The Eureka football team stormed into Mike Whalen Field and spoiled Del Norte's homecoming on Friday. The Loggers dominated play and exited Del Norte with a 35-7 victory.
"We need to put this one behind us and keep working," said Del Norte head coach Ray Rook. "The kids played hard. We just came up short."
The Warriors started the game out strong. On the first offensive play of the game, Del Norte quarterback Stevie Maready found sophomore Austin Healy over the middle for a 27-yard pass to put Del Norte in Eureka territory. It was Healy's first play on the varsity roster.
The Warriors continued to drive down to the Loggers' 25-yard line before penalties stalled the drive and Del Norte turned the ball over on downs at the Eureka 25.
Eureka used its first possession to grab an early lead. The Loggers took over the ball on their own 25-yard line and quickly moved the ball to midfield with a series of rushes. On third-and-1 from the Warriors 44-yard line, Eureka quarterback Alexis Robinson broke loose through the middle of the Del Norte defense to put Eureka up 7-0.
Del Norte tied the game back up in the second quarter. After forcing Eureka to punt from its own 20-yard line, the Warriors took over the ball at the Eureka 37. From there, it took Del Norte seven plays, all runs, to score. Junior Chad Bell capped the drive with an 11-yard touchdown run through the right side of the line.
The Warriors wouldn't remain tied for long, however. Eureka got a big return to the Warriors 48-yard line on the ensuing kickoff. Three plays later, the Loggers were back in the end zone with a 1-yard run and just 34 seconds off of the clock. The Loggers added another touchdown before halftime to take a 21-7 lead into the locker room.
In the second half, the Warriors came out strong defensively. On Eureka's second play of the half, Zach Taylor and Bell met Eureka's quarterback five yards in the backfield, and on the very next play Napooi Shorty read the Loggers' screen play perfectly and almost intercepted the pass before breaking it up.
Two possessions later, Del Norte had Eureka in a fourth-and-6 position, but Robinson again made a big play for the Loggers, finding room on the right sideline for a 31-yard touchdown run. The run put Eureka ahead 28-7 and Del Norte wasn't able to threaten the Loggers again.
Eureka scored another touchdown on its next possession to go ahead 35-7, which ended up as the final score after a scoreless fourth quarter.
The Del Norte offense was ineffective in the second half. The Warriors went three-and-out on its first five possessions, spanning the entire third quarter and most of the fourth.
Del Norte finally picked up its first first down of the second half with the second team on the field and just 38 seconds left in the fourth quarter.
"We made a few mistakes (offensively), and we weren't able to take advantage of the things they gave us," Rook said.
Reach Michael Zogg at firstname.lastname@example.org.