Another tough test for Douglas | RecordCourier.com

Another tough test for Douglas

With one test under its belt against a top-tier opponent from Idaho, the Douglas High football team must now turn around and visit one of Northern Nevada's best teams tonight.

Douglas is facing long-time nemesis Reed, which has reigned as region champion five times in six years, in a 7 p.m. nonconference contest in Sparks. Long-time? Just consider that Reed has defeated Douglas in the playoffs each of the last nine years, including a 47-7 verdict in the semifinals last year.

Quarterback Cameron Emerson threw three touchdown passes and ran for two more to lead the Raiders in that game — and is back for his senior season. Even the news that coach Ernie Howren decided to take a job at Bishop Manogue and has been replaced by Tony Amantia is little consolation, if you ask the Tigers' Ernie Monfiletto.

"Tony Amantia is one of those quality guys who does things the right way," Monfiletto said. "The Reed program is in great hands with him in charge and Tony's return as a head coach is great for the Northern 4A. One thing is for sure, his kids will play hard and be aggressive on defense."

The Raiders won their first game under Amantia last Friday, 38-22, at home against Northern California power Clayton Valley Charter.

Meanwhile, the Tigers are coming off a 56-32 loss against Rigby at the 10th annual Rocky Mountain Rumble in Pocatello, Idaho. This marked the third time Douglas has made the 600-mile-plus trip to Pocatello since 2011.

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"That was a good trip for us … a good learning experience against a quality opponent," Monfiletto said.

The game saw four lead changes during the first half before the Rigby Trojans took charge and scored 42 unanswered points to break the game open at Holt Arena.

Senior quarterback Hunter Hickey threw touchdown passes on three of the Tigers' opening four possessions, including strikes of 48 and 60 yards to junior wideout Devon Ryan.

There were some bright spots for Douglas on the defensive side despite giving up 56 points.

Outside linebacker Chris Flores had a hand in nine tackles, seven of which were solo efforts. Inside linebacker Christopher Merritt had nine tackles (three solo), Kane Hoyopatubbi was in on eight tackles (six solo) and Alex Rice had five tackles (one for negative yards).

"We put ourselves in a couple of hard spots," said Monfiletto. "The game should have been a lot closer. It just steamrolled on us … got away from us. A young team has to realize it can't put itself in those kinds of spots. I'm excited about what this team can be. We're just not there yet."