By Ray Hamill — The local high school football season got under way on Friday, with three H-DNL teams looking very impressive right out of the gate.
Up in Crescent City, the Del Norte Warriors scored eight first-half touchdowns on the way to beating Kelseyville 71-13.
And they weren’t the only Warriors to impress on opening night.
Also in action on Friday night, the Eureka Loggers kicked off the new season in style with a comfortable 30-0 win over the Arcata Tigers at Albee Stadium.
Rounding out a busy night for local teams, the Ferndale Wildcats lost 30-20 at Fall River and the Fortuna Huskies fell 41-19 at University.
Hoopa 41, South Fork 0
A seasoned Warriors team that features 16 seniors, most of whom have been playing together since their youth football days, came into the new season with high expectations and they didn’t disappoint in their opener.
Darvin Davis IV and Jason Marshall each scored a pair of rushing touchdowns, while Andrew Hunsucker scored one.
Sophomore Brandon Romero also scored a TD on a pick-six and the Hoopa defense rounded out a big day with a safety.
“We just dominated on the ground,” Hoopa head coach Floyd “Cowboy” Billings said. “We had positive yards all day.”
The backs ran the ball well and the line opened up big holes for them.
Marshall scored on big runs of 25 and 30 yards, while quarterback Lane Campbell did a good job running the offense and was also outstanding at safety.
Rodney Clark set the tone on defense and finished with 13 solo tackles.
“Hoopa’s a good football team,” South Fork head coach Karl Terrell said. “When you have a good group of players that have been together for a long time, they’re going to be tough.”
Senior John Harding was a bright spot for the Cubs at fullback and wide receiver, as was lineman James Shilling and RB/LB/S Justin Freitas, who Terrell described as a “hard-nosed football player.”
Billings also paid tribute to some of the younger players on his team that stepped up in the season opener.
“We’re more than ready to play,” the head coach said. “We were really well prepared this year, mentally and physically.
“And some of our young linemen stepped up together and played as a team.”