Kien Mazzotti’s got some good friends looking out for him.
Namely his offensive line, which was outstanding once again against the McKinleyville Panthers at the Redwood Bowl on Friday night.
The Tigers linemen paved the way for an outstanding night by Mazzotti himself, with the senior rushing for six touchdowns in a comprehensive 44-13 win.
“Kien played well, and our defense, as a unit, played good,” Arcata head coach Jamal Jones said. “And I thought our offensive line all night were dominant.
“No one player stood out. I thought it was a solid, solid team win.”
It was also a great response to last week’s disappointing 45-38 loss to Ferndale, and lifts the Tigers to 1-1 in the Little 4 and 3-3 overall.
Rounding out the scoring for Arcata, sophomore running back Alex Gorge found the end zone late for his first varsity touchdown.
For McKinleyville, injuries continued to take their toll, with the loss this week of two starting guards, Thomas Locatelli and Alden Webber.
“I knew we were going to have problems missing both guards,” McKinleyville head coach Keoki Burbank said. “Losing Tom for the year (back injury) is a big loss. He’s the heart and soul of this team.”
Caleb Martinez scored on a 20-yard run to open the scoring for the Panthers late in the game, before teammate Kyler Carr added a short TD run.
Che Jimenez and Freddie Sundberg each also played well in the loss.
Afterwards Burbank praised the play of the Tigers.
“Arcata, you’ve got to give them props,” he said. “They came out and played a better football game than we did.”
It wasn’t all good news for the Tigers, who suffered key injuries to Niko Zambas and Raven Perez, each of whom are out indefinitely.
With the loss, the Panthers dropped to 0-2 in the Little 4 and 1-5 overall.