Del Norte

Warriors overcome mistakes to beat the Loggers in league opener

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The three-time defending conference champions won their Big 4 opener on Saturday night, but they’ll have to play a lot better on offense if they want to make it four straight league titles.

The Del Norte Warriors, who have not lost a Big 4 game in five years, made it 14 straight conference wins with a 6-0 victory over Eureka under the lights in Crescent City.

A 14-yard second-quarter touchdown run by quarterback Kyle Dixon was the only score of the night and both teams struggled to put together much offense, especially in the second half.

Penalties and problems blocking were the main cause of frustration for the home team, which was flagged 15 times for 100 yards.

If they can’t clean that up, they will likely have a hard time next week against the St. Bernard’s Crusaders, who looked good in a 22-14 win over Fortuna earlier in the day. 

“You can’t have that many penalties and do anything on offense,” Del Norte head coach Darren LaFazio said. “We’ll try to fix it for St. Bernard’s.”

It certainly wasn’t all bad news for the Warriors, who shut out Eureka for the second time this season.

“Our defense has been pretty good all year, for the most part,” LaFazio said. “I’m happy with our defense.”

The first-year head coach was also happy to see influential senior running back/linebacker Caden Harrison return to the lineup after missing much of the season because of a broken collarbone he suffered in week two.

Harrison made an immediate impact on his return, rushing for a game-high 89 yards on 17 carries and also making some big plays on defense.

“He did really well defensively, and offensively he got us some yards,” LaFazio said. “I’m very happy to have him back.”

Harrison should only get stronger in the coming weeks.

The Warriors rushed for 252 yards for the night, most of it coming in the first half.

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Dixon had 64 yards and the TD on nine carries, while Benjamin Borges added 36 yards on six carries and Isaac Lopez had 30 yards on eight carries.

Defensively, junior tackle Braydan Johnson had a big sack with 93 seconds remaining and the game still in the balance, as the Warriors took over on downs on the following play.

The Loggers remain winless on the season and dropped to 0-8 but competed well against their league rivals.

“They played us tough,” LaFazio said.

Especially senior Elijah Griffin, who had 56 yards rushing on 15 carries, 53 of them coming in the first half.

“He’s really good,” LaFazio said. “He’s the real deal.”

The Warriors improved to 5-2 overall.

Next week, the Warriors welcome the Crusaders to Crescent City, while the Loggers will try to get their first win when they host Fortuna.

The Del Norte JVs beat Eureka 47-0.

3 replies »

  1. Increase the snap count with no-huddle, hurry-up offense to get the jitter bugs out for false starts. Also, go to shotgun, that way the O-line feels better about the initial snap such that qb has some space if a bad block occurs at the snap…that fear of an O-lineman thinking they’ll have a tough battle snap in and snap out.

    Lastly, ensure the QB is LOUD! That way the O-line will be trained to know, trained that it will be obvious when the ball IS TO BE SNAPPED, so calm down and focus.

    • Obviously you weren’t at the game, or have a clue about what Del Norte did. They literally did everything you said. Eureka is not as bad as their record is. They have some good players that cause serious disruption.

  2. I wonder why they had problems blocking?! Could it be that Eureka Defense caused problems?!? God no, had to be DN not playing well and just having an off day. They are the anointed ones..

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