RENO — An old nemesis came back on Friday night to hurt the Douglas High football team — allowing big plays in critical situation.
Damonte Ranch scored touchdowns on four consecutive possessions, two of which came during a span of 17 seconds in the third quarter, en route to a 36-7 Sierra League football victory. The Mustangs (2-1, 5-2) moved on top 14-7 lead on a 17-play scoring drive at the end of the first half and then struck for three more touchdowns in the third quarter to pull away from Douglas (0-2, 1-6).
“They were a better football team,” Douglas caoch Ernie Monfiletto said afterward. “My kids busted their butts to do the best they could ... we just couldn’t put things together.”
As for those big plays, the game’s turning point came when Damonte Ranch got the ball on their own 7 with 5:05 showing on the clock. The Mustangs covered 93 yards in 17 plays, capped by Sean Pinching’s 26-yard touchdown pass from quarterback Kyle Daugherty on fourth-and-25 with 17.7 seconds left before halftime. The Mustangs also moved the chains on third-and-12 from their own 5 when Pinching made a 12-yard catch, on second-and-20 when Austin Price came up with a diving 37-yard reception at the 44, on third-and-14 when Jared Blake made an 18-yard catch, and then on Elijah Sapico’s 9-yard catch on fourth-and-5 at the Douglas 28.
Damonte Ranch moved to the 11 before the Tigers came up sacks on back-to-back plays — both by Cale Kynett, resulting in losses of 10 and 5 years — and creating a third-and-24 situation. Two plays later, however, Daugherty lofted a high ball that the 6-foot-2 Pinching went up to grab in the end zone.
“We broke coverage, and it’s disappointing because we’ve worked on that,” Monfiletto said of the touchdown play. “And that (17-play drive) shouldn’t happen. We’ve got to get them (offense) off the field and get some turnaround.”
The backbreaker came in the third quarter after Blake caught a 24-yard touchdown pass from Daugherty with 7:50 left in the third period. The Tigers turned the ball over on a fumble on their next play. And the Mustangs only needed one play to capitalize when Daugherty threw a 24-yard TD pass to Pinching with 7:33 to go. After the latter score, the Mustangs added a 2-point conversion when Grant Cooper ran the ball in on a fake kick.
Douglas finally got a defensive stop in the third quarter after turning the ball over on an interception at the 19. The Tigers got the ball back on play later when Zachary Moehle-Boston stripped the ball and recovered the fumble.
Douglas scored on its opening possession with a seven-play 49-yard drive, capped by Wes Hundley’s 12-yard touchdown pass to A.J. Pfaffenberger. Hundley rolled to his right on the play and threw a strike back across the field to Pfaffenberger in the end zone for the score.
The Tigers’ defense set it up by forcing Damonte Ranch into three-and-out (aided by a holding penalty) and a punting situation from the 11. Nick Abreu gained 16 yards on three straight carries and Hundley gained 6 yards on a keeper. The touchdown pass came on a second-and-10 play.