In a league-play tiebreaker against the Fortuna Huskies, the Del Norte Warriors lost 14-7 in a low-scoring football game where the home team missed several opportunities to take the lead.
Friday’s close game marked the Warriors’ tenth consecutive loss to Fortuna. Del Norte is now 1-4 overall, 1-2 in league play. Fortuna is now 4-1 overall, 2-1 in league play.
The Warriors came out strong with a first down quarterback sneak by Dylan Pease, but the Warriors were soon forced to punt, exemplifying a low-scoring first quarter with both teams punting the ball back and forth midfield.
Late in the first quarter, Warriors junior Matthew Coopman recovered a fumble near their own goal line, but after Pease attempted to throw the ball in the Warriors’ end zone under pressure, Fortuna was awarded a safety for intentional grounding.
The Huskies would hold the lead for the remainder of the game.
Two long runs by Fortuna running back Brett Renner gave the Huskies the field position for several opportunities to score in the red zone, finally scoring a touchdown with 8:23 left in the second quarter. A bad snap forced the Huskies to go for the 2-point conversion, but they dropped the pass.
The Warriors responded quickly on the next drive with senior Jackson Evans ending the drive with an explosive run up the middle for a touchdown. After completing the extra point, Del Norte was back in the game, only down one point.
The score remained at 8-7 with Fortuna in the lead for most of the second half as each team brought a strong defensive game to the field. Several fourth down attempts were made, causing the officials to drag out the chains a number of times.
The Del Norte defense made several significant stops late in the game, including a blocked pass by Warrior junior Chad Bell.
With six minutes left to go in the game, the Warriors made a big stop in Fortuna’s backfield, forcing a punt that Del Norte returned for great field position on Fortuna’s 34-yard line.
Del Norte’s fate seemed to be sealed when Huskies quarterback Zach Hugh scored a touchdown on a 76-yard run in the fourth quarter, bringing Fortuna’s lead to 14-7 after a failed two-point conversion attempt.
The Warriors looked ready to recover with two consecutive first down passes to Bell and junior Steve Maready. After a blocked pass and an incomplete throw, Bell made another completion in midfield for another Del Norte first down in Husky territory.
But penalties and dropped passes prevented the Warriors from putting more points on the board, allowing Fortuna to claim 10 straight wins against the Warriors.
“The kids poured their hearts on to the field and they just came up short,” said head coach Ray Rook
The plan going forward is to keep working hard come practice on Monday and “stay the course,” he said.
Del Norte JV
The Warriors JV team won their game against the Huskies 26-25 with a scoring frenzy of four touchdowns in the last 72 seconds of the game. A 76-yard run by the Warriors sent Fortuna home with the loss.
Reach Adam Spencer at firstname.lastname@example.org.