Douglas High wide receiver Trace Estes gets around an Elko defender on his way to a 60-yard reception in the Tigers’ 14-9 win over Elko Friday night.
Photo by Ron Harpin.
Douglas High football’s 14-9 over Elko Friday night left the Tiger sideline in an electric state.
The Tigers haven’t been 2-0 since 2019 and Douglas’ win was solidified by its fourth quarter effort.
“It feels good for the kids. They’ve put in so much work,” said Douglas High head coach Kyle Mays. “It’s such a great feeling to have the success with this group.”
Trailing 9-7 midway through the third quarter, the Tigers took over possession on their own 35 after an Elko punt.
Connor Jackson used a 13-yard run to give Douglas its initial first down of the drive
The second might’ve been the epitome of what the coaching staff is seeing in their team.
On a third-and-9, Jackson Ovard found Kyle Koontz on the home sideline.
Koontz lowered his shoulder and bulldozed right into a pair of Elko defenders, needing every inch for the first down.
Except, the ball popped out.
Enter offensive lineman Michael Cahill, who scooped up the rock and lowered his own shoulder to push his way for first down yardage.
Andrew Strand ran for another first down before the quarter ended.
Just 13 seconds into the fourth quarter, Jackson had punched in the Tigers’ final score of the game on a 5-yard carry on first-and-goal.
On Elko’s ensuing drive, Cole Smalley picked up a sack before making a heads up play to help the Tigers secure a turnover.
After a high snap, Smalley out-hustled the Elko quarterback to the ball, pushed it away from them and allowed his teammate Braden Lenz to dive on the loose ball.
“Cole made a smart football play. He was attacking that ball and he could feel that pressure,” said Mays. “Another kid hustling to the ball, … In the past we might have missed opportunities like that because of lack of hustle.”
The turnover set up Douglas in the red zone with a chance to put the game away.
Elko’s defense didn’t fold as the red and white stuffed the Tigers on fourth-and-goal at the 1-yard line, regaining possession with 5:25 remaining in the contest.
“We wanted to get the ball in the end zone and kind of seal it,” said Mays. “We could’ve kicked it and made it nine, … but like I told the kids after the game. I was okay. I really wasn’t that nervous.”
Trace Estes broke free on a slant route for a 60-yard touchdown to give Douglas its first lead of the contest, 7-3.
Elko responded with a score of their own on a double pass, but missed the extra point.
The teams went into the locker room at half with Elko leading, 9-7.
“I think we took a big step forward tonight in sticking together,” said Mays. “I thought they did a fabulous job. We weren’t shutting down and we weren't buckling and I’m extremely proud of them for that.”
Douglas 14, Elko 9
Carson 26, Calaveras 6
Rocklin 42, McQueen 0
South Tahoe 33, Dayton 12
Yuba City 28, Galena 23
Jesuit 30, Bishop Manogue 14
Lowry 21, Hug 20
Damonte Ranch 42, North Valleys 7
Shadow Ridge 21, Spanish Springs 7
Reno 35, Northgate 10