HDN Big Five standings

Big 5 PF PA Overall

Fortuna 2-0 70 33 5-1

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 6 results

Fortuna 34, Del Norte 19

North Bend 43, Arcata 14

Eureka 35, Enterprise 28

The Del Norte football team will be back on the road this week with a trip to Arcata on Friday, and the Warriors are looking to get back on a winning track.

The Warriors are 2-4 overall this season, but Del Norte has lost the last four times it has taken the field. Only a forfeit by McKinleyville has broken up the losing streak that started in week two.

“We have to come out and put together a whole game,” said Del Norte head coach Lewis Nova. “We have come out in the last few games and we have had a setback — be it a five minute spell or letting down coming out of halftime. We have to play a full game and take it to them.”

Nova said the Tigers offense looks similar to Fortuna’s this season in that Arcata has been comfortable both running and throwing the football.

“They look like they are an athletic team,” Nova said. “They are going to line up and try to be physical at the line and they are in a six-man front at times. They have some pretty elusive running backs and their quarterback throws the ball pretty well, so they are a pretty balanced team.”

The Arcata football program has struggled in recent years. The Tigers won the Humboldt-Del Norte Big 5 in 2012, but went a combined 1-28 from 2013 to 2015, including a 0-20 mark in Big 5 games.

Jamal Jones took over the Tigers’ program last season, leading Arcata to a 5-6 record and an appearance in the North Coast Section playoffs, and he has the Tigers off to a 3-1 start in 2017.

“It is good to see, especially since we are going through some problems with McKinleyville this season,” Nova said about Arcata’s resurgence. “It is good to see them having some success. We wish them all the luck except for in this game.”

Del Norte comes into the game with a 2-4 overall record. The Warriors have struggled over its last four games, which included games against three highly ranked opponents. With a loss last week against Fortuna, the Warriors will need a win this week in order to stay in the hunt for its second straight Big 5 championship.

“It is a big game for us,” Nova said. “We are sitting here at 1-1 and we still have league hopes for this season and playoff hopes. So this is a huge game for both of those goals.”

Nova said he has seen significant progress from his players, which include as many as 10 sophomores playing significant minutes on any give Friday. The Warriors have struggled to maintain focus for the entire 48 minutes of play, however, and it has cost them.

“It is a learning process, but it will come with the more reps that they get and game time brings them along the fastest,” Nova said. “We are very happy with the progress that we are seeing, and we are looking to be better this week.”

Friday night’s game against Arcata, set to kick off at about 7:30 p.m., is the last game on Del Norte’s schedule until Oct. 27. The Warriors’ game against McKinleyville has been cancelled after the Panthers elected to forfeit the rest of their games due to injuries. Del Norte was scheduled to play the Panthers on Oct. 13, with its bye week scheduled for Oct. 20.

Without either game against McKinleyville, the Warriors only have eight games on its schedule this season. Del Norte has been searching for an opponent to play in either of the next two weeks, but finding a replacement game midseason has proven to be a difficult task.

“We are still looking for a replacement game. You don’t want to have only two games in five weeks,” Nova said. “I am still on the horn and (Robert) Hadfield is still on the horn looking for another game or two.”

Reach Michael Zogg at mzogg@triplicate.com.

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