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St. Mary's Panthers Vie for Regional Crown Saturday

The Saint Mary's College High School Panthers have battled their way to the finals for the championship of their division in the North Coast Section, one of the state's 10 regions. They play the Fortuna High School Huskies Saturday for the crown.

Liam Godfrey, a receiver for Saint Mary's College High School Panthers, in a playoff game in the 2013 North Coast Section playoffs. Photo from the team's Facebook page, http://on.fb.me/1bLDV08
Liam Godfrey, a receiver for Saint Mary's College High School Panthers, in a playoff game in the 2013 North Coast Section playoffs. Photo from the team's Facebook page, http://on.fb.me/1bLDV08
It started three weeks ago with 13 of this year's winning high school football teams, each hoping to emerge as the regional champion.

And now there are only two left – Saint Mary's College High (9-4) and Fortuna High (10-2) from Humboldt County – vying for the Division IV crown of the North Coast Section (NCS), one of 10 high school athletic regions in California. (There are five Divisions in the North Coast Section, divided according to school size.)

Saint Mary's – whose campus sits on the Albany-Berkeley border – got off to an uncertain start this season, losing their opener to Miramonte High 13-36, then winning the next four games before posting a mixed record for the remainder of the season – until they hit the NCS playoffs.

The Panthers trounced Ft. Bragg 48-13 in the first round, rolled over St. Helena 24-7 in the quarterfinals and defeated tough opponents from San Marin 35-29 last weekend in the semi-finals.

They will travel to Fortuna to take on the Huskies in the finals at Humboldt State University at 1 p.m. Saturday.

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