Warriors get set for home opener, look to bounce back

Photos by Ray Hamill/ – Hoopa quarterback Brandon Romero in action against the Tigers on Saturday night.

By Ray Hamill — It took them a few weeks longer than expected, but the Hoopa Warriors should finally get to host a game this week.

The Warriors were originally scheduled to play their first two games of the season in Hoopa, but were forced to play away from home because of the nearby wildfires and air quality.

After splitting those two games — losing to St. Bernard’s and beating South Fork in double-overtime — the Warriors suffered a 50-0 loss against Arcata at McKinleyville High on Saturday night.

The game was all but over halfway through the opening quarter with the Tigers leading 28-0, and Arcata would stretch the advantage to 50 by halftime.

“It was a rough one,” head coach Floyd “Cowboy” Billings said. “We had a lot of missed tackles, most definitely a lot of missed tackles. I mean, we were in position, we just had a lot of missed tackles.”

Despite the lopsided loss, there were some bright spots for a young and inexperienced Hoopa team that is still finding its feet early in the season.

Most notably the return of junior quarterback Brandon Romero, who missed the South Fork through injury after impressing in the season opener at St. Bernard’s.

Injuries, however, continue to take their toll the Hoopa roster, with Kenek Turner missing out just one week after he scored a pair of overtime touchdowns in the victory over South Fork.

Billings, however, is hoping to have some of his walking wounded back for this weekend’s game.

The Warriors take on Trinity on Friday night and will be looking to get back to winning ways against a Wolves team that also has struggled early in the season.

The Hoopa offense was shut out against Arcata on Saturday night.

Trinity is 1-2 and coming off back-to-back losses to Central Valley and Weed, games in which they gave up 46 and 44 points, respectively.

But the Hoopa coaches and players are more focused on what they can do to get back on track.

“To bounce back we need to come as team,” Billings said. “Right now, we’re not playing as one. Team chemistry is not there. 

“I always believe the only team that can beat you is yourself.”
Friday’s game is set for 7:30 p.m.

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