The Del Norte Warriors lived up to preseason expectations and then some on Friday night, as they cruised to a 71-13 victory over Kelseyville at Mike Whalen Field.
The dominant Warriors scored four touchdowns in each of the first two quarters to open up a commanding 56-0 lead at halftime and would add two more second-half TDs to complete the demolishing.
“I thought we executed really well,” Del Norte head coach Nick White said. “Our game plan definitely came into effect tonight.”
The reigning Big 4 Offensive MVP looks even more dangerous this year and scored on runs of nine, 44, four and 10 yards.
The fourth-year varsity player had a milestone night and surpassed 2,000 career rushing yards.
“It starts with his offseason,” White said. “He works out in the weight room very hard. He’s put a lot of time into it and this is a product of all his hard work.”
Caden Harrison and Giancarlo Desolenni each scored a pair of TDs.
Desolenni scored twice in the opening quarter to help set the tone, the first on a 47-yard run and the second on an outstanding 56-yard reception from quarterback Cooper Maxwell.
The senior QB also looks better than ever this fall and should give the Warriors offense an added dimension after completing 7-of-11 passes for 130 yards, all in the first half.
“Cooper is definitely coming into his own this year,” White said. “He has a lot of confidence right now.”
Harrison scored on runs of 13 and 53 yards, while Brody Mattz also scored on a 14-yard reception and Aden Mintonye added a second-half TD run.
Harrison finished with 96 yards rushing on six carries, while Mintonye had 83 yards on nine carries.
For the night, Del Norte rushed for 416 yards behind an outstanding offensive line.
“I think everybody on the O-line did an amazing job,” the head coach said. “Everything starts up front.”
Desolenni and Ethan Thomas each had two receptions.
The Warriors defense also was outstanding, holding the visitors without a first down in the opening half.
Special teams too had an impact, with kicker Daniel Gonzalez nailing all nine of his PATs.
The Del Norte JVs also won, 14-9, holding on for the victory with three late fumble recoveries deep in their own territory.