By Bill Choy
Triplicate Sports Editor
After a convincing 48-12 win against Brookings-Harbor to open the 2007 campaign, the Del Norte High varsity football team comes home tonight to play Hidden Valley., Ore.
Head coach Lewis Nova said the team needs to remain focused and execute if they want to beat a good Hidden Valley squad.
The Mustangs opened the season with a 28-0 win against Tillamook, Ore. Last week, they loss against Hermiston, Ore., 33-17.
"We know Hidden Valley's a good, well prepared team," Nova said, adding they have solid team speed on both sides of the ball and are good hitters on defense. "We have got to execute."
Nova said Del Norte needs to "control the line of scrimmage."
Last week, senior running back Trevor Rook had a huge game, rushing for more than 180 yards and two scores. And, fellow running back Matt Wakefield is expected to play this week after sitting out last week to recover from a concussion.
On defense, the Warriors need to contend with a Hidden Valley team that "likes to put the ball into the air," Nova said, adding the Mustangs have good receivers.
Del Norte has to continue to play with intensity and bring pressure on defense to rattle the Mustangs and keep them out of their rhythm, like they did last week against Brookings.
This week, several players have been battling the flu. Nova said he expects them to play, but the coaching staff will be carefully observing them during the game, making sure they are properly hydrated.
Brock Coulson, who suffered a shoulder injury a few weeks ago, will be out for another week, but Nova expects him back next week.
Nova said he has been pleased in practice and in the game last week at the way the younger players have been stepping-up and contributing to the squad.
For instance, junior Joseph Alexandre was on the junior varsity squad last year.
On the varsity team, he has played both running back and linebacker quite well, Nova said. Against the Bruins, he scored on a 1-yard run and played well on defense.
"He filled the holes quickly and didn't allow them to have a second effort," Nova said. "He's hard-nosed and a go-getter."
The varsity game begins at 7:30 p.m. at Mike Whalen Field. At 5 p.m., the JV squad will play. Last week, they opened up the season with a 35-18 win.