By Bill Choy
Triplicate Sports Editor
The Del Norte High Warriors varsity football team is determined to improve on their 2-0 mark, as they take on Big 5 Conference rival McKinleyville tonight on the road.
Head coach Lewis Nova said he has been impressed with his team's focus and intensity in practice this week and said it appears his team understands they need to give maximum effort during every game this season.
"They understand the importance of a league game and the stuff they need to do to improve this week," he said.
Last week, the Warriors defeated Hidden Valley, Ore., at home 20-0.
Del Norte shook off a sluggish first half, where they scored only 7 points, to pull away for the victory.
In that game, Del Norte had nearly 100 yards in penalties, Which Nova said he has emphasized to his team that this cannot happen this week.
McKinleyville is currently 0-2 for the season, falling 45-0 to Ferndale and 35-12 to Arcata last Friday.
Nova said the Warriors can not go into the game taking the Panthers lightly. In his years as coach, Nova said there have been times when Del Norte has had the better mark and have been defeated by McKinleyville. They "have been a thorn in our sides," in the past, Nova said.
On the injury front, starting wide receiver Taylor Duncan will not play this week, but is expected back next week. He suffered a mild concussion on a hit that took his helmet off against Hidden Valley.
Brock Coulson, who will start at linebacker and play tight end will be back this week.
He suffered a shoulder injury and has not played yet this season.
Starting tight end Saxon Schultz will be out for a second week with a bruised shoulder.
The game will begin at McKinleyville High School at 7:30 p.m.
The Junior Varsity team, which was who are 1-0-1 for the season will play at 5 p.m. Next week del norte will face Fortuna on the road at 7:30 p..m.