R-C Sports Notebook: Suddenly, we are down to football

Partly based on the football regular season running a week longer than it has in the past, and partly due to a monumental upset by the Manogue volleyball team last week, Douglas High finds itself as a one-team school heading into these final weeks of the fall season.

Douglas opens the Northern 4A Regional Playoffs at home against Reed this week while the remainder of the school's athletes will begin preparations for the winter and springs seasons.

This isn't such a big deal, but it is the first time since 2003 that the football team has been the last one standing at Douglas.

Last year, it was the boys' soccer team playing well into November before falling in the state championship game.

The year prior, everyone took a relatively early exit with volleyball outlasting football by a day and boys' soccer by two days.

Volleyball again earned the distinction of last team standing in 2005, falling in the regional finals to Galena a day after football dropped out in the first round to McQueen. In 2004, it was once again volleyball as the Tigers advanced to the state title game in mid-November where they lost to Galena.

This year, though, the first week of the football playoffs are starting a week later, giving the TIger football team an edge.

Granted, this is all very obscure. But after a weekend during which Douglas' two powerhouse programs (volleyball and girls' soccer) suffered heartbreaking and season-ending defeats, there wasn't much else to say.

- Elko has to hate seeing Douglas in its bracket come playoff time. The Tigers ended the Indians seasons in volleyball and girls' soccer last week.

The Tiger boys' and girls' soccer teams swept Elko in the first round of the playoffs last year, the Douglas softball team beat Elko in the loser's bracket in 2007, the girls' soccer team beat the Indians 3-0 in the first round of 2004 and the football team got its first large-school playoff win ever against the Indians in 1997.

In fact, I can only find two playoff wins for Elko over the Tigers since both schools moved to the large-school division.

Both came in football, once in 1998 and once in 2001.

- My boss asked me Friday afternoon if there had been any good Carson-Douglas pranks in the last several years. Outside of the assorted vandalisms, etc., I told him it had been four years since there'd been a streaker. Low and behold, A streaker showed up at halftime that night, running through the south end of the stadium in Minden. I've always wondered what would be said when a streaker gets caught. "Well, I was running down the sideline and two things donned on me. One, I apparently had misplaced my clothes. Two, no, I was not dreaming ..."

- Friday night was the first time this season that Douglas was shut out in the second quarter. This coming the same week I wrote about the Tigers' second-quarter scoring prowess ...

- After watching the ends of both the boys' regional soccer championship and the girls' state soccer championship at Damonte Ranch on Saturday, personally if I had to choose between the two losing teams, I would have much rather been in Douglas' situation at the end. The Tigers simply ran out of time after outplaying the Reed Raiders through the second half while the Carson boys saw their season end on penalty kicks. Both are tough pills to swallow, but as I've said many times before about overtime shootouts, it's terribly unfortunate to have such a team-oriented game come down to such an individual contest.

- Joking around with a couple of fellow reporters near the close of the Carson-Galena game, we pondered what the counterparts to a penalty-kick shootout in other sports would be. Free throw contests in basketball? Home Run Derby in baseball? Gentlemen's duels in riflery? Perhaps the best would be if football took a page out of the old XFL playbook and settled ties by a two-man footrace for the ball at midfield.

- With their win Friday night, the Douglas football team extended its win streak over Carson to six games.

- We were able to clear up some of the confusion surrounding Ally Freitas' shot at the career goals record in girls' soccer. We discovered that Carson's Brandi Vega had not been credited with preseason goals, so the true record ends up around 70 or above (We expect the true total sometime this week).

Freitas, on the other hand, has 55 goals on record with three goals remaining unaccounted for (a 2-0 win over North Tahoe and a 1-1 tie against Reed in 2007). She could be tied or have the school record (56, by Morgan LeFever) outright if she had one to two of those. We should have a final decision on that sometime this week as well.

Again, anyone with information on either of those two games is encouraged to contact us at 782-5121, ext. 212 or jcrandall@recordcourier.com.

- Tim Rudnick wrapped up his senior regular season atop all of the school's single-season passing records. He finishes with 145 completions for 2,365 yards and 22 touchdowns.

- Zach McFadden broke the school record for touchdown catches in a season with his two scores Friday night. He now has nine on the year, compared to the former record of eight held by Andy McIntosh, Brady Ovard and Cary Hart.

He moved into the No. 2 spot in receiving yardage in a season with 843 and finishes in fourth for catches in a season with 46.

He could slip in to the top spot in career touchdown catches with a remarkable playoff season. He has 13 while the record, again held by McIntosh, stands at 17.

What was the score the last time Carson beat Douglas in football?

On an 11-yard screen pass from Tim Rudnick to Jordan Cruz in the third quarter of Friday night's Carson-Douglas football game, offensive tackle Parker Robertson laid an absolutely bone-shattering block on a Carson defender. Douglas scored three plays later to take a 20-6 lead.

- Manogue volleyball upsets Douglas. Let's get the obvious one out of the way first. It's almost cliche by now, but it really is exceptionally hard to beat a team, especially a good one, three times in a season. I told a friend earlier in the week that the way the Sierra League shook out did Douglas no favors. Manogue finishing in the No. 3 slot did two things to the Tigers. One, it set up a sizeable road-block between Douglas and a state berth. Two, that road-block was placed on an unfavorable night for the Tigers.

Manogue had home-court advantage, which there's no getting around that because that is set long in advance. However, it was set on the same night as the Carson-Douglas football game, which meant a large bulk of the students and spectators that might have gone to Reno to support the volleyball team, were instead staying in Minden for senior night. Manogue, on the other hand, had nothing else going on Friday night as their football team played Saturday afternoon.

It's a tough loss, no matter how you look at it. Crazy things happen in the playoffs, and this was simply a crazy thing. Douglas wins that match 9 out of 10 times. Unfortunately for the Tigers, Friday night marked that 10th time.

- Reed girls' soccer upsets Douglas in state title game. Obvious surprise No. 2. It's quickly becoming apparent that we in the media have not been giving Reed a close enough look over the past several years. They have claimed the past three state titles, yet entering the playoffs each season we have had them ranked fourth (2006), second (2007) and fourth (this year). I don't know what happens during the course of a regular season that they float so easily under the radar, but I'll be paying more attention to them next season.

- Elko's Steven Nelms wins regional rushing title. Who? In a season filled with big recruits across the region, it was a little-known guy out of a three-win program that turned in the biggest season on the ground. The Reno-Gazette Journal reported that he became the school's first 1,000-yard rusher in six years.

- Truckee boys' and girls' soccer. With upset wins by a pair of fourth-ranked teams in the 4A playoffs , Galena (boys) and Reed (girls), it appears that 3A Truckee could claim the top spot in the final polls. Truckee has been solid all year on both side, but has had seeming teams of destiny, Carson and Douglas, ranked above them. The votes haven't been counted yet, but it is not out of the question that the Wolverines will leave the 2008 season as the top-ranked teams respectively in the north.

- Not-so-much. Manogue sweeps Reno in the regional title volleyball match. I knew as soon as i heard the Douglas-Manogue final that the Miners had all but clinched the regional title. I'm penciling them in for the state title as well. Manogue was the best complete team outside of Douglas that I saw this year. They were well coached, exceptional on the block and lethal with their serve.

If I had a vote for overall player of the year in the Northern 4A Regional football honors ballots (and I don't), this is what it would look like, based mostly on their respective performances over the last week:

1. Kyle Van Noy, McQueen; 2. Tyler York, McQueen, 3. Patrick Riggs, Manogue; 4. Tim Rudnick, Douglas; 5. Steven Nelms, Elko

The top athletes, regardless of sport, at Douglas High determined by production during competition, overall value to their team, ability to perform with consistency in routine situations, performance compared to others at the same position throughout the state/region, ability to come up big in clutch situations, versatility, attitude, sportsmanship, overall athletic ability, heart, potential at the next level, and a host of other intangibles (emotional leadership, role-playing value, work ethic, etc.) This is all, of course, just my opinion.

Fall Sports

1. Bethany Wurster, golf

2. Amelia Ritger, tennis

3. Ally Freitas, soccer

4. Megan Mitchell, volleyball

5. Tanner Thomas, football

6. Tim Rudnick, football

7. Tia Lyons, soccer

8. Taylor Biaggi, cross country

9. Taryn Williams, volleyball

10. Ross Gardner, soccer

If there were more spots on the list: Alex Laing, soccer; Jourdan Burke, volleyball; Katie Dry, girls' soccer; Johnny Pollack, football; Jessica Waggoner, volleyball; James TenBroeck, tennis; Parker Robertson, football; Brian Randall, soccer; Mysta Townsell, volleyball; Mackenzie Cauley, soccer.

"Get off the field ... Get off the field ... What are these morons thinking?" Play-by-play announcer, Hawkeye Radio Network during the Iowa-Penn State football game.

- My lowest point of the week: "Let's watch the other Sing-Along-Songs video for a little bit, because if we watch this one again, Daddy is going to go a little nuts."

The uniform thing didn't work out so well. I got nine games wrong. My publisher, Charlie Pankey, picked 13 of 14 right.

This week, the team closer in proximity to G-ville (rough estimation) gets my pick.

You can still sign up for the weekly contest at www.recordcourier.profootball.upickem.net.

Here are my picks for week 11:

Jets over Patriots

Lions over Panthers

Broncos over Falcons

Bengals over Eagles

Vikings over Buccaneers

Giants over Ravens

Raiders over Dolphins

Chiefs over Saints

Titans over Jaguars

Colts over Texans

Bears over Packers

Cardinals over Seahawks

49ers over Rams

Chargers over Steelers

Browns over Bills

Tiebreaker: Cowboys 21, Redskins 14

Season record: 70-74. Record last week: 5-9. Season survivor: Out.

- Jack's beard during the season 3 finale was actually a small hedgehog glued to his face. This has nothing to do with the plot, but it's still pretty weird.

Irrational Fear: Scheels - The crystal palace of sports

Guilty Pleasure: Big 5 - Scheels' inventory stuffed into a room the size of my apartment



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