“Eureka’s Isley Tulmau breaks a tackle during Eureka”s win over visiting Lincoln, Friday night at Albee Stadium.” (Andrew Butler — Times-Standard)
PUBLISHED: | UPDATED:

Cruz Montana threw three touchdown passes and the Eureka High Loggers fended off the visiting Lincoln Fighting Zebras 34-22 Friday night at Albee Stadium.

“I thought we played very well for the most part tonight,” Eureka head coach Jason White said. “We wanted a challenge and we got that tonight.”

With Friday’s win Eureka (6-0) remains undefeated and atop the Big 4 Conference standings with conference play still to come later this season. If St. Bernard’s looses on the road against Marin Catholic today, Eureka will be the lone undefeated team left in the Humboldt-Del Norte league.

Eureka received the opening kickoff Friday night and returned it for a modest gain. The Loggers came out firing on all cylinders as Montana led his team down the field for an opening drive touchdown after Tony Barreno took a pitch and converted it into a 10-yard rushing touchdown.

The Fighting Zebras took their opening possession down to Eureka’s 15 yard line before a failed fourth down attempt turned the ball over back to the Loggers. Lincoln (2-3) tried to run a reverse on fourth down but it was quickly snuffed out by the Loggers defense.

“Anytime you can force a team to turn the ball over on downs is a momentum swing in my book,” White said.

Eureka picked up right where they left off and drove 85 yards to score its second touchdown on its second possession after Montana found Robert Weir for an 11-yard touchdown reception. The score came with 13 seconds left in the first quarter and put the Loggers up 13-0.

Although Eureka struggled with penalties throughout the majority of the first half it was still able to amass lengthy possessions which kept Lincoln off the field and out of rhythm, especially in the first quarter.

The second quarter, however, belonged to the Fighting Zebras.

Lincoln’s quarterback Tommy Turner led his team to the end zone early in the second quarter after finding a wide open receiver, Harry Rounds, for a 33-yard score.

Eureka sputtered on its first offensive possession of the second quarter and punted the ball right back to the Fighting Zebras.

Turner wasted no time getting his team back into the end zone and after a few chunk plays found Jacob Lemus for a 50-yard touchdown. Lincoln’s kicker, Brett Woolley, missed the extra point try, leaving his team tied with the Loggers at 13-13.

Montana, looking to give his team the lead again, fired a 50-yard bomb near to the end zone intended for Isley Tulmau. The pass was instead picked off by Lincoln’s defensive back. The Fighting Zebras did nothing with the possession and after a three and out gave the ball back to the Loggers.

Montana, unfazed by what was just his second interception of the season, led his Loggers back down the field for a touchdown with one minute left in the second quarter. The score, a 35-yard pass to Tulmau which saw Montana avoid a sack and break out towards the sideline before throwing back across his body to Tulmau.

“Cruz doesn’t ever let mistakes bother him,” White said. “I’ve been coaching for 26 years and he’s one of, if not the, best leaders I’ve coached.”

Lincoln added a field goal as time expired in the second half to narrow the Loggers lead to 20-16 at the half.

Eureka’s defense came out a different group in the second half. Three times did Eureka force Lincoln to turn the ball over in the third quarter alone. Two of the turnovers came off of failed fourth down tries by Lincoln. The third turnover came by way of Zach Reed after the senior intercepted Turner on Eureka’s 25 yard line.

Offensively, Eureka found no trouble in the second. The Loggers scored one touchdown in the third quarter after a trick play saw Josiah Graham complete a 10-yard pass to Tyce Mullins. Montana notched his third touchdown pass of the night in the fourth quarter after he found Mullins for a 20-yard strike which put the Loggers ahead 34-16 with 11 minutes to play.

Lincoln added a touchdown as time was winding down in the fourth quarter, far too late for any comeback as the Loggers defended Albee Stadium for their sixth win of the season.

blog comments powered by Disqus