Warriors overcome slow start to top the Tigers in L4 opener

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The Hoopa Warriors overcame a slow start on their way to kicking off the Little 4 with a 13-7 win over Arcata in Hoopa on Friday night.

Playing one week after a bye, the Warriors had to rally from an early seven-point deficit, but grew into the game and gradually began to take control.

“We came out really flat because of the bye week, but if it’s a close game, we come alive,” Hoop ahead coach Floyd “Cowboy” Billings said.

A relentless Hoopa ground attack again controlled the tempo of the game and the game clock.

Gerard Marshall got the Warriors on track with a second-quarter TD run to leave the home team trailing 7-6 at halftime.

Teammate Andrew Hunsucker added a second TD after the break, and with the Hoopa defense playing as well as it was that was all the Warriors would need.

“From the mid-second quarter on we controlled the clock pretty well,” Billings said. “Our defense came alive in the second quarter and started shutting them down.”

Billings praised the play of his entire offensive line, which has done a good job setting the tone in three straight victories now.

Defensive back Darvin Davis IV also had an “excellent game,” according to the coach.

“They knew what they had to do and what was going to happen for us to win this game,” Billings said of his team.

With the win, the Warriors improved to 1-0 in league and 4-1 overall, while the Tigers dropped to 0-1 and 1-4.

Wilson Medina scored the Tigers’ only TD on a short run, while the Arcata defense had a good night matching up against a physical Hoopa team.

“Our defense played fantastic,” Arcata head coach Matt Magers said. “I was really happy with those guys, how they executed, how they matched (Hoopa’s) physicality.”

Sophomore Cal Tucker had an interception for the visitors, while freshman linebacker Lincoln Neuman had a good night and made several key tackles.

“Everybody played well on defense,” Magers said. “Every single kid.”

The line of Jared Wallace, Matt Anderson, Chase Coleman and Dayquan Dunn also had a good night matching up against the Hoopa O-Line.

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