Perhaps the fourth, or sixth, time is going to be a charm for the Douglas High School football team.
It’s going to be a tall order for the Tigers, however, because they’re opening tonight in the Division I Northern Region playoffs against Reed for the fourth year in a row. The two-time defending region champion Raiders (8-1) come in as the High Desert League’s No. 1 seed after a regular season that includes a 48-28 victory against Douglas on Sept. 13 in Minden.
This marks the sixth time in seven years Douglas (2-7) has faced Reed in the playoffs. Reed has won each of those games, including a 47-14 decision in 2012, 60-36 in the 2011 Northern region semifinals and 20-18 in 2010.
Then again, the postseason is a whole new ball game.
“We’re very excited about the opportunity to play the Reed Raiders,” Douglas coach Ernie Monfiletto said. “Reed’s a heavy task, but I think our kids will come out prepared to play their best.”
So, can the Tigers do to contain an opponent that has averaged 47.5 points and 490 yards in total offense per game this season? Part of their game plan involves control of the clock and limiting the number of offensive snaps the Raiders get off.
“Reed has a lot of weapons to contain,” Monfiletto said. “The main thing is we can’t afford to have their offense on the field for extended periods of time.”
Looking at the statistics, Reed quarterback Christopher Denn has thrown for 2,012 yards and 25 TDs while Jordan de Leon has rushed for 1,005 yards and 18 TDs this season. Denn threw for 349 yards and four touchdowns against the Tigers in September. On the other hand, de Leon’s rushing season-low was 48 (with 2 TDs) that same night in Minden.
Reed coach Ernie Howren spoke about going into the playoffs with momentum to the Daily Sparks Tribune’s Nathan Shoup last Friday after the Raiders ran past Spanish Springs, 63-28.
“I don’t look at momentum going into the playoffs because if you need momentum to go into the playoffs, then you ain’t competitive,” Howren told the Sparks newspaper. “You’ve got to come into the playoffs with an attitude that you’re going to do everything you can to win that ball game. I don’t think you need any momentum to lead into that.”