By Bill Choy
Triplicate Sports Editor
CRESCENT CITY The Del Norte High varsity football team brings its perfect 7-0 mark to Arcata tonight to face the Tigers in Big 5 Conference action.
With only two games left in the regular season, Del Norte understands the importance of winning its remaining games to secure a high seed in the North Coast Section playoffs, head coach Lewis Nova said.
"We can't afford to stumble," he said, adding an upset loss will severely hurt their NCS seeding.
There are two teams with undefeated records in the sectionHealdsburg and Novato, which ousted the Warriors in the third round of the playoffs last year.
Nova has been impressed with his team's focus and discipline in being ready for each game this year.
He said the players set goals for both themselves and as a team at the start of the season, and have not wavered from striving to meet these goals. This includes winning the Big 5 and playing in Oakland for the NCS championship.
The Warriors have been nothing but dominating this year, including downing Arcata 35-7 at home on Oct. 5 and crushing Fortuna 50-6 at home last week. Del Norte has won 19 straight Big 5 games dating back to the 2004-2005 season.
Nova said on defense, his team needs to do what it has been doing all seasonplay stifling defense that pressures the quarterback and make sure there is very little running room for opponents. On offense, as has been the case all yearkeep using the weapons it has to put points on the board. Last week, quarterback Chad Freeman ran for two touchdowns and threw for three scores. The running game has been spectacular all year, including an 506 yard effort against Fortuna on Sept. 28.
Nova said his team understands that their opponents will be gunning for them and a Tiger win would be a major "feather in their cap," for the 3-4 squad.
When on the road, Nova said his team has a routine to get ready.
The routine includes getting on the bus and stopping to eat a dinner prepared by Northwoods. When they arrive at the stadium, they watch the first half of the junior varsity team before going into the locker room and getting dressed for the game.
The contest begins at 7:30 p.m. in Arcata. The junior varsity game begins at 5 p.m.
The last game of the season will be at home next friday against McKinleyville who the Warriors defeated 54-0 in their first meeting on Sept. 21.