By Ray Hamill — Another week in prep football produced another four wins for the Big 4 teams, each of which continues to set the tone.
But that’s not the only takeaway from the weekend action …
1 — Loggers display composure, class
The Eureka Loggers (3-0) have now posted three straight wins by at least three touchdowns over some quality opposition.
The three teams they have defeated are a combined 4-1 in other games.
Eureka has been consistent on offense, putting up scores of 41, 41 and 42 points, while outscoring its opponents by a combined 124-33.
This past weekend, the Loggers traveled to Scotts Valley and came away with an impressive 42-0 win.
What was perhaps most impressive was the manner in which the Eureka players responded to the previous week’s problems.
Against Ukiah (2-1), the Loggers committed 20 penalties, with a lack of discipline a distinct concern.
The Loggers play aggressive, but there’s a fine line between competing that way and crossing the line.
Against the Falcons, they played with a controlled aggression, and were called for just “three or four penalties,” according to head coach Jason White.
The Loggers are not without their faults this season, but they are doing an effective job of addressing any problems that come up, and that displays a composure that bodes well for this year’s team.
“I thought we played with class, and we played with discipline,” the head coach said.
The Loggers also addressed another concern in the win, holding onto the ball.
Through their opening two games, six different Eureka players fumbled the ball seven times, losing possession on five occasions.
Against the Falcons, the Loggers didn’t commit any fumbles.
This weekend, Eureka returns to Albee Stadium to host Foothill (1-1) under the Friday night lights.
Foothill is coming off a 41-7 win over Carson (1-1).
2 – Del Norte dominates again
The Del Norte Warriors (3-0) now officially have more wins on the field of play than they had a year ago, and it’s still only Labor Day Weekend.
Anybody who underestimated Del Norte this season — not that too many ever do — has been proved wrong through the opening three weeks of the season.
The Warriors have rolled over three straight opponents, and even considering the relative strength of the opposition (a combined 1-5), it’s been an impressive start.
The Warriors have matured along both lines and possess arguably the best athlete in the area in quarterback/receiver Ethan Price.
After two straight road games, the Warriors return to Crescent City to host Brookings-Harbor (1-0) on Friday night at 7:30 p.m.
3 — Beat-up Tigers prepare for easier stretch
A young Arcata team has had a rough start to the season in more ways than one.
Three defeats to a trio of quality teams that are a combined 8-1 has not been easy, but making things worse has been the loss of five players to injury, including a starting quarterback and three running backs.
Head coach Jamal Jones and his players aren’t making any excuses or feeling sorry for themselves, however, and are taking a “next man up” approach.
A roster of 19 features just eight seniors, with a handful of freshmen and sophomores thrown into big roles this past week against a strong Crusaders lineup anchored by four-year starter and Division-I prospect Connor Chase.
Crusaders roll over injury-plagued Tigers – On Friday night, the Crusaders comfortably took care of Arcata at the Redwood Bowl by a score of 47-14, their third straight rout to start the season.
The losses may be tough, but the matchups against the Big 4 opposition will serve as a great learning experience for the Tigers going forward.
The good news for Arcata is that the schedule gets substantially easier from here on, with games against similar-sized opposition, including a pair of matchups against each of their Little 4 opponents.
4 — Big wins for Hoopa Valley, McKinleyville
The Warriors (1-1) hosted Etna (1-1) and won 24-7, with Kimit Peters again setting the tone running the ball, and Carlos Aguilar coming up with a pair of big TD catches.
The Panthers (1-2), meanwhile, traveled south to San Rafael (0-2) and came away with a 24-6 win, with the team defense again leading the way.
For each team, it was an important win not just in terms of getting that first victory, but just as much so from a momentum and confidence standpoint.
Especially with so many games against Little 4 opponents upcoming.
This weekend, McKinleyville travels to Santa Rosa to play Elsie Allen (0-1) on Thursday, while Hoopa will have its hands full with a trip to St. Bernard’s on Saturday.
5 — October should be a fun month
The Big 4 teams are now a combined 11-1 on the season, and have been outscoring opponents for fun.
Even taking into account the relative quality of the opposition, it has been an impressive start to the campaign for the league.
Huskies pull away from James Logan – Senior Joey Pontes had 94 yards total offense and scored three touchdowns, as the Fortuna Huskies won their second straight game, defeating James Logan 38-20 at Husky Field on Saturday night.
When Big 4 action gets under way in October, it should be a fun battle, even if the Loggers must be considered the frontrunners as they look to become the first repeat champion in the league since 2010.
The Little 4 appears set to be just as competitive, with four equally matched rosters and anyone’s guess right now who might win.