Pease throws for 164 yards, 2 TDs as starting QB
Del Norte is officially in the win column in 2012.
Warriors sophomore linebacker Napooi Shorty intercepted Healdsburg High quarterback Scott Reynolds' pass with 15 seconds remaining to seal a 20-14 victory for Del Norte in Healdsburg on Friday night.
The Warriors (1-2 overall) gained 338 yards in total offense. Junior fullback Jackson Evans broke 100 yards rushing for the first time in his career (116 yards), and Jordan Carpenter totaled 102 yards rushing and receiving for Del Norte.
Dylan Pease ably directed the offense as the Warriors' starting quarterback, completing 7 of 12 passes for 164 yards and two touchdowns.
The first was caught by Del Norte's newest starting wide receiver, Aaron Fitch, a juggling-catch-and-run for 65 yards in the second quarter. It was the Warriors' first first-half touchdown of the 2012 season and it would not be matched by the Greyhounds (1-2 overall) before halftime.
Del Norte senior Matthew Lesh came up with two fumble recoveries in the third quarter, one on Healdsburg's first offensive play of the second half and another on a Greyhounds fumbled punt return. On the second play after the second recovery, Pease connected with Chad Bell for a 32-yard touchdown reception - and again on the 2-point conversion.
Reynolds responded in kind, with a 67-yard touchdown pass to Jared Walker that kept Healdsburg within a score of Del Norte. The Warriors caught a break by recovering their own fumble deep in Healdsburg territory on the ensuing possesion, one of four fumbles in the game for Del Norte. Evans ran the ball in off-tackle from 10 yards out for a 20-7 advantage late in the third quarter.
Yet again, the Greyhounds responded with a strong offensive series, culminating in Reynolds connecting with tight end Tanner Cristando from 22 yards out to end the third quarter. The extra point cut the Warriors' lead to 20-14.
Del Norte had a fourth quarter to forget offensively, with three three-and-outs and a lost Jackson Evans fumble. Healdsburg was similarly struck; before their last possession, wide receiver Daniel Schroeder nearly fumbled away a punt return.
The Greyhounds proceeded to run a one-minute drill in their final drive, accumulating three first downs, the last coming on a Warriors penalty for roughing the passer. Reynolds scrambled for seven yards, to the 25-yard line, and spiked the ball with 21 seconds remaining - enough time for at least four more plays.
Shorty's interception ensured that the last play would be run from the victory formation.
Del Norte remains on the road next weekend, playing a Humboldt-Del Norte Big 5 League game against McKinleyville on Friday, Sept. 14. The Panthers were 1-1 overall entering their Friday-night game against Illinois Valley in Cave Junction.
Del Norte JV 33, Healdsburg JV 14
Steven Maready connected with Jonathan Calderon three times for touchdowns and ran for a fourth as the Del Norte junior varsity team defeated Healdsburg, 33-14.
Reach Robert Husseman at