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Tigers beat Grizzlies, eye Lancers

by Chuck Smock, sports editor

Fewer than a dozen plays were the difference between “defeated” and “dominated” for Douglas Tigers in their 24-14 victory over Galena on Friday in Reno.

Grizzlies running backs Damian Rivadeneyra and Luke Penrose combined for 228 yards on 40 carries, with more than half of those yards coming on six rushes.

A long kickoff return and a long run from scrimmage led to Galena’s first touchdown. A successful fake punt was the key play in the Grizzlies’ second scoring drive.

This week, Douglas will play host to the McQueen Lancers, a team that has the potential to turn even minor miscues into points.

“We still have to get better against the run,” said Douglas coach Mike Rippee, whose team improved to 2-1 with the win over Galena. “We’re going to see a team (Friday) that has one of the best backs (Chris Carr) in the league.

“We had times when we were real, real tough. And there were times when we broke down.”

Douglas fans might remember Carr from last year, when the Lancers beat the Tigers, 51-0, in the first round of the playoffs in Reno. Carr broke free on a 67-yard touchdown run on the Lancers’ first play from scrimmage.

Carr did the same thing Friday in his team’s 55-0 rout of the Reno Huskies. He scored six touchdowns in the first half as the Lancers built a 48-0 lead through two quarters.

McQueen spanked Carson, 52-7, in the season opener. The Lancers defeated the Wooster Colts, 31-14, in the second week of the season.

The Tigers will play host to the Lancers on Friday at Keith Roman Field. Kickoff is scheduled for 7 p.m.

The opponents keep changing for the Tigers, but the goals remain the same.

“We can’t put the ball on the ground, we have to get the tough yards in third- and fourth-down situations and we can’t give up the big play if we want to be successful (against McQueen),” Rippee said.

Offensively, the Tigers mixed the run and pass effectively against the Grizzlies.

Jared Kenison completed 11 of 14 passes for 175 yards, including an 80-yard touchdown to Gabe Hatchett on Douglas’ third play from scrimmage.

Drew Hall ran for 86 yards on eight attempts and Monte McCann added 82 yards on 16 carries, including touchdown runs of 20 yards and 11 yards.

“We knew we had to run the ball,” said Hall, who had runs of 32 yards and 26 yards to start a drive that led to an Andrew Andrews 21-yard field goal at the end of the second quarter. “The (offensive) line really stepped up this week during practice. They were blocking a whole lot better. We just worked on the things we needed to, the little things, and it all took care of itself.”

Hatchett caught four passes for 115 yards. Jordan Ovard added 476 yards on four receptions and Erik Olson had two catches for 15 yards.

A fumble inside the Galena 20-yard line was one of the few lowlights for the Douglas offense.

Defensively, Douglas entered the game with two major goals: stop the run and prevent the big play. The Tigers weren’t entirely successful in either department, but they came up big in several key situations. Douglas stopped Galena twice on downs in the final five minutes of the fourth quarter.

DHS defensive coordinator Steve Wilcox said linemen John Hillenbrand and Dan Bradshaw, linebackers Jake Allsip and Cal Lewis and free safety Shane Cauley all had good games against Galena.