South Fork Football Gets on the Board in Loss to Arcata

Junior defensive lineman Aaron Etherton pulls Arcata's star running back Demitri Patterson to the ground Friday night in Miranda.

Junior defensive lineman Aaron Etherton pulls Arcata’s star running back Demitri Patterson to the ground Friday night in Miranda. [Photo by Janice Coffelt]

South Fork’s varsity football team scored two touchdowns Friday night in Miranda as they fell to Arcata 31-12. The first two touchdowns of the season came on a pass in the second quarter and a run in the fourth. But it was a team defensive effort that caught the coach’s attention the most.

“One of the most pleasing things for us,” said head coach Andy Olsen, “was holding Arcata’s Demitri Patterson to just 85 yards.” Last week, the dominant junior running back for the Tigers carried the ball 48 times for 300 yards and 3 TDs in Arcata’s narrow 32-28 win over Central Valley. “We had 4 sets of eyes on him at all times,” said Olsen, “and we hit him hard.” South Fork is the first team this season to hold Patterson to fewer than 100 yards rushing.

Junior running back Gabe Malley  was named overall player of the game for his outstanding offense and defense. He racked up 87 yards rushing on 8 carries, including a 38 yard run, and on defense he had 5 solo tackles and 5 assists.

Arcata scored two touchdowns and made both two-point conversions in the first quarter. Down 16-0 in the second quarter South Fork’s Malley intercepted an Arcata pass at midfield. Unable to make a first down, the Cubs punted but Arcata coughed up another interception, and this time sophomore CJ Van Meter ran it back 40 yards. Junior running back Scott Coffelt had two carries to bring the ball to the Arcata 16 and then, as quarterback on offense, Van Meter completed the drive, hitting a wide open Ryder Pfau in the endzone on a play-action pass.

Arcata put two more TDs on the board in the 3rd quarter, adding three extra points, making the score 31-6, but South Fork was not finished. Taking possession at midfield early in the fourth quarter the Cubs completed a two-play scoring drive, with Malley running the ball 38 yards and then Coffelt getting into the endzone with a 21 yard carry.

“It felt great to score, and we continue to see real progress,” said Olsen. “Best thing of all was we had no injuries.” The team’s 14 healthy players came through the game strong and the team looks forward to the return of a couple injured players over the next few weeks.

Junior linebacker Scott Coffelt reaches to recover a fumble forced by the Cub defense.

[Junior linebacker Scott Coffelt reaches to recover a fumble forced by the Cub defense. Photo by Janice Coffelt]

Junior Aaron Etherton returned to the lineup Friday night with a dominant defensive performance, getting in on 15 tackles and a sack. Olsen had high praise for junior lineman Colten Gurreri, who plays much bigger than his size, “blocking a guy who outweighed him by 120 pounds,” according to Olsen.

Senior linebacker Ipo Savoie, unable to play at all last year due to injury, has been excelling on defense. For the second consecutive game he had more than 10 tackles, and he forced a fumble against Arcata.

This Friday night the Cubs will travel to Kelseyville, a school with an enrollment of 540 for the last non-league match-up of the season. “They’re not as big as they used to be, ” said Olsen, referring to the size of the Knights’ players, “but they pulled off a big win over St. Helena Last week.”

After South Fork’s strong response to Arcata’s running game, the Cubs will again look to contain what is mostly a ground attack from Kelseyville. Kick-off on Friday night is 7:30 p.m.

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