Del Norte Nighthawks 17, La Jolla Vikings 16
August is over. September is here. With it, the realization that our 2018 high school football season is almost halfway done. We’re three weeks in, and this upcoming fourth week will feature a showdown between the La Jolla High School Vikings and the Del Norte High School Nighthawks.
Representing the Palomar League, the experience-heavy Nighthawks bring a 2-1 record into this battle, fresh off a 35-32 nail-biter of a win against Serra last week.
The Vikings, hailing from the Eastern League, will try to build on their own 1-2 record, albeit their single win thus far being a very impressive 40-7 win over La Jolla Country Day in week two.
The Nighthawks, led by head coach Leigh Cole, employ a run-dominant pro-style offense. It was this rushing attack that Del Norte repeatedly rode to the end zone last week.
Sophomore running back Manai Hazlett was in top form, amassing 236 yards and two rushing touchdowns on 28 attempts.
Jake Hadzicki and quarterback Nolan Booher each added a rushing touchdown, and Booher was responsible for two passing touchdowns, as well. Three turnovers marred the otherwise positive night but it gives the Nighthawks plenty to work on this week. With just 15 passing attempts to 40 rushing attempts, one should expect to see more of the same from Del Norte this Friday.
Standing on the opposite sideline will be the Vikings, who are looking to rebound after a 16-14 loss to Santa Fe Christian last week.
The bright spot for Vikings fans was Diego Solis, as he hauled in two of Carsten Fehlan’s passes for touchdowns.
Included was a 23-yard reception with just :41 seconds left in the game, with the resultant PAT bringing the Vikings within two of the Eagles. The ensuing onside kick didn’t bounce favorably enough for La Jolla however, leaving the Vikings just short of an enthralling comeback.
Evan Brown added his own 28-yard receiving touchdown, and both Brown and Solis are poised to have big weeks as they try to lead their Vikings past the Nighthawks.
La Jolla will bring their depth and skill, particularly at running back and receiver, while Del Norte is sure to lean on their bruising running game and stout defense to stem the Viking tide.
Catch all the action (and the Nighthawk Military Night) this coming Friday night at 7 p.m. at Del Norte High School. If you can’t make it out, you can always catch the final score and highlights on Prep Pigskin Report at 11 p.m.