Del Norte

Puente runs wild as Warriors top the Huskies in B4 opener

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Photo by Bryant Anderson/The Del Norte Triplicate – File photo of Sebastian Puente

Not in our house.

That was the message the Del Norte Warriors sent out to the rest of the Big 4 on Friday night, getting a first league win and a measure of revenge in the process.

Just three weeks after getting blown out in a non-league game at Fortuna, the Warriors responded with a 49-42 victory over the same Huskies, this time in Crescent City.

“The coaching staff and the players rose to the occasion,” Del Norte head coach Lewis Nova said afterwards. “I’m so proud of them.”

It was another high-scoring shootout between these two teams, who have scored 185 points between them in two games, and a back-and-forth encounter.

Fortuna quarterback Zac Claus passed for three touchdowns and ran for three more, including three scores in the fourth quarter alone.

Claus ran in from five yards out twice in the final period, to twice pull his team within a touchdown of the home side, and added an 18-yard TD throw to Bryce Sancho with just over two minutes remaining.

But every time the Huskies struck, it seemed the Warriors answered right back, usually on a big run from Sebastian Peunte.

The senior back is enjoying a spectacular season, and scored four touchdowns against the Huskies, including runs of 79, 55 and 52 yards.

Senior Ethan Price also had a big night with a pair of TD receptions, one from quarterback OJ Calleja and one from running back Giovanni Gonzalez.

“With (Puente) and Price, when teams look at us, they are the two they look at, our two-headed monster,” Nova said. “And (Puente) answered the bell, and Ethan did his part, coming up with some big plays as well.”

Claus also threw TD passes to Daeden Taylor and Adam Medeiros, while Gonzalez capped a strong all-around day for the Warriors with a second-quarter fumble recovery he returned for a TD.

“I’m just so proud all the way around,” Nova said. 

As for the difference between this game and the last meeting between the two?

“We battled them up top,” Nova said. “We didn’t get knocked back. We didn’t get caught flat-footed, and as the game progressed our guys knew they could play with them, and they started believing.”

Claus passed for 324 yards.

Fortuna (5-3) hosts St. Bernard’s next weekend, while Del Norte (7-1) travels to play Eureka.

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