WEEKEND FOOTBALL — H-DNL Road Warriors will travel 2,270 miles this week

Photos by Ray Hamill/ – Hoopa’s Andrew Hunsucker is tackled by a group of St. Bernard’s players last weekend.

By Ray Hamill — If you’re a football player in the H-DNL, traveling a lot is part of the deal.

This weekend alone, seven of the eight varsity teams in action will travel a combined 2,270 miles to and from games, which is almost the equivalent to traveling from Eureka to Los Angeles and back again — twice!

Some teams have it tougher than others.

Both the Fortuna Huskies and Hoopa Warriors have four straight road games to open the season and each will play just three of 10 regular-season games at home.

The Eureka Loggers don’t have it much easier, with six of their nine scheduled games on the road, including five of their final six games.

St. Bernard’s, meanwhile, has a bye this week, before playing six consecutive road games.

The good news for all of these teams is twofold.

One, the long travel tends to bring teams closer together and can be effective bonding experiences.

And two, it prepares them for any potential long trips in the playoffs.

Unlike many Bay Area schools, traveling long distances for North Coast Section games is nothing new for the H-DNL teams, nor their fans.

Here’s a look at this week’s matchups …


Del Norte at South Medford, 7 p.m., KPOD 97.9 FM

The high-flying Warriors (2-0) have cruised through their opening two games but should have a much tougher challenge against a South Medford team that is 1-0 after a 41-0 win over Beaverton.

Fortuna at Kelseyville, 7:30 p.m., MIX 95.1 FM

After playing Justin-Siena close a week ago, the Huskies (0-2) could get their first win against a Kelseyville team that is coming off a bye after dropping its opener 71-13 at Del Norte.

Hoopa at Fort Bragg, 7:30 p.m.

The Warriors (1-1) will try to bounce back from a tough loss at St. Bernard’s when they play the Timberwolves (1-0), who had a bye last week after shutting out Healdsburg 37-0 in their opener.

The McKinleyville Panthers will play at Willits this weekend.

McKinleyville at Willits, 7:30 p.m.

The Panthers (1-0) will try to keep their fast start going against what appears to be a much-improved Wolverines team that is 2-0 and has shut out its first two opponents by a combined 51-0.

For comparison purposes, Mack is No. 63 in the NCS, according to MaxPreps, and Willits is just three spots back.


Clear Lake at Ferndale, 2 p.m.

The Wildcats (1-1) got their first win last week at South Fork and will be looking to make it two straight in their home opener against a Cardinals team that is 1-0 after a 28-15 win over Pierce.

Arcata at Florin, 5 p.m.

It’s been a tough start to the season for the Tigers, who are 0-2 and have been outscored 86-0, although they have played a pair of quality opponents.

This should be a winnable game against a Sacramento school that is 0-3 and has been outscored 157-6 in its three games.

Eureka at Ukiah, 7 p.m.

The Loggers are 1-0 and coming off a bye after opening with a 30-0 win over Arcata two weeks ago, while the Wildcats are 0-2 and have been outscored 55-6 in games against a pair of quality teams.

For more on this game, see Loggers prepare for speedy Cats …

South Fork at Laytonville, 8 p.m.

After two games playing 11-man football, the Cubs (0-2) will return to eight-man ball at Laytonville on Saturday night.

The Warriors will be playing their season opener.

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