The Ferndale Wildcats continued to roll with a fifth straight win on Saturday, comfortably taking care of visiting Hoopa 42-6.

With the win, their seventh in eight games, the Cats improved to 7-2 on the season and 5-0 in the Little 4, securing the league title outright for the first time in seven years.

And it was the team defense that set the tone.

“It was a very good day defensively,” head coach Clint McClurg said. “Defensively we had our best performance, I’d say. It was a great team effort.”

The defense, in fact, pitched a shutout, with Hoopa’s only touchdown of the day coming off a Ferndale fumble that was scooped up by Jasper Hostler and returned to the end zone.

The Cats got plenty of offense too, with six TDs on the day, including three by Lane Branstetter.

The junior running back found the end zone in each of the first three quarters, the third of them after scooping up a fumble by teammate Tristen Martin on his way into the end zone.

Martin had a big afternoon, pulling in touchdown receptions from Jenner Christiansen and Landon Gomes, while freshman running back Cayden Collings broke free for a 65-yard TD run to cap the scoring late in the third quarter.


Ray Hamill writes at, where you can read lots more about sports in Humboldt County.