The top seed in the 1A east football is at stake this weekend as the Eureka Vandals play at Wells in the final game of the regular season for both teams.
The Vandals (6-1, 3-0) are on a sixgame win streak and the Leopards have won their last three games.
Eureka just knocked off the Owyhee Braves in their game last week. Coach Fred Minoletti said, “The game went well. We jumped out to a 32-0 first quarter lead and cruised from there.”
And cruise they did to a 53-6 blowout and a sixth consecutive win over the Braves (3-5, 1-3).
Minoletti said, “Owyhee had two turnovers in the first period, a pass interception [Clayton Shota] and a fumble recovery [Bryon Weeks], which gave us a short field on two of our drives. Offensively we were able to run the ball well.”
Chris Drayton was the workhorse for the Vandals picking up 151 yards on eight carries and two touchdowns. Gage Howard also scored two touchdowns. He rushed for 89 yards on 11 carries.
The Vandals piled up 390 yards in the game.
“We played much better defensively this weekend against the run and pass, Minoletti said. “One of the highlights was an extra point kicked by one of our foreign exchange students – Geo Abrhamenko.”
That came on the last touchdown for Eureka in the fourth quarter.
This weekend it’s an old west showdown in Wells (3-3, 3-0), winner takes the league championship.
“We are looking forward to taking on Wells this upcoming weekend which will be for the No. 1 seed out of our division,” Minoletti said.
He added, “Wells is dangerous with how it spreads the field and looks for big plays. We need to take care of the ball on offense, limit penalties and play disciplined on defense.”
Taking the league championship would be something the Vandals would like to do as it would be their third straight.
However, according to the NIAA playoff schedule this year, it would then set up a difficult first round game with Spring Mountain, the defending state champion and No. 2 in the Southern League, Nov. 8 at Crutchley Field.
The Vandals and the Golden Eagles have not played football against each other since at least 2004, if ever even before that.
If it should be Wells that has to play Spring Mountain, they have played twice before with Spring Mountain winning both times.
That would then send Eureka to Pahranagat Valley in Alamo for a first round game Nov. 8. The Panthers at present hold a 5-0 advantage on the Vandals since 2004 and the teams have not played since 2009.