A memorable season ended earlier than hoped for on Friday night, as the Del Norte Warriors fell 36-0 at San Marin in the North Coast Section Division-5 football championship game.
Playing their toughest opponent of the season, the Warriors made too many mistakes to beat a team as good as the Mustangs and were unable to defend the section title they won in 2019.
“We played our worst game of the year against the best team we’ve played all year,” head coach Nick White said.
A Warriors team that has been averaging around 400 yards rushing a game in recent weeks was held to just 106 yards on 28 carries, while too many penalties and four lost fumbles also cost them any chance at a victory.
“We could just never get rolling,” White said. “There was always something and always something self-inflicted.”
San Marin running back Justin Guin was everything advertised and ran in for three touchdowns, including a 66-yard scoring run to open the scoring midway through the first quarter.
The No. 1 seed Mustangs added a field goal and two more touchdowns before halftime to lead 22-0 at the interval.
Any hopes of a second-half comeback were all but ended when the Warriors fumbled away possession on the second play of the third quarter, and the home team would make them pay with Guin’s second TD of the night minutes later.
The high-flying Mustangs racked up only 280 yards total offense, but the Warriors’ mistakes on offense were too much to overcome and the top seeds were able to capitalize on the turnovers and good field position.
Caleb Dodson led the Warriors on the ground, rushing fo 63 yards on 13 carries, while RJ Lotion added 34 yards on eight carries.
The loss ends a 10-game winning streak for Del Norte, which closes out the season 10-2.
Despite the disappointing conclusion, however, it was another very successful season for the Warriors, who dominated the rest of the H-DNL and cruised to a 6-0 conference record on the way to winning the Big 4.
“Any time you play in a North Coast Section championship game, it’s a good year, win or lose,” White said. “I’m super proud of our kids.
“We had a great year, it just came down to it wasn’t our night. But winning the Big 4 championship is a great accomplishment any year.”