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.”
I am surprised
This is what it appears imho:
1) top seeds experienced St. Bernards the previous week and got a scare, realized that Del Norte would be tough.
2) Del Norte, as coach said, played worst game of season…iow, “not properly prepared as a team scheme-wise” or “players dropped-the-ball individually”.
4 turnovers suggests failures to execute properly…
So, either the top seed took St. B’s for granted and under-performed themselves, or Del Norte really had worst performance of the season. Hard to say since more games during regular season are not being played between teams of different ncs leagues…
Gotta like DN’s coach, brutally honest but compassionately humbling… the DN football program is as strong as ever.
I believe DN is not a team of speed, big and strong though. That turf at Marin allows SB athletes to compete and use their speed…..as last week SB was 1ft from a 2pt conversion at the 6 min mark in the 4th. SB also turned the ball over too much last week at Marin.
DN almost lost to SB on grass field at SB early this season…it was a nail bite game but not on a slop field (32-27 score) .
DN against SB at DN this year a slop rain storm is DN bread and butter (25-7 score).
DN needs to be more balance offense, if they fall behind and only run the ball well……this is what happens.
IF…DN they played Marin in a slop rainy night at DN this game could go the other way.
Lessons for DN to be more balanced, always great to be bigger stronger, but on turf and you are edged out with speed…..you can pay a price.
Regardless DN has to hold their head high.That team is young and they will be hard for small schools like SB to deal with next year.
Could be, the better team won the contest.