Wes Hundley scored the go-ahead touchdown and Douglas High School’s defense made the lead stand Friday night for a 26-16 Sierra League football victory against Bishop Manogue.
Hundley scored on a 13-yard quarterback keeper to give Douglas (1-2 league, 2-6 overall) a three-point lead with 6:21 left to play and the defense came up with a big stop on the ensuing series to preserve a win at Keith Roman Field that kept the Tigers alive in the Northern Division I playoff picture.
Zach Kinder put an exclamation point on a big night for the defense when he recovered a fumble in the end zone for a touchdown with 1:31 left.
For Douglas, the win marked a comeback after losing 36-7 at Damonte Ranch one week before. Coach Ernie Monfiletto summed up the Douglas effort in one word.
“That’s a big turnaround coming off the letdown we had last week,” Monfiletto said. “Those kids stepped up and answered. We challenged them and they took it to heart and did what they were told. They played with emotion, and here was the key word for the night ... to be relentless. We went after them and didn’t quit.”
Manogue (1-2, 3-3) had taken its first lead of the night, 16-13, on Tanner Westby’s 28-yard field goal early in the fourth quarter.
Douglas answered immediately with an eight-play, 60-yard scoring drive that was capped by Hundley’s touchdown run to the right side.
“We called a stretch play, which is a sweep, and we called a keep,” Monfiletto said of the play. “But because of all the outside push, he cut it back and made a heck of a play.”
Taylor Souza’s diving 13-yard reception gave the Tigers first down at the 24 and Bailey Vidaurri followed with an 8-yard sweep to set up the score.
The Tigers were unable to kick the conversion, however, when a bad snap forced Hundley to scramble and throw a pass. Hundley’s pass was completed, but the play was negated by an ineligible receiver downfield call that resulted in a loss of down — costing another shot at converting the PAT.
After receiving the kickoff, Manogue only needed five plays to cross midfield before the Tigers’ defense rose to the occasion. On second-and-7 from the 41, defensive end Andrew Jensen sacked Manogue quarterback Jack Sanders for a 5-yard loss. Then, on fourth-and-12, defensive back Garret Rice swatted away a pass over the middle intended for speedy Manogue wideout Juan Aparicio with 3:10 showing on the clock.
“It was a total team effort,” linebacker Kaleb Foster said. “A total team defense and total team offense. I couldn’t be more proud of my teammates.”
The Tigers picked up one first down before they faced a fourth down situation, and Rocky Hanson responded with a 36-yard punt that rolled out of bounds at the 6. After three straight incompletions, Manogue’s last-gasp hope vanished on a bad snap in the end zone that Kinder recovered in the end zone for a touchdown.
Tay Simms gave Douglas an early 6-0 lead on 31- and 27-yard field goals. Simms also missed a 30-yard attempt with 9.8 seconds left before halftime.