Four local football teams will compete for a place in an NCS championship game this Saturday, as the playoff action heats up.
All four will play at home, and all four will fancy their chances of advancing to next weekend’s championship round as the North Coast continues to make a statement in the postseason.
All four games should be close affairs too, with little to choose from between either team in any of the matchups.
Two are rematches from earlier in the season, including Del Norte’s showdown with Moreau Catholic in Division 5.
Just one point separated the two teams when they met down south on opening weekend, and this one could very well go down to the final minutes once again.
Kickoff is set for 7 p.m. in Crescent City where the Warriors will be hoping to take advantage of the home crowd.
In Miranda, meanwhile, the South Fork Cubs will host Branson at 7 p.m. and will be hoping for a better outcome than their trip to Ross back in September, when the Bulls won 72-28.
A young Cubs team, however, has matured considerably since then and will carry plenty of momentum and confidence into the game after five straight wins.
They’ll also have home-field advantage this time around.
Two games will take place locally at 1 p.m., with St. Bernard’s hosting Middletown in Division 6, and Ferndale hosting Willits in Division 7.
The Crusaders will be looking to spread the field as much as possible with their explosive playmakers, while the Mustangs will look to control the tempo with their running game.
It should be an intriguing contrast of styles, and a chess game of sorts between two outstanding coaching staffs.
At Ferndale, meanwhile, the high-flying Wildcats will look to carry on what has been a very impressive season when they host the Wolverines.
The Cats are going to be tough to stop and have few weaknesses. They’re healthy again, they have balance on offense and defense, and they have shown a tendency to wear down opponents with a relentless running game and a dangerous pass attack.
As long they take care of the ball and limit the Wolverines’ big plays, they have every chance to advance to next weekend’s championship game.
Ray Hamill writes at humboldtsports.com, where you can read lots more about sports in Humboldt County.