Tonight represents a fresh start for the Douglas football team.
That fresh start, though, also means the games start counting in the league standings.
Sierra League play opens for both Douglas and Galena High School as the Tigers and Grizzlies meet up in Minden for a 7 p.m. game.
"It's league play now and it's important to start out well," Douglas coach Ernie Monfiletto said. "Galena will have a good plan for us and it'll be up to us to step up."
Douglas (3-2) put together three impressive home wins through its non-league slate, beating Reno, McQueen and Hug while rolling up eye-popping offensive numbers.
The Tigers stumbled in its two road contests against Reed and Spanish Springs, though, and is coming off its worst defeat in nearly four seasons. Douglas fell 59-28 at Spanish Springs last week, marking the worst deficit of defeat since losing 47-13 at Manogue in 2008.
"Everything we saw last week was correctable," Monfiletto said. "Spanish Springs exposed some holes in our system that we have some time to fix now.
"Watching the game back on film, the only errors we saw were mental errors. It was all things we can solve. As a staff, that responsibility falls on us. we had to be able to point those things out and fix them. We can address it and move forward with it."
The game was a collection of statistical oddities for the Tigers. Douglas didn't turn the ball over once, completed 67 percent of its passes and piled up 246 rushing yards. Spanish Springs, though, brought tremendous pressure defensively, coming up with six sacks, and kept the Tigers from settling into a rhythm, particularly in the first half. The Cougars were next to unstoppable on offense as well, breaking the Tigers' backs with nine conversions on its first 12 third downs.
"They made adjustments that we just didn't respond to," Monfiletto said. "Fundamentally, we have those things fixed. No one is feeling sorry for us and we aren't feeling sorry for ourselves. We put that game to rest Saturday morning. We feel like we are a better football team than what Friday night demonstrated.
"Now it's up to us to step and show that is true."
Galena brings in an identical 3-2 record. The teams share three common opponents thus far, having each beaten Hug and lost to Spanish Springs.
Douglas beat Reno 56-44 to open the year while Galena lost to Reno 51-14 in Week 3.
Galena managed to stay even with Spanish Springs at 6-6 through three quarters before the Cougars pulled away late for a 20-6 win.
Douglas leads the all-time series against Galena 9-3 and has gone 5-2 against the Grizzlies in Minden.
Douglas won last year's meeting 49-30 in Minden, while Galena shocked the Tigers in the 2010 regular season finale 30-29 in south Reno.
On the season, Douglas is averaging 8.03 yards per play and 43 points per game. Senior quarterback Michael Nolting has completed 75 percent of his passes on the year for 1,469 yards and 13 touchdowns. He needs two more touchdown passes to become the school's all-time leader in the category (Luke Rippee passed for 39 between 2001 and 2003), which would also make him the school's all-time leader in every passing category.
The Tigers have averaged 6.02 yards per carry on the year and senior running back Conner Peterson surpassed 3,000 career rushing yards last week.
"We've had good practices this week and our goal is to translate what happens on the practice field into the game," Monfiletto said.