Isaiah Floyd has been a force throughout the football season for the Foothill Falcons, scoring touchdowns in bunches as the Falcons finished the regular season 10-0 and brought home the East Bay Athletic League title.
Saturday, in the North Coast Section Div. I quarterfinals, Freedom found out first-hand what Floyd can do, as the senior scored five touchdowns to lead the Falcons to a 45-14 win.
Amador Valley had also advanced to the NCS quarters, but dropped a 58-21 game to Antioch on Friday night. Now Foothill, the third seed, travels to second seeded Antioch for a Saturday night showdown and a spot in the NCS finals.
In the Foothill win, the Falcons scored early and often, running out to a 28-7 lead at the half before cruising home with the win. As it has been throughout the year, the offense got it done behind skill players Floyd, quarterback Ben Wooldridge, Matt Gates, Ruben Mercado, Cash Connolly and Josh Merryman. The offensive line, led by three-year starter Dustin Dukleth, was once again opening holes.
On defense it was also business as usual, as the Falcons were all over Freedom from the start. Blake Braden led the charge as he was seemingly in the offensive backfield throughout the game. Dallas Martin and Dario Dondero were also forces
throughout the game.
Amador ran into the Antioch buzz saw as the Dons season came to a close. The Panthers ran their record to 11-0 behind their dynamic offense led by running back Najee Harris who finished with 118 yards rushing on just 13 carries.
The junior, who will be headed to Alabama following his senior campaign, helped Antioch out to a 36-0 halftime advantage.
Patrick Loughnane, Ronnie Jones and Adam Ashley all had second half scores for the Dons who finished the year 8-4.
In the semifinals it appears to be an interesting match-up. Both have big play backs in Harris and Floyd, but the similarities end there.
Amador coach Rick Sira has seen both teams in the last three weeks.
"Both are very different teams," said Sira. "Antioch is big and physical, but Foothill does such a great job of causing you to make mistakes and because of that, they all of sudden take charge of the game. If they can put pressure on the Antioch offense, (Foothill) will win the game."
The Foothill girls' rode a hot streak started in the second half of the season, advancing all the way to the NCS Div. I championship game before losing to top-seeded Monte Vista on Saturday.
The Falcons rode a 17-match win steak heading into the finals that included a thrilling, five-set win James Logan in the semifinals last Wednesday.
In the finals Kelli Hughes had 38 assists and 15 service points to lead the way. Taylor Campbell 25 digs and six service points and Olivia Larsen had five kills and three blocks.
In the semifinals, Andreea Paduraru had 19 kills and 13 digs to pace the effort. Kate Goto had 20 kills and Hughes added 58 assists and 10 service points. Campbell chipped in 28 digs and seven service points.
The season may have ended for most of the Amador Valley cross country teams, but Melodie Leroudier turned in arguably her gutsiest race on a big stage, as she finished seventh in the NCS meet on Saturday and earned the final qualifying spot for the California State Meet.
Leroudier struggled early in the race, not feeling well, but battled throughout, finding herself just out of seventh with a half-mile to go. Pushing through the pain she was able to pass the runner in front of her and grab the final spot.
The State Meet will take place Saturday at Woodard Park in Fresno.