minoletti said was a 26-8 lead for the Vandals (5-3, 5-0) at the half. “They (Colts) scored right at the end of the half. We ran the ball really well and had a few good passes, too. And we contained their running quarterback (name not available), for the most part doing a pretty good job on him.”

Minoletti said C.W. Landry “had a really good game running the ball for us, but only tried four or five passes.”

In addition, Brandon Lee had a long touchdown run and Chris Dolan hauled in a deep touchdown pass from Landry.

“The team is playing well as the playoffs loom,” Minoletti said. “Everything worked out the way we wanted it to, so far as the conference goes.”

He is also in hopes the Vandals might be able to find another team with an open date this week for a pickup game. “Would kind of be tough having three weeks off before the playoffs. That’s quite a layoff, and trying to keep the boys motivated for a couple of weeks.”

In the 1A Northern-west, Virginia City (7-0, 5-0) and Whittell (7-0, 5-0) have locked up the two berths in the playoffs. The only question is who will be No. 1? The teams play this Saturday at Virginia City. The Muckers have a 3-1 lead in the series with Whittell over the past four years.

In the 1A South, Pahranagat Valley (7-0, 5-0) routed defending state champion Spring Mountain (5-2, 4-1), 74-26 last week to take over first place in the league. The Beatty Hornets (5-0, 4-0) are also a dark horse to upset Spring Mountain for the No. 2 spot and they play each other this Saturday.