By Ray Hamill — The Del Norte Warriors are firing on all cylinders at a very good time.
On Saturday night they officially clinched the Big 4 championship outright with a 40-0 win at Fortuna, their second shutout victory over the Huskies this season.
More impressively, the win was the Warriors’ seventh straight and lifts them to 5-0 in the Big 4 (7-1 overall).
The statistics showed just how dominant the visitors were.
Del Norte scored touchdowns on their opening six possessions of the game and racked up 478 total offensive yards, while holding the Huskies to just 45 net yards, including minus-three yards in the second half.
The Warriors were particularly effective running the ball — as always — with Caleb Dodson and RJ Loftin spearheading the ground attack behind a dominating offensive line.
“We’re definitely gelling at the right time of the year,” head coach Nick White said afterwards. “Right now, it’s a cohesive unit. The O-line, the running backs, everybody’s on the same page and that’s why we’re having a lot of success.”
Dodson ran in for three touchdowns for the second straight week and finished the game with 237 yards on 18 carries.
Loftin added 136 yards on 11 carries and scored two touchdowns.
Check out one of Caleb Dodson’s TDs at Fortuna above …
Sophomore Caden Harrison scored his team’s sixth TD of the night to round out an outstanding night for the running backs.
“I thought we played hard and we executed,” White said. “And we did the things we needed to do to win.”
And then some.
In fact, it’s difficult to find a flaw with the way the Warriors have played over the past month.
The did fumble a punt return deep in their own territory late in the first quarter, which was recovered by Fortuna’s Quin Hall, but the team defense held firm and took over on downs at their own one-yard line a few plays later.
Sam Schauerman led the way defensively and finished with three-and-a-half sacks.
“Every kid stepped into their role,” White said. “From the first guy on the field to the last guy on the bench, everybody played their role, and we all played hard for each other.”
Tanner Skerik capped a huge night for the defense with a late interception.
The Warriors, who are the top-ranked Division-5 team in the North Coast Section, according to MaxPreps, will close out the regular season at home to Eureka next weekend.
The Del Norte JVs also won on Saturday night, getting the better of Fortuna 28-6.
The Warriors improved to 8-0 on the season.
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