Courtesy photo
The Eureka County High football team knocked off Excel Christian 48-8 at home last week to advance to the state semifinals. They will face undefeated Tonopah tomorrow in Ely for the right to play in the state championship next week.

Meeting for the first time ever in football, Eureka manhandled the Excel Christian Warriors 48-8 last week in the first round of the Class 1A playoffs.

The Vandals posted 42 points in the first half. Garrett Todd and Brandon Lee ran fairly easily against Excel Christian. Todd had 11 carries for 169 yards and two touchdowns. Lee ran the ball 15 times for 138 yards and one touchdown.

Coach Fred Minoletti used two quarterbacks, Wyatt Anderson and Clayton Shoda. Between the two of them they were 5-for-9, 136 yards and both had a touchdown pass.

Eureka finished with a total of 528 yards for the game.

Minoletti said the team, “did a real good job defensively. The only thing they got was a score off a kickoff return in the second quarter. We didn’t allow them much at all, and offensively could do pretty much what we wanted in keeping the ball on the ground and controlling the line on both sides of the ball. I figured we were probably the more physical team.”

He noted, “They couldn’t run it much against us so they started throwing quite a bit, but didn’t have much success there either.”

Excel quarterback Jacob Barrera was only 2-of-15 for 55 yards, no touchdowns and one interception. Jeshua Fixel had 86 yards on the ground for Excel.

Chris Drayton had the most tackles for Eureka with 17, four solo ones and assisted on 13 others.

The Warriors finished the season 4-6.

In the other games, favored Spring Mountain blasted Mineral County 70-10, racking up 44 points in the first quarter, by scoring six touchdowns. The pass-happy Eagles uncharacteristically kept the ball on the ground for the most part throughout the game.

Tonopah topped defending champion and injury riddled Pahranagat

Valley 42-36 and Virginia City held off a second half rally by Wells for a 50-46 win.

This week’s schedule has Virginia City (10-1) and Spring Mountain (9-1) Saturday in Hawthorne, the third consecutive year facing each other in the semifinals, and Eureka (10-1) and Tonopah (11-0) Saturday at White Pine High School in Ely.

In volleyball, the Lady Vandals lost the No. 1 spot in the east-west North region tournament to Virginia City. But it was a five-set 3-2 loss to the Muckers and both teams advance to state.

The Lady Vandals won the first set 26-24. But the Muckers took the next two 25-17, 25-15. Eureka tied the match in the fourth set 25-20.

But Virginia City won the fifth and deciding game 15-11.

Eureka earlier in the tournament had a 3-0 win over Excel Christian and 3-1 over Owyhee. Virginia City had 3-0 wins over both Jackpot and Wells.

At the state volleyball tournament this weekend in Reno, Eureka (27-5) plays two-time defending state champion Pahranagat Valley (18-8) in the semifinals at Reed High School on Friday. Virginia City (20-6) plays Smith Valley (22-12).

The tournament then moves to Bishop Manogue High School on Saturday where all classifications will have their championship finals.