By Ray Hamill — After featuring as the No. 3 team in our weekly Power Rankings all season, the Del Norte Warriors made their move this past weekend with their first statement win of the fall.
A thrilling 18-17 come-from-behind victory over St. Bernard’s sees the Warriors jump two spots to No. 1.
The question now is what’s next for Del Norte?
But if they lose …
As we’ve said all year, there is little separating the top three teams in league, who have proven to be clearly the best three teams on the North Coast.
St. Bernard’s drops to No. 2 in this week’s rankings, just one week after the Crusaders took over sole possession of top spot with a statement win over Fortuna.
The Huskies, meanwhile, also drop one spot in our rankings despite a bounce back win at Eureka.
Fortuna remains as dangerous as ever and should be a force in the North Coast Section playoffs, but Del Norte’s big leap and the fact the Crusaders beat the Huskies two weeks ago leaves them as an obvious No. 3.
The Tigers have shown they are clearly the best team in the Little 4 this year with two victories over the Wildcats.
But earlier losses to both Fortuna and St. Bernard’s continues to keep the L4 champs out of the top three in the Power Rankings.
There’s also no change at No. 5 this week.
As I’ve said before, I’m not sure the Cats would beat Eureka this year, with the Loggers playing Del Norte tough in a pair of matchups recently.
But the Loggers are still winless and I just can’t put a winless team in the top five.
Eureka closes out the season at St. Bernard’s on Saturday, with one final opportunity to get an elusive victory.
The Wildcats, meanwhile, will close out the regular season at Hoopa in a game we expect them to win.
1 — Del Norte (6-2)
The Warriors have won at least a share of the Big 4 title
2 — St. Bernard’s (6-3)
A tough loss at Crescent City sees the Crusaders drop one spot
3 — Fortuna (6-3)
The Huskies can still claim a share of the league title with a win over Del Norte
4 — Arcata (7-2)
The Tigers are champions of the Little 4
5 — Ferndale (5-4)
The Wildcats close out the regular season at Hoopa and then it’s on to the NCS playoffs