Tigers look for fast start versus Miners
So, what are the keys to success for the Douglas High football team coming into its homecoming game tonight against Bishop Manogue?
If you ask coach Ernie Monfiletto, the Tigers need a strong start and then they need to maintain consistency all the way to the final buzzer in the Sierra League opener for both teams. Douglas is 2-3 overall and Manogue 3-2 coming into a game scheduled for a 7 p.m. kickoff at Keith Roman Field.
“The key for us is coming out fast and playing consistent football,” Monfiletto said. “That means 11 kids on the field doing their job at all times.”
Monfiletto emphasized the need for the Tigers to be successful from the opening kickoff. Just look at the combined halftime scores in their previous five games. The Tigers were up on McQueen 7-0 and North Valleys 28-0 in those two wins. On the other hand, they’ve been outscored 70-10 during the first quarter in losses against Reed, Spanish Springs and Reno. They trailed 21-3 after one quarter on the way to a 49-24 defeat at Reno last Friday.
“We’ve got to come out focused from the start,” Monfiletto said. “I think our kids understand the levity of this game and I have great confidence they will respond. They’re (Manogue) a very talented group of kids so we expect to see a great game.”
The stakes are simple. The winner will have an inside track to the region playoffs in November. The loser will have a serious uphill climb with games against formidable Carson, Damonte Ranch and Galena teams on the horizon.
The good news for the Tigers is they’re starting to regain some health, starting with the return of inside linebacker/tight end Reagan Roberson. The 6-foot-1, 230-pound senior has been sidelined since the first quarter of the Reed game on Sept. 2 due to a shoulder injury.
Senior defensive end Garrett Frankiewich, who had been nursing a lower leg injury, returned last week and played at Reno. Monfiletto did announce, however, that wide receivers Phillip Lopez (shoulder separation) and Kory Johnson (concussion) will miss the rest of this season.
Quarterback Hunter Hickey along with Ryland DeSomber and Dakota Lowden rushed for touchdowns for the Tigers in their loss at Reno. DeSomber gained 118 yards on 13 carries. Josh Gurule kicked a 35-yard field goal in the first quarter.
On the other hand, Manogue has collected wins this season against North Valleys, Henley (Klamath Falls, Ore.) and Hug, but is coming off a 62-27 defeat against Reed last Friday.
The Miners are young, with 16 sophomores on their roster, but have been explosive at times this season with no less than eight gains of 45 yards or better from the line of scrimmage. Daunte Garrett has caught 83- and 63-yard touchdown passes from quarterback Lincoln Hauck, Dontell Jackson scored on a 74-yard run against Reed and Peyton Dixon on a 51-yard run against North Valleys. All four are sophomores (Hauck is a returning varsity starter from last year).
“They run the veer option so we need to play assignment football and we need to tackle in hordes,” Monfiletto said. “We need to contain their offense and have a pack mentality when we’re tackling. We need to control the ball and to minimize our mistakes.”