By Ray Hamill — Too many mistakes cost the Hoopa Valley Warriors in San Francisco over the weekend, as they fell 52-6 at Galileo High.
Opening the season on the road against the defending 6-A state champions was never going to be easy, but the Warriors made it tougher on themselves with turnovers.
“We are much better than that game reflected,” head coach William Simms said. “We turned the ball over five times in the red zone. Instead of losing by 6-52, it could easily have been 36-52.”
The Warriors will look to clean up their mistakes at practice this week in preparation for Etna’s trip to Hoopa on Friday night.
Offensive line, RB steps up
And they’ll look to build on what was a solid offensive showing with senior running back Kimit Peters running the ball well behind some strong line play, particularly from juniors David Ruiz at center and Milton Mabry at right guard.
“We moved the ball effectively,” Simms said. “I was extremely happy with the performance of our offensive line and running back Kimit Peters … we just couldn’t finish the drive.”
Peters had 63 yards on seven carries in the first half alone.
Twice, however, the Warriors got to the home team’s 11-yard-line, and twice they failed to breach the end zone, turning the ball over with an interception and on downs.
Defensively, the Warriors also had problems tackling a quick Lions running game, which amassed 358 yards on 24 carries.
“We were in the right spot at the right time. It was just poor tackling. Their running backs were really good,” Simms said. “They were well coached. Every time we made a mistake, they took advantage.”
For the Warriors season preview, check out Big test for Hoopa football in season opener
Warriors forced to practice in McKinleyville
The Warriors will be working hard on tackling drills and pursuit drills at practice this week, as well as ball security, although they’ll have to travel to do so.
With the heavy smoke in the Hoopa Valley due to wildfires, the Warriors are unable to practice outside at their own high school and will instead travel to McKinleyville High.
Hoopa’s preparation for the season has been hampered by a lack of outdoor practice because of the fires, and the team was forced to travel to McKinleyville all of last week.
It appears they will have to do so again this week.
“We’re still battling the smoke,” Simms said.
Leonard Smith got the start at quarterback for the opener in what was a close three-player battle for the job along with his brother John Leonard and Tristin Campbell.
According to Simms, it will remain a weekly battle to earn the start.
Friday’s game at Hoopa Valley High is set for 7:30 p.m.