HDN Big Five standings

Big 5 PF PA Overall

Fortuna 1-0 36 14 4-1

Del Norte 1-0 2 0 2-3

Eureka 0-0 0 0 4-0

Arcata 0-0 0 0 3-0

McKinleyville 0-2 14 38 0-4

Week 5 results

Del Norte 2, McKinleyville 0

Fortuna 34, Mountain Horse 19

Arcata 26, Ferndale 8

Week 6 games

Fortuna at Del Norte

Arcata at McKinleyville

Enterprise at Eureka

Even though Del Norte football didn’t take the field last Friday, the team officially picked up a 2-0 victory over McKinleville last week when the Panthers were forced to forfeit the game due to multiple injuries to an already small roster. Instead, the Warriors will see their first Humboldt-Del Norte Big 5 action of the season this week as Fortuna comes to Crescent City for the Warriors’ homecoming game.

Although last week’s game officially went into the books as a win, Del Norte head coach Lewis Nova thought the forfeit was an unfortunate turn of events for his squad.

“That game meant a lot,” Nova said. “For one thing you just get to play, but we also wanted to get one in the win column and get some momentum going.”

The Warriors were hoping to be able to snap a three-game non-league losing streak, which included games against Oregon class 4A’s third ranked team, Mazama, and North Coast Section Division IV No. 1 team, St. Bernard’s.

The Warriors aren’t expecting things to get much easier this week as NCS Division IV sixth-ranked Fortuna comes to town.

“Coach (Mike) Benbow always has them well-coached,” Nova said. “They are a disciplined team and they are 4-1 so far, so they have a good record. It is a big game for us. Both of us are coming into the game at 1-0 in the league.”

The Huskies kicked off the season with a 41-18 loss to perennial powerhouse Cardinal Newman but have won each of their past four games by at least two scores.

“Fortuna is going to come after us,” Nova said. “They are big up front, they try to put that running game together and control the line of scrimmage and they have been doing that so far all season. So we will really have to play well.”

While the Warriors have struggled to beat some of the top competition on its non-league schedule, Nova said the team has made significant progress each week.

“We have gotten better. They haven’t given up and they have battled to the end,” he said. “You can see the growth, but you also see the inexperience — you can’t give up 20-plus points in five minutes or a big play that changes the momentum. We have dealt with those things as well, but our kids have battled. The fans know the caliber of team that we have played. We are playing the people we need to play to get better. I think it has been good for us to grow.”

Nova said the key for Del Norte’s young squad will be getting a handle on some of the mistakes that have cost the team over the first month of the season.

“We have to play like we did against St. Bernard’s except without any penalties, mistakes and turnovers,” Nova said. “Then we will see where we are at in the fourth quarter.”

Del Norte will also be dealing with homecoming, which at once can add some extra passion to the game, while also serving as a distraction.

“Kids are kids. We tell them, ‘Concentrate on Friday night.’ But their minds wander a little bit, so that is in the back of my mind,” Nova said. “We just have to come out and execute.”

The Del Norte junior varsity will get the action started at Mike Whalen Field, kicking off against Fortuna at 5 p.m. The varsity game will follow at about 7:30 p.m.

Reach Michael Zogg at mzogg@triplicate.com.

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