The second-seeded Galena Grizzlies will travel south Friday night to take on Douglas High football for a Class 5A Division III regional title, the first in the state.
The two squads met during the regular season as the Tigers won the first meeting, 51-21, at Galena on Sept. 22.
It’s also the last time the Douglas defense allowed an opponent to score.
There’s no dancing around the expectations for the orange and black.
Even with a 10-1 record and a number of school records broken in the process, it’s regional title or bust.
“If you’re not focused and in peak execution phase right now, you have problems,” said Douglas High coach Kyle Mays. “This is a legit championship game. The first one for us in 20 years.”
Kickoff is set for 6 p.m.
Tickets can be purchased through the NIAA website, here: https://www.niaa.com/tickets/index
Gates at Douglas High School will open at 4:30 p.m. to help keep lines short.
There’s always a certain level of animosity in rematches.
Douglas High has watched as teams have tried to dance on their logo at midfield as some limited form of intimidation.
The Tigers have heard opponents talk their talk before kickoff, attempting to minimize their accomplishments.
The posturing has already begun for Friday’s regional championship, but Galena’s offense is back at full health compared to the first meeting between the two squads.
“They have an extremely dynamic offense,” said Mays. “Having (Colson) Kermode back is going to be significant for them. … Tyler Miller will be back for them as well.”
Kermode, Galena’s quarterback, did not suit up for their meeting in September, but has thrown for 1,106 yards and 11 touchdowns in seven games.
His playmaking ability allows the Grizzlies offense to be dynamic in a multitude of formations.
Miller, a senior offensive lineman, is ranked as the No. 2 recruit in Northern Nevada per 247sports.
Galena is averaging just over 36 points per game in its last six contests.
The return of two key pieces will be another test for the Douglas defense, but the Tigers have passed nearly every test this season with flying colors.
In their first meeting, Douglas ran for 465 yards with five touchdowns as Connor Jackson had a field day (304 yards, four touchdowns).
Douglas’ power run game has been the essence of its offense and hasn’t had less than 219 yards on the ground in the last six weeks.
No matter the potential success that Galena may have with a fully healthy offensive lineup, the Grizzlies will have to find answers to the Tigers’ power run game.
“They’ve got some pretty good linebackers. They play fast, aggressive and they fly around,” said Mays. “We will see if we can continue running the way that we do.”
Every snap counts
When it comes to postseason football, every area of the game matters.
Snaps become even more critical when a turnover can change the outcome of a season.
Under center, Ledger Soule has continued to improve in his role not only snapping the ball, but also paving the way for the Douglas run game.
On special teams, Caden Martin has been the primary figure at long snapper for Douglas.
Mays credits their progress this season as a continued dedication to their craft.
“Caden Martin works diligently on his own time to get that stuff right,” said Mays. “Ledger has done just the same.”
Possessions will be at a premium Friday and the winner of the turnover battle will have a leg up on winning a regional crown.
The winner Friday night will advance to the Class 5A Division III state title game Nov. 18 at Mackay Stadium.
The southern champion also will be determined Friday when top-seeded Legacy (North Las Vegas) hosts second-seed Palo Verde (Las Vegas) at 6 p.m.