The Tigers will have to wait a week to find out if they’ve made the North Coast Section playoffs, but they more than likely did enough to secure inclusion with a 56-16 win at Hoopa on Friday night.

With the win, Arcata closes out the regular season 6-4, including going 4-2 in the Little 4.

“We had to win today,” Arcata head coach Jamal Jones said. “I’ll be surprised if we don’t make the playoffs.”

Kien Mazzotti ran in for three TDs in the win, while Mateo Vincent scored two from the fullback spot, as the Arcata coaches tried something different by playing the standout lineman in the backfield.

Mason Nichols added a sixth TD run, as the Arcata offensive line set the tone once again.

“We had our fair share of offense today. It was a good day for our offensive line,” Jones said. 

It was also a good day for quarterback Shane Purcell, who has impressed since taking over the starting job last week.

Purcell completed TD passes to Carson Tucker and Alberto Iskra, and led the Tigers to scores on all four of their first-half possessions.

“He played really lights out tonight,” Jones said of the sophomore. “He kept drives moving.”

Defensively, the Tigers held the Warriors to just two TDs and a pair of two-point conversions.

“It was complementary football. I thought our defense was stout all night too,” Jones said. “And I thought our young guys really stepped up for us.”

The Warriors dropped to 3-6 overall and 2-4 in league, but can still make the playoffs with a win over California School for the Deaf in their finale next week.

AJ Perez ran in for one of their two TDs, while Aidan Mendes threw for one to Carlos Aguilar after taking over from the injured John Smith at quarterback.

Smith and Mendes each also had a two-point run.

“We had limited subs and we didn’t give up at all,” Hoopa head coach Sonny Ryles said. “The players really showed a lot of toughness and grit.”


Ray Hamill writes at, where you can read lots more about sports in Humboldt County.