HDN Big Five standings

Big 5 Overall PF PA

Eureka 0-0 2-0 84 36

Arcata 0-0 1-0 60 6

Del Norte 0-0 1-1 28 12

Fortuna 0-0 1-1 52 62

McKinleyville 0-0 0-2 28 75

Week 2 results

Fortuna 34, North Medford 21

Hoopa 40, McKinleyville 28

Eureka 43, Ukiah 36

Yreka 12, Del Norte 6

The Del Norte football team fell to 1-1 last Friday, suffering its first loss of
the season in a close 12-6 battle against Yreka. The Warriors are expecting another physical contest this Friday when the team travels to Klamath Falls to take on Mazama.

“They have good teams. That is the good thing about our schedule every year is we are going to have some good battles,” said Del Norte head coach Lewis Nova. “Mazama lines up almost like Yreka, and they will come at us with a three running back set. They are going to come get you and we are going to have to answer the bell.

“Defensively they are a little bit different than Yreka in that they aren’t going to blitz every play, but their down linemen come after you and then their linebackers fill fast. They probably have a little better overall team speed than Yreka.”

Although Del Norte feels confident in its ability to throw the football and get its athletes out in space on offense, the Warriors also prefer to play power football. With nine sophomores on the roster this fall, Del Norte got its first good look at how the young Warriors would respond to a physical contest.

Although Del Norte lost the game, Nova said he saw some promise in his young players.

“Everything starts in the trenches, and out of our five offensive linemen and three defensive linemen, at times six of them were sophomores,” Nova said. “There are some growing pains, but with that we need to get them in the right positions and they need to be in the right position. I thought they battled right up until the end though.”

“When you are sitting there with an opportunity to win at the end of the game — gosh dang it — you just wish those growing pains would go away a little faster so that we can execute better. We will get there though.”

With wildfire smoke settling into Crescent City on Monday, Nova said the Warriors spent the day inside and took an extra long look at the game against the Miners.

“Film doesn’t lie. You evaluate your film, you evaluate yourself, and you have to be honest with yourself,” Nova said. “It isn’t about pointing your finger, it’s about figuring out what you can get better at. We all need to get better in order for us to get ready for league.”

Nova said he is planning on ratcheting up the intensity in practice over the next couple weeks as the team continues to prepare for the Humboldt-Del Norte Big 5 season.

“We are going to bang a little bit more in practice. In the beginning of the year we were down in numbers a little bit, but we brought up some sophomores,” Nova said. “They aren’t sophomores anymore. We are going to bang, and we are going to play Warrior football and hit people.”

Mazama opened up its 2017 season last week with a 46-20 victory on the road at South Umpqua. Similar to the Warriors, the Vikings are coming off an undefeated league championship in 2016 in which they finished 5-0 in the Skyline League.

Reach Michael Zogg at mzogg@triplicate.com.

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