It was business as usual on Friday night for the Del Norte Warriors, who capped a dominating season with another big win, this time over the Fortuna Huskies.
Celebrating Senior Night and playing in front of a home crowd for the first time since September, the Del Norte players were fired up for this one and controlled the game from the opening kickoff on the way to a 41-0 victory.
The win was the 13th straight in the Big 4 for the Warriors, dating back to the 2018 season, and the league title was their third in a row.
“Our kids were very excited to play this game,” head coach Nick White said. “We had a good week of preparation this week, it was Senior Night, and it was our first home game in a while.”
The Warriors should get to play in front of a home crowd next week as well, when they kick off the North Coast Section playoffs.
They are expected to be a top-four seed in Division 4.
Despite the loss, Fortuna will also likely make the NCS playoffs.
The Huskies closed out the season 4-6 and were 1-2 in the Big 4, but their victory over Gridley in the Northern Section counts as the equivalent as a win over a Division-6 NCS team and makes them eligible.
And with three wins in their previous four games before Friday, a much-improved Huskies team should comfortably make the field.
Friday night, however, belonged to the Warriors, who once again played well in all aspects of the game.
“Between our line and our running backs, I thought we played outstanding on offense,” White said. “The holes were really big, and defensively we played lights out. We held Fortuna to negative-15 yards in the first half, you really can’t play better than that.”
Giancarlo Desolenni and RJ Loftin each scored on a pair of TD runs.
Dessolenni found the end zone on runs of 31 and two yards, the latter set up on 85-yard run by Loftin, who scored on runs of one and 19 yards.
Aden Mintonye also continued to impress and scored on a 55-yard run, while Kai Russell rounded out the scoring with a 45-yard scoop and score after recovering a fumble on defense.
“I’m super proud of my players,” White said. “It’s always an accomplishment to win the H-DN championship.”
And even more so to win three straight.
The 8-1 Warriors, whose only loss came against a highly-ranked South Medford team, will find out their playoff seed and opponent on Sunday after being moved up to Division 4 this year.
“Besides our one blemish, we did what we needed to do as far as the games on our schedule go,” White said. “I don’t know where that gets us, but I’m hoping the committee will give us some respect.”
To bad we couldn’t get unbiased officials…
What ?? In a 41-0 game. Complaints about the officiating. Please elaborate. I would love to hear your explanation.
Don’t sweat it Allan. I’m a DN fan, and if there’s 1 thing I know, it’s that DN fans cannot be happy unless every single call goes their way. It’s embarrassing. Were there bad calls last night? Absolutely. We’re there some bad calls against Fortuna that went DNs way? You bet. The problem isn’t biased officiating against DN. The problem is simply that the referees just aren’t that good around here. They made a call.last night where the fortuna qb was set up to pass, and got sacked without his throwing arm even going backwards before throwing the ball forward. It was clear as day….. the ref called it an incomplete pass because the DN player caused a fumble. It wasn’t a biased call, it was just a bad call By an official that doesn’t know what he’s looking at. That being said, DN got a few calls that went their way too. It’s ignorant to think that no matter who DN plays, the officials are biased against us. But that’s the mentality of many simpleton people that think it’s us against the officiating world no matter where we play. It’s actually quite comical to witness at the games, so I don’t mind the people watching aspect of it. Hahaha
the officials were in favor of del norte if anything not against them