Del Norte High School’s football team must emotionally do an about-face this week.
A week after going on the road to take on a highly regarded opponent, Del Norte High’s varsity football team will be at home Friday against a team trying to rebuild from the ground floor.
The Warriors will host Yreka High School, with the varsity game time on tap for 7:30 p.m. at Mike Whalen Field.
Del Norte is coming off the impressive 20-19 win at Moreau Catholic High School of the Bay Area, the North Coast Section Division 4 runner-up in 2018.
Yreka, on the other hand, won just a single game last season, and that victory was against Trinity Valley, which went winless. Del Norte won the battle with the Miners 44-0 last year in Siskiyou County.
Both teams now feature first-year head coaches. Nick White was a six-year assistant with the Warriors before moving up to the head coaching spot this season.
In Yreka, Brian Wagy takes over a program with which he’s familiar. He served as defensive coordinator for the Miners for 10 seasons until 2015, when successful former head coach Orlyn Culp stepped down.
Since then, Yreka has struggled, going 9-20 over the past three seasons, including 1-7 in 2018.
It makes sense that the defensive-focused Wagy would be brought in. Last season, the Miners gave up almost 40 points a game. Offensively, Yreka wasn’t much better, scoring on average 8 points a contest.
Del Norte’s new-look, run-heavy offense proved effective last week, with two running backs both gaining more than 120 yards. They were especially stout in the fourth quarter, grounding out one long drive to take the lead, and another that ran out the final six minutes of the game.
Levi Cox-Cooley and Kobe Mitchell combined to rush 16 times for 107 yards in the final 12 minutes.
The Warriors’ passing game was limited, although reasonably effective. Senior quarterback O.J. Calleja completed four of six passes for 44 yards. Most importantly, the Warriors’ offense did not commit a turnover.
The Warrior Pregame Show can be heard on KPOD 97.9 FM, starting at 7 p.m.
Post-game coverage of the game will be featured online at www.triplicate.com.