By Bill Choy
Triplicate Sports Editor
If the first game is any indication, it's going to be a good year for the Del Norte High varsity football team.
Avenging last year's opening season 14-7 loss at home to Brookings-Harbor, the Warriors walloped the Bruins on their home field 48-12 Friday evening.
"I think we're going to be a good team," said junior wide receiver Cody Hoffman, who had 64 yards receiving and one touchdown. "We're playing well together." He added everyone seemed to be on the same page in the opening game and worked well together on both sides of the ball to earn the dominating win.
Head coach Lewis Nova said the kids were determined to make up for last season's loss and came into the game with a renewed focus and vigor.
"The kids made things happen on the field tonight," he said.
Senior running back Trevor Rook, the offensive MVP of the Big 5 conference last year, plowed his way to an amazing game.
Bouncing off tackles and finding the holes opened up by the offensive line, Rook rumbled for 180 yards and two touchdowns.
Senior quarterback Chad Freeman was composed and efficient, finding his receivers with ease, throwing for 187 yards on 12 of 18 passing and two touchdowns.
Junior wide receiver Taylor Duncan formed a deadly WR combo with Hoffman, hauling in 60 yards in receiving and one touchdown.
At the start of the game, an electric feeling filled the night air, as Warrior and Bruin fans crammed into the Bruin's stadium.
When the Warriors first took the field, a roar could be heard from the stands, demonstrating the large number of the Del Norte faithful who made the short jaunt over the border for the game.
The fans were rewarded right away.
Del Norte got the ball first and seemed to move it down the down the field at will. In a few short plays, they made it down to the three yard line, thanks to a big run by Rook and a great catch by tight end Saxon Schultz. Freeman took it from there, and rumbled his way into the end zone for the touchdown. The extra point by James Sampier made it 7-0 with 10:51 still left on the clock in the first quarter in front of a stunned bunch of Brookings-Harbor fans.
On the first play by the Bruins, they fumbled the ball on the 49 yard line and the Warriors took over, setting the tone for the rest of the evening, although Del Norte could not capitalize on the next possession.
But when they got the ball back, Del Norte went back to work. With the ball on the 43 yard line, Rook broke free with ease, breaking tackles and took it to the house for the touchdown. With 6:28 left in the quarter, the score was 14-0.
On defense, Schultz made a nifty interception on the 45 yard line and was able to race his way down the field for yet another touchdown. Although the extra point was no good, Del Norte had a 20-0 lead by the end of the quarter.
"That was a back-breaker," Nova said.
Del Norte High's evening of erasing last year's loss had begun.
The scoring continued when Hoffman caught a short pass and glided in from the 40 yard line for the score. The extra point made it 27-0.
The Bruins lone score of the half came in the second quarter, when Nick Morris ran for 47 yards and the score to cut the lead to 27-6, with the point after being missed.
Before the end of the half, Del Norte scored two more times to make the score 41-6. The rout was on.
In the second half, Del Norte was able to maintain the lead, allowing only one touchdown by the Bruins and scored once more for good measure on a 1-yard run by Joseph Alexandre, as the game ended with a 48-12 win.
Nova said despite the Warriors being banged up, with a few starters out with injuries, the team came together to make sure the opening game went well.
Nova said next week at home, the Warriors face a good North Valley, Ore., team and his squad needs to continue to play well if they want to win.
In junior varsity action, Del Norte had a good start to the year, downing the Bruins JV squad 35-18.