POWER RANKINGS — Which team really belongs at No. 2?

Photos by Ray Hamill/ – Del Norte running back RJ Loftin breaks free on a long touchdown run in front of the Warriors sideline at St. Bernard’s on Saturday.

By Ray Hamill — Fortuna head coach Mike Benbow and his staff have always done a good job getting the most out of their players and fielding improving teams as the season progresses.

And they’re doing it again this year, putting a team that started the season 1-4 in position to make the North Coast Section playoffs.

The Huskies have won three of their last four games, including a very impressive 34-14 victory over Eureka on Friday night, and they almost beat St. Bernard’s in the other.

And that catapults them into this week’s Power Rankings, which were the most challenging of the season to call.

The Warriors, of course, remain No. 1, where they have been all season long.

They may have gotten a scare against Eureka two weeks ago, but it was business as usual again with a comprehensive 48-12 win at St. Bernard’s on Saturday.

The question is who belongs at No. 2 after what we’ve seen the past few weeks.

In fact, if you take Del Norte’s dominance out of the equation, this has been a fascinating season with little or nothing separating the next three or four (or five) teams.

Fortuna comfortably beat Eureka last week, but St. Bernard’s beat the Huskies the previous weekend and Eureka beat the Crusaders earlier in the season.

So which of them is a true No. 2?

Even the Little 4 has been very competitive.

McKinleyville might be 5-0, but the Panthers barely won both matchups against the Hoopa Warriors, whose four losses to H-DNL opposition this fall have come by just a combined 12 points.

Arcata too has grown as a team over the second half of the season and is playoff eligible after winning three of the last four games, including a key victory over Hoopa two weeks ago.


1 — Del Norte (7-1)

We at least know who’s No. 1

2T — Fortuna (4-5)

A statement win last week keeps the Huskies’ playoff hopes alive

2T — Eureka (4-4)

It’s been an up and down season for the Loggers, but they are playoff eligible

2T — St. Bernard’s (4-5)

The Crusaders have yet to win two straight or lose two straight

5 — McKinleyville (6-3)

The Panthers will try to close out league play 6-0 this weekend


1 reply »

  1. McKinleyville as a #2, the 12%ers are unified, play tenacious “D”, and are consistent. Tough is the lack of common opponents/games, but it appears Macktown is right there, best season in decades.

    Prevailed against Hupa twice, eeking away victory… Hupa Heartbreak12 against Crusaders by 1 (road), Mack by 4 (road) and 2, Arcata by 5 (road)… Fortuna playing out of area competition… Crusaders filling out roster… EHS having an up and down season.

    If not Mack, Crusaders still…

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