Del Norte

FOOTBALL ROUNDUP — Fortuna, St. Bernard’s remain unbeaten

St. Bernard’s and Fortuna each improved to 3-0 on the season with big wins on Friday night.

The Crusaders traveled to Biggs High School and came away with a 38-14 win, although the game was closer than the final scoreline would suggest for much of the night.

The Huskies didn’t have to travel quite as far, making the short trek up the 101 to McKinleyville and dominating the Panthers in a 42-0 win.

It was the second straight shutout for the Fortuna defense and the second straight week they ran for more than 300 yards.

Check out our video highlights of Chad Mussey’s two first-half touchdown runs above …

Up in Crescent City, meanwhile, the Del Norte Warriors dropped their home opener to a very good South Medford team, 24-6.

It was a much improved performance by the home team, however, which matched the visitors for much of the night before they pulled away late with two scores in the final few minutes.

St. Bernard’s senior Wyatt Simoni continued his sensational start to the new season with another big performance.

Simoni scored three of his team’s five TDs and had around 250 yards of offense, while also recording another sack to give him 7.5 in just three games.

“He was a monster again,” head coach Matt Tomlin said of Simoni, who ran for around 150 yards and two TDs, and also had around 100 yards receiving and a TD catch. (No final stats were immediately available.)

He wasn’t the only SB player to impress.

Freshman quarterback Trenten Hagler threw two first-half touchdowns, enjoying a breakout game as he quickly adapts to the varsity level.

“It was a big-time performance,” Tomlin said.

Trenten’s older brother Ethan Hagler also had a big game at middle linebacker, helping set the tone on the defensive side of the ball once again.

“They both had outstanding games,” Tomlin said of the brothers.

Photo by Kenneth Tinkham – The St. Bernard’s players get set to play Biggs on Friday night.

For the third straight game, Trenten Hagler split time at QB with sophomore Luke Brunton, who also impressed in the second half and threw a TD pass.

Sophomores Michael Manzi and Tyler Hinrichs each added a touchdown catch, with the latter also kicking a 27-yard field goal and making all five PATs.

“I was real happy with the entire performance,” Tomlin said of his team.

For good measure, the Crusaders also had three interceptions, one each by Manzi, Isaiah Wolfe and lineman Lane Ford.

The Crusaders trailed by a touchdown early in the game but quickly responded and led 21-7 at halftime.

The home team would pull within a TD early in the second half, but the Crusaders added 17 unanswered fourth-quarter points to pull away late.

The Crusaders return home to host Arcata next weekend.

The St. Bernard’s JVs, meanwhile, fell 38-12 and are now 1-1-1.

South Medford 24, Del Norte 6

The Warriors lost to a quality Oregon program for the second straight week, and for the second straight week a competitive game got away from them late.

After giving up a 26-yard TD pass on the opening drive of the night, the Warriors battled back to tie the game in the second quarter, when sophomore fullback William McCovey scored on a 14-yard TD run to open his team’s account.

The visitors, however, quickly re-took the lead just one minute later and led 14-6 going into the break.

Neither team managed a score in the third quarter and the game remained tight heading into the final period.

However, the Warriors would give up two late scores for the second straight week, as South Medford added a field goal and a touchdown, the latter coming with under two minutes remaining.

Overall, however, it was a much improved performance from last week’s loss at Grants Pass.

“(South Medford) were good, and we hung with them most of the game,” Del Norte head coach Darren LaFazio said. “I’m very proud of our kids. They played hard, very hard.”

The Del Norte players did a lot of things right.

“We looked a lot better,” the head coach said. “We were physical, we got our blocking schemes right. They just all did a really good job. I’m extremely proud of all of them.”

The Warriors got a little banged up late in the game against a very physical Medford team, with three starters forced to the sidelines.

Junior running back Benjamin Borges led the Warriors ground attack and finished with 49 yards on 15 carries.

All together the Warriors rushed for 156 yards on 36 carries.

Del Norte, which lost 20-6 at Grants Pass a week ago, dropped to 1-2 on the season and will have a bye next weekend before hosting McKinleyville.

The Del Norte JVs also lost this week, falling 46-6 at South Medford on Thursday night and dropping to 1-1.

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