FORTUNA -- Sometimes it works out just like a team planned, especially if it sticks to what has worked in the past.
This was the case Friday evening as the Fortuna High football team defeated Piedmont 48-21 in the North Coast Section Division IV quarterfinals.
With the win, No. 2 seed Fortuna improved to 9-2 overall and will host a semifinal next weekend against the winner of Saturday's matchup between No. 3 seed Healdsburg (6-4) and No. 11 seed Del Norte (5-6). The loss ended the season for No. 10 seed Piedmont (6-6).
"We came out and took care of business, it was almost how we scripted it," said Fortuna coach Mike Benbow, whose team got two rushing touchdowns from Brett Renner and another from Major Plain as it built a 21-0 lead early in the second quarter.
Renner finished with 125 rushing yards on 18 carries, and also intercepted a pass in the fourth quarter. Plain carried the rock only six times but picked up 86 yards, as the Huskies ran 47 times for 350 yards.
The Huskies got another first-half TD when Dominic Eastburn caught QB Jacob Hough's pass and crashed into the right pylon just three minutes before intermission.
But the Highlanders trailed just 28-13 at halftime, as they generated a pair of second-quarter touchdowns on passes from Spencer Kim to Atu Ohuafi and Gabriel Watson.
The Huskies went back to their basics -- time-consuming, run-first football -- to start the third quarter, and it paid off. The home team ate 6:43 off the clock on a 68-yard drive capped off by Hough's 3-yard TD run, that recaptured the momentum and gave them a 22-point lead.
"It's what we're about," said Benbow. "We went back to our roots, to our Ka-chunk offense. We gave up some big plays -- and we knew they (Highlanders) would make some, but we played a good game, and I'm proud of these guys."
In the fourth quarter, Plain scored for the second time on a 13-yard pass down the left side that put the Huskies ahead 42-13.
The teams exchanged TDs for their final points, with Chad Finkel catching a 19-yard pass from Kim, and Hough running six yards into the west end zone.
Kim completed 10 of 17 passes for 217 yards, with Ohuafi grabbing five balls for 103 yards.
"We were picked to finish last, and we had a new coaching staff, but we far exceeded expectations," said Piedmont's first-year head coach Scott Coats. "I'm proud of how hard we played this year, and tonight we came across a great team like Fortuna, who played a clean game."