Austin Dekruyf (16) pulls down a Damonte Ranch ballcarrier during a game two weeks ago. Douglas High football will host Carson this Friday.
Photo by Ron Harpin.
With three wins in a row over their rivals, the Douglas High School football team is getting used to seeing The Rivalry Trophy in its hands.
Come Friday, Douglas will once again be tasked with defending its home field and the longest rivalry in the state of Nevada.
The Tigers are also coming off a bye week last week, giving the orange and black and extra week to prepare for the Senators’ arrival.
“More than anything, we gave the kids some time to heal up,” said Douglas head coach Kyle Mays.
Preparing for the Senators
In order to be successful Friday, Douglas will have to match Carson’s intensity.
The Senators are not the same team as the past few seasons and have certainly found some confidence in a win over Reed earlier this season.
“They play extremely hard and extremely intense,” said Mays. “They are just a blue collar team through and through.”
Carson’s offense will still look similar to years’ past, but the Senators have more speed in the backfield.
So far, Carson head coach Blair Roman and company have stretched the field with screens and sweeps to allow their speed backs to get into space.
“Those backs when they get a little bit of a seam, they do a very good job of running straight ahead,” said Mays. “We have to get to the line of scrimmage and fill those gaps as fast as we can.”
Jacob Campbell (No. 5) has been the Senators’ leading rusher to this point, but Parker Story (No. 6) has an equally dynamic skillset when he can get into the open field.
Carson quarterback Vinny Ferretti (No. 12) is capable of escaping the pocket and keeping plays alive with his feet, as well.
On the other side of the ball, Carson’s linebacking core has been a staple of the defense.
The Tigers have run into teams all across Northern Nevada with high-quality linebackers, but the Senators have two playmakers that will be lined up a few yards deep.
Ben Heaton (No. 34) and Ioane Tuia (No. 7) are the Senators’ leading tacklers and can be seen flying around and are in on nearly every tackle in some capacity.
“They are right up there with the likes of Damonte, Manogue and McQueen,” said Mays. “They hit. They like to hit. They are looking for contact. They are the heart and soul of that defense.”
For Douglas, taking care of business on offense and keeping short down-and-distances will be critical.
The Tiger offense is coming off one of its best offensive performances of the year and they’ll need to have it carry over to keep Carson from garnering too much confidence on Douglas’ home field.
For the first time in a while, Carson will not be Douglas’ last game of the season.
Next Friday, the Tigers will wrap up regular season play at Spanish Springs.
“There’s a lot of people that when they find out it’s not the last game of the regular season they shake their heads, like ‘what, when did that change?’ … It’s unique,” said Mays.
Regardless of where it falls on the schedule, Douglas and Carson football is always capable of providing a show.
Friday will also be Senior Night for the Tiger football team.
Kickoff is set for 7 p.m.