Ball control a key for Tigers | RecordCourier.com

Ball control a key for Tigers

Ball control was right up near the top of Ernie Monfiletto's list of priorities early last week before the Douglas Tigers took on their arch rival Carson Senators. And the Douglas offensive unit successfully achieved that objective Thursday night with its performance that proved key to a 31-17 victory in Carson City.

Here are three things to consider about the 75th renewal of Nevada's oldest prep football rivalry:

■ Not only did the Tigers gain 300-plus yards in total offense, they staged four drives that consisted of 10 plays or more, including an 11-play drive that resulted in a go-ahead touchdown to end the first half and a 17-play march that resulted in a critical field goal late in the third quarter.

■ Along the way, the Tigers were 3-for-3 in fourth down conversion attempts and 6-for-12 on third down conversions. Two of those fourth down conversions came on the 17-play field goal drive — both on fourth-and-1 plays — and Ryland DeSomber ran 5 yards for both. The first came from the Tigers' own 29 and the second from Carson's 32, plays, leading to Josh Gurule's career-best 42-yard field goal that cut Carson's lead to 17-16 with 1:52 left in the third quarter.

■ What made all of this possible, of course, was that the Tigers never turned the ball over during a hard-hitting rivalry game played in slippery conditions.

■ At the end of the night, quarterback Hunter Hickey had a team-high 91 rushing yards, 102 passing yards and a 2-yard touchdown run that basically put the win on ice with 1:49 remaining to play. The Tigers finished with 207 yards rushing, as opposed to Carson's 264 yards, 220 of which came from Abel Carter.

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Now, Douglas (5-4 overall) has an opportunity to host its first playoff game since 2009 when the Tigers face Spanish Springs (5-4) Friday night. When the two teams met on Sept. 9 at Spanish Springs, the Cougars scored 35 first-quarter points and went on to win, 51-27.

The Tigers scored two of their touchdowns on Dawson Coman kickoff returns and another on Haydn Brown's interception return in the final moments before halftime.

PLAYOFF TICKETS

Ticket prices for the Tigers’ playoff game Friday against Spanish Springs are $10 for adults, $5 for students, $3 for senior citizens 62-and-older and children 8-and-younger will be admitted free of charge. NIAA courtesy cards will be honored for the legitimate pass holder and one guest. NIAA Lifetime Passes will be honored for the legitimate pass holder and one guest.