Del Norte gets first Big 5 win at McKinleyville
The Warriors came out to play, dominating their first Big 5 League outing against the McKinleyville Panthers.
Quarterback Dylan Pease threw for three touchdowns in a 28-6 declawing of the Panthers — the Warriors 12th consecutive win against the four-paws.
Coach Ray Rook’s decision to switch Pease to signal caller following two losses with Aaron Fitch behind center has been paying off. Pease found a reliable target in Fitch, who was moved to receiver last week. Fitch accounted for 107 receiving yards on seven receptions and two touchdowns.
Pease completed 19 of 25 passes for 235 yards; Nathan Porter was targeted 5 times for 67 yards and a touchdown.
Warriors rushing gained 110 yards on 32 touches with Evan Jackson racking up 56 yards and Jordan Carpenter gaining 36 yards and a touchdown.
The Panthers rushed for 132 yards on 24 carries, and quarterback Laine Grace threw six completions of 11 passes for 42 yards. Grace also had two fumbles, both recovered by Del Norte.
The Warriors had 12 penalties in the game with its first coming from a motion penalty on their first drive negating a 53-yard run by Evans and moving them back to their own 15 yard-line.
Another flag would fly and Pease would recover his own fumble from a mishandled snap before the Warriors found paydirt on a 13-play, 85-yard drive that ended with Carpenter scoring. Pease connected a crucial pass to Fitch coming across the middle on a 4th and 12 on the Panthers 37 yard line that eventually led to Carpenter’s 1-yard scamper into the endzone.
The Panthers answered back the following drive on the back of rusher McLean Johnson who scored from four yards away around the 10th minute of the 2nd quarter.
Pease found Fitch in the corner of the endzone from 13-yards out with 30 second left in the 1st half for Del Norte’s second score.
McKinleyville stuffed the Warriors on a midfield 4th and inches on the starting drive of the second half. Warriors answered back by forcing the Panther’s three and out with a key tackle by Chad Bell knocking Grace out of bounds before reaching a first down.
A punt ending at the Warriors 18 yard line, would start them on another scoring drive.
The offense worked its way to the Panthers 25-yard line before being called for holding on a play that would have otherwise been a QB draw good for a first down. They kept the drive alive a couple plays later by gaining a first down on the Panthers 15 yard line.
Evans would scamper around the left side to the three, but got called back again by a holding penalty around 6 minutes in the 3rd quarter.
It ended up forcing a 4th and 7 for the Warriors on the 13 yard line, where again Pease found Fitch for a touchdown.
Pease’s third touchdown went to Porter on a 4th and five from the 22-yard line with 8 minutes left.
The Warriors JV also won handedly 29-6.