BREAKING: NCS PLAYOFF BRACKETS RELEASED — St. Bernard’s, Ferndale and Del Norte earn No. 2 seeds; Fortuna, Arcata make the cut

St. Bernard’s (white) and Ferndale (red) each earned No. 2 seeds in their respective divisions. (Jose Quezada — for the Times-Standard)
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Throw the regular season wins and losses out, the playoffs are here.

The North Coast Section seeding committee released its 2019 prep football playoff brackets on Sunday and five Humboldt-Del Norte League teams across three different divisions, as well as South Fork, made the cut.

Note: The NCS realigned its divisions earlier this year, adding one division to go from six to seven while reducing the number of teams in each divisional playoff from 16 to eight.

D-V: Del Norte earns No. 2 seed

Del Norte High (9-1) earned the No. 2 seed in Division-V and will host No. 7 Alhambra on Friday.

Del Norte’s No. 2 seed comes as no surprise for the second-ranked rushing offense in the section — the Warriors’ 3,071 rushing yards are second only to James Logan’s 3,180 in the NCS.

The Warriors won the Big 4 Conference outright, finishing off its first Big 4 title since 2016 with a 48-19 win over Eureka highlighted by 487 team rushing yards.

Alhambra (5-5) finished 0-4 in the Diablo-Foothill league.

D-V: Fortuna’s turnaround yields No. 8 seed

Fortuna (4-6) will enter the playoffs as the D-V No. 8 seed and travel to face No. 1 Encinal—Alameda (9-1).

Fortuna’s birth as a No. 8 seed is a direct result of the team’s performance in the Big 4 Conference. Entering Big 4 play Fortuna was 2-5 overall and in need of wins in two of its three conference games. The first came against Eureka by a 22-14 margin thanks to a touchdown pass from Daeden Taylor to Max Hough with 9 seconds remaining. The second came on the road at St. Bernard’s by a 34-26 count. The St. Bernard’s game was effectively a play-in game for the Huskies, and play in they did as the two-time defending NCS champs will have a shot at the 3-peat.

Fortuna captured its second straight NCS title last season as a No. 6 seed.

Encinal captured an outright West Alameda County league title during the regular season.

D-VI: St. Bernard’s Academy gets No. 2 seed

St. Bernard’s (7-3) played the toughest strength of schedule of any NCS D-VI team this season.

The Crusaders played in a conference (Big 4) against three upper-division teams and held their own, finishing 1-2 with its two losses coming by one possession each time. Out of conference, the Crusaders played tough road games against La Salle-Milwaukee, Or. (a 43-41 win), and Templeton (a 49-21 loss).

Its reward — a No. 2 seed and at least two home playoff games.

St. Bernard’s will host No. 7 Ygnacio Valley (7-3) in the opening-round on Saturday. Ygnacio Valley finished 3-2 Diablo – Valley league play.

D-VI: Arcata makes the cut

Before the first Friday night light of the season was turned on, Arcata’s head coach Jamal Jones said he felt his team had enough talent to repeat as Little 4 Conference champs and contend for a section title.

Injuries dampened the Tigers’ conference title hopes as Arcata (6-4) finished second to Ferndale in the Little 4.

But a section title? Well, the kids in orange and black are in the dance.

And that’s the only place to be in November.

Arcata earned the No. 8 seed and will hit the road this weekend for a matchup with No. 1 Kennedy—Richmond (9-1) on Friday. Kennedy finished in a three-way tie atop the Tri-County – Rock Conference standings.

D-VII: Ferndale earns No. 2 seed

Tell the grounds keepers to prep Coach Carlson Wildcat Field for a few more games, because Ferndale (8-2) is poised to make a run at a section title.

The Wildcats earned a No. 2 seed and will host No. 7 California School for the Deaf (7-3) on Saturday. CSD is an independent program with no conference affiliation. On Saturday CSD beat Hoopa Valley 60-26 to assure itself a playoff birth.

Ferndale won its outright Little 4 Conference title since 2012 earlier this season.

8-person: South Fork earns No. 3 seed

South Fork, following its third straight North-Central III league title, earned the 8-person division No. 3 seed and will host Laytonville (4-5) on Friday.

South Fork downed Laytonville in both meetings between the two teams this season, by scores of 44-8 and 38-22.

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