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.
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.
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.
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.
“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.