Del Norte

COLLEGE FOOTBALL — Montana, Del Norte players shine in season openers

Photo by Claudia Loeber/Lewis & Clark Athletics – Cruz Montana in action for the Pioneers over the weekend.

By Ray Hamill — It was a good weekend for a number of local players on the collegiate football fields, none more so than former Eureka Logger Cruz Montana.

The starting quarterback for Lewis & Clark led the way as the Pioneers rolled over Puget Sound, 41-15.

Montana completed 18 of 26 passes for 231 yards and accounted for three touchdowns.

He threw for two scores and ran in for another, while rushing nine times for 17 yards.

And he spread the ball around, completing passes to seven different receivers.

Montana and the Pioneers (1-0) will have a bye this coming weekend.

The 2019 EHS graduate wasn’t the only former Logger to impress over the weekend.

Isaak Gutierrez kicked off his third year as a staring guard at New Mexico in style as the Lobos ran out to a comfortable 41-0 win over Maine in Albuquerque.

Gutierrez was one of three team captains for the Lobos, who will host Boise State next weekend.

Several former Del Norte Warriors also enjoyed big season debuts, none more so than Anthony Slayton.

The Shasta College linebacker, who led the state in tackles last fall, looks set for another big year and finished with a team-high nine tackles in a 47-28 loss to Reedley.

The former Warrior had seven solo tackles, including a tackle for a loss, as well as a forced fumble.

Submitted photo – Branson Gans in action for Santa Rosa over the weekend.

Former Eureka Logger Josiah Graham also had an impact at receiver for the Knights, pulling in two receptions for 32 yards.

Multiple former Del Norte Warriors also had an impact for College of the Redwoods, as the Corsairs played their first game in almost three years.

Tight end Kaleb Price scored CR’s only offensive TD of the game on a 12-yard reception from quarterback Teagan Gaither in a 27-19 loss at Merced.

Linebacker Tanner Forkner also had an immediate impact in his CR debut and finished with five solo tackles and two assists.

Former Fortuna Husky Branson Gans also had an impressive college debut at Santa Rosa JC.

The 6-foot-5, 195-pound receiver had three catches for 21 yards, including a big 18-yard gain, as the Bear Cubs fell 31-20 at San Francisco.

Submitted photo – Isaak Gutierrez celebrates a Lobos touchdown over the weekend.

On the other side of the ball, recent St. Bernard’s graduate Perry Bailey had an impressive debut for Santa Rosa on the D-line and finished with five tackles, including one for a loss.

At Nevada, meanwhile, senior center Bryce Petersen and the Wolf Pack are off to a 2-0 start after defeating Texas State 38-14 over the weekend.

This is the former McKinleyville Panther’s first season at Nevada after transferring from Akron this past offseason.

Petersen and his new teammates will try to keep their impressive start going when they host Incarnate Word next Saturday.

And rounding out a busy weekend for former H-DNL players, Eureka’s Kenneth Spaight continued to have an impact for Clarke University in a 31-30 win over Missouri State.

The standout DB, who played at College of the Redwoods before joining the Pride, finished with a team-high eight tackles, including five solo and a tackle for a loss.

He also had a pass break-up and a 20-yard kickoff return.

The Pride are now 1-1.

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