It took a little while for the Douglas High School football team to get going, but the Tigers established their dominance Friday night with a 35-0 win over Carson.
The victory returns The Rivalry Trophy to Minden and caps the Tigers regular season with a 9-1 record.
Friday night’s contest was the 100th anniversary and the 85th meeting between the two schools.
In the last 36 years, the two stood even winning 18 contests apiece.
Douglas now has the edge with Friday night’s shutout win.
“It feels great. I’ve been waiting for this moment for four years,” said senior lineman Sage Adie. “For the past two years I’ve laid in my bed, thinking about grabbing that trophy every night. It’s my wallpaper on my phone. I’ve been thinking about this moment for two years.”
Tonight, Adie and the Tigers can sleep easy.
(Douglas High School head coach Kyle Mays reacts to one of Connor Jackson’s rushing touchdowns against Carson Friday night. / Ron Harpin)
Jackson continues historic pace
Connor Jackson – who unofficially ended Friday night’s game with 310 rushing yards – had four touchdowns, tying the single-season school record 27.
The senior tailback is now entrenched himself next to Kevin Lehr’s 1997 record of 27.
Jackson’s 1,871 rushing yards this season (in 10 games) is second in school history behind Spike Agosta’s 1,945 yards in 11 games in 2004.
On any given night, Douglas’ power run game has been able to dominate opposing defenses.
“It was a good day,” said Jackson. “It took us a little bit to get started, but once we got it going, they couldn’t stop us. It’s always good to run power against Carson.”
Adie knows Jackson has distributed the love to his offensive line throughout the season, so the fellow senior returned the favor.
“You get me, Michael Cahill, Austin Pitts pulling for Connor, … Connor has vision like no other,” said Adie. “He’s a dog. He breaks so many tackles.”
Douglas High School head coach Kyle Mays was singing Jackson's praises, too.
“I cannot speak highly enough of the young man. He battles, he finishes runs like an old school Douglas running back,” said Mays. “He’s a tremendous human being and he’s a special player.”
Jackson got the Tigers on the board with 2:55 left in the half on his first rushing score, breaking free on a 52-yard run. He was back in the end zone again with 38.3 seconds before the intermission with a 22-yard TD run.
Late in the third quarter, Jackson went 13 yards to paydirt before getting one more score in the fourth quarter on a 22-yard run.
Jackson Ovard and Trace Estes linked up for the only other score of the night – a 29-yard touchdown reception – early in the fourth quarter.
Zeroes on the scoreboard
Douglas’ defense has now gone 17 consecutive quarters without allowing a point.
That marks the second longest streak in program history behind the Tigers’ 1963 squad, which went 20 quarters without allowing a point.
“Let’s be honest it’s probably a little more difficult to move the ball on our defense then some people think,” said Mays. “We have more shutouts than games we’ve had points scored against us.”
The team defense showed as all 11 Tiger players got in on plays at one point or another.
Cole Smalley and Aaron Tekansik snuffed out the Senator run game all night.
Kyle Koontz, Trevor Shaver and Trace Estes were consistently in the backfield disrupting plays.
Zach Jackson tied the team lead in interceptions, grabbing his fourth INT of the season on a floated pass late in the third quarter.
Brenton Weston grabbed his third pick of the fall, setting up Douglas to score its final touchdown of the evening with 3:51 left in the fourth quarter.
“In practice we work hard. I think we just have great work ethic,” said Smalley. “Senior year, we went 2-16 the past two years and then coming out 9-1 and 5-0 in league it is just phenomenal. It is unbelievable.”
The final score started the running clock as Douglas jumped in front, 35-0.
There will be some things to clean up for the Tigers after totaling nine penalties for 100 yards.
"We gave up a lot of first downs on penalties. We gave some stuff up, we have to watch our mouths," said Mays. "There was a lot of disrespect before the game and it's not stuff we put up with very well."
(A look at the Class 5A Div. III postseason bracket)
UP NEXT: Douglas (9-1, 5-0) will get a week off after clinching the No. 1 seed in Class 5A Div. III. They beaten nearly every team in front of them and now the Tigers turn their attention to the postseason.
Douglas will be back in action Friday, November 3 against the winner of No. 4 Carson and No. 5 North Valleys.