Del Norte 56, Horizon 6
After winning a part of the Valley League championship last season, Del Norte begins this season in a new league – the Avocado East. The Nighthawks have 13 starters returning to the team. Third year starting quarterback Parker Lappin returns after passing for 1,873 yards and 18 touchdowns last season. He currently holds all passing records at Del Norte. Another threat for the Nighthawks comes from senior Quenton Meeks. Meeks excels on both sides of the ball. The wide receiver and defensive back has received more than 15 scholarship offers from schools such as Stanford, Vanderbilt and Arizona State. Captains Kayden Clements and Chris Labrador return to the defensive unit. Together, they combined for 133 tackles last season.
The Nighthawks will need to watch out for Horizon quarterback Joshua Gaudet. Gaudet threw for 1,600 yards last season and rushed for 455 yards and 10 touchdowns. Also returning for the Panthers is senior running back Jamal Lewis. Lewis transferred to Horizon last season from Los Angeles and impressed opponents right away. After rushing for 843 yards and 10 touchdowns, he was selected second team All-Coastal League. The Panthers will look to linebacker Dante Fanucchi and defensive back Christian Arlington to slow down the Nighthawks offense. Both were also selected to second team All-Coastal League.