The Eureka Loggers return home this week to host Shasta at Albee Stadium under the lights on Friday night.
And they’ll be hoping to build on last weekend’s breakthrough win at Montgomery, a young Eureka team’s first of the season.
To do so, they’ll have to overcome another tough opponent.
“They’re a physical team every year, no matter what their record is” Eureka head coach Jason White said of the Wolves (1-2). “And they want to establish the running game, and they’re very aggressive on defense.”
The key for a Eureka team that has been growing week to week will be to control their opponents’ pass rush and ground attack.
“For us (on offense), it’s containing their blitzing defense and being able to move them around a little bit,” White said. “And defensively, it’s really about containing their running backs.”
Shasta features a stable of running backs, led by three in particular, each of whom averages over five yards a carry.
Their two losses have come to top programs, including a defeat to Elk Grove.
The good news for the Loggers is the return of senior all-star lineman Miles Meynell, who has been out injured since week one.
Meynell will play mostly on the offensive line, and will see only limited action on defense as he fights his way back to game shape.
“He’s our best lineman, so that’s a huge deal, and he’s one of our better leaders,” White said of Meynell, who’s return also frees up some other weapons. “And it’s not just that we’re getting back our left tackle. We can move Chase Steubing back to tight end. It’s a domino effect.”
Despite their record, a young Eureka team has been showing improvement week to week and gradually putting their inexperience behind them.
Particularly along the offensive line and on the defensive side of the ball.
“We were physical on the offensive line (at Montgomery),” White said. “And defensively, really with the exception of one play, our defense played outstanding.”
Two standout performances last week were those of DB Menga Vang, who had two interceptions, and running back Antorious Bell, who had 94 yards rushing.
“We’re seeing some guys stepping up that we didn’t anticipate,” White said.
The Eureka JVs also got their first win of the season last weekend, defeating Montgomery 14-6.
The JVs get Friday night’s action under way at 5 p.m., followed by the varsity game at 7:30 p.m.
Ray Hamill writes at humboldtsports.com, where you can read lots more about sports in Humboldt County.