Looking for yards

RJ Loftin runs the ball during Del Norte’s 40-0 victory over Fortuna.

The Del Norte Warriors scored on their opening six possessions of Saturday’s football game at Fortuna as they steamrolled their way to an easy 40-0 victory.

The win was the seventh straight for the red-hot Warriors, who improved to 7-1 on the season and 5-0 in the Big 4 and are now undisputed conference champions.

And once again, the victory was achieved with a dominating display along both lines, with the offensive unit opening up big holes for running backs Caleb Dodson and RJ Loftin, each of whom took full advantage.

Dodson ran in for three touchdowns for the second straight week and finished the game with 237 yards rushing on 18 carries, while Loftin ran for 136 yards on 11 carries and scored two touchdowns.

For the game, Del Norte racked up 478 total offensive yards.

“We’re definitely gelling at the right time of the year,” head coach Nick White said afterwards. “Right now, it’s a cohesive unit. The O-line, the running backs, everybody’s on the same page and that’s why we’re having a lot of success.”

The Warriors were arguably even more impressive on the defensive side of the ball as they continued to completely shut down their opponents’ rushing attack.

Led by another strong performance by Sam Schauerman, the Del Norte defense held the Huskies to just 45 net yards on offense, including minus-three yards in the second half.

“I thought we played hard and we executed,” White said. “And we did the things we needed to do to win.”

The one time the Huskies did threaten was late in the first quarter after the Warriors fumbled a punt reception and gave the home team possession deep in Del Norte territory.

The Warriors defense was up to the challenge, however, and came up with a big goal-line stop, taking over possession again at their own one-yard line just a few plays later.

Schauerman finished with three-and-a-half sacks as he continues his impressive season, while teammate Tanner Skerik capped a huge night for the defense with a late interception.

“Every kid stepped into their role,” White said. “From the first guy on the field to the last guy on the bench, everybody played their role, and we all played hard for each other.”

Caden Harrison ran in for his team’s sixth rushing touchdown of the night to round out an outstanding night for the team’s running game.

The Warriors are now the top-ranked Division-5 team in the North Coast Section, according to MaxPreps.com, and are on track to earn the No. 1 seed and home-field advantage for the playoff tournament, which kicks off on the weekend of Nov. 13.

The shutout victory was the second over Fortuna this season and the Warriors have outscored the Huskies 74-0 over those two games.

The Del Norte JVs also won at Fortuna, defeating the Huskies 28-6 to go to 8-0 on the season.

Both Warriors teams will close out the regular season at home to Eureka on Friday night.

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