Douglas High’s Nathan Stevens (86) and Zachary Westbrook (5) combine to stop a Damonte Ranch ball carrier Friday. The Tiger defense allowed seven points against the Mustangs and is giving up an average of four points per game.
Photo by Ron Harpin.
When you’ve made as much history as Douglas High School football has through its first four games, you expect someone to try to knock you off your perch.
Reed High (3-1) will attempt to do that Thursday in a 7 p.m. start at Douglas High.
“The way our season has stacked up so far, it’s gotten progressively more challenging as the weeks have gone on,” said Douglas coach Kyle Mays on the Behind the Bench podcast. “Obviously, Reed is one of the top dogs in all of Northern Nevada.”
Mays added that the toughest challenge will likely come in the trenches where the Raiders have some of the biggest players that Douglas has seen all year.
“You’d be a dummy to overlook Reed,” joked Mays. “Their front line on offense and defense are some large human beings.”
What’s been working
Douglas High’s defense has posted two shutouts and allowed a total of 16 points in its other two wins.
That works out to an average of four points per game.
However, the Raiders will enter Thursday’s game having scored 114 points.
Del Oro, California handed the Raiders a 55-9 loss.
“I think Reed has a legitimate shot at winning the 5A Division II North,” Mays said. “We’ve got a big test against them this week.”
Senior captain Cole Smalley has 44 tackles, nine of which are for loss.
Of those nine tackles for loss, five have been sacks where he leads the Tigers defense.
Right behind Smalley is defensive end Kyle Koontz with 17 tackles, including 4.5 sacks.
Douglas’ pass defense has nine interceptions, none of which were more important than Austin Dekruyf’s 100-yard interception return for a touchdown to put the win over Damonte on ice.
Reed quarterback Nishaan Bajwa has thrown for 497 yards with six touchdowns and two interceptions, while sophomore running back Bronwyn Rios has 637 yards and six touchdowns, working out to an average of 160 yards rushing per game.
Defensively, Cooper Park leads the Raiders’ with 45 tackles.
(Douglas High's Ledger Soule (75) jumps off the line to make a block this past Friday night against Damonte Ranch. / Ron Harpin)