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DHS frosh hammer Galena; JVs fall

by Chuck Smock, sports editor

The Douglas freshman football team jumped all over the Galena Grizzlies on Thursday afternoon at Galena High.

Mike Blackledge’s squad scored 37 unanswered points on its way to an impressive 51-6 victory.

The Douglas junior varsity sputtered offensively in the evening game, but the Tiger defense kept the game close until late in the fourth quarter. Galena scored two touchdowns in the final four minutes to secure a 27-6 win.

Offense, defense and special teams all contributed points for the Douglas freshmen.

Quarterback Luke Rippee tossed an 18-yard touchdown pass to Brandon Huff in the first quarter. Jake Peterson made it 14-0 Tigers with a 10-yard touchdown run and a two-point conversion.

Andy McIntosh returned a punt 50 yards for Douglas’ third touchdown. And Stormy Herald ran in the conversion for a 22-0 DHS advantage.

Peterson then scored his second touchdown of the game before McIntosh intercepted a pass and returned it 48 yards for his second score. Huff kicked the PAT and the Tigers led 37-0.

It was all Dusty Cooper in the second half for Douglas. Cooper turned in touchdown runs of 60 yards and 45 yards to finish the scoring.

Cooper finished the game with 109 yards on four carries. Peterson added 74 yards on six rushes.

Rippee completed three of nine passes for 59 yards. Huff caught two passes for 57 yards and kicked three PATs.

“The offensive line really came together,” Blackledge said. “The kids are really working hard and they’re really executing.”

The Douglas defense limited Galena to 37 yards of rushing and 44 yards of passing.

Anthony Ripoli made four solo tackles for the Tigers. Blake Weyland played a great game defensively, including sacking the Galena quarterback twice. A.G Reed and Herald also had quarterback sacks.

“Our first-string defense has shut out every team we’ve played,” Blackledge said. “And our second- and third-stringers really picked it up. Everybody played a lot and they all did a really good job. I’m very happy with the entire squad.”

Douglas junior varsity coach Terry Hughes also saw several positives in his team’s game, despite the final score.

“The defense did quite well to hold them to less than 100 yards (rushing),” Hughes said. “Our problem was we had them on the field too long.”

Hughes said he was especially pleased with the play of Ray Gabriel, Levi Mellows and Tyler Hall on the defensive side of the ball.

Sophomore quarterback Austin Graham returned to the JV squad after spending the first two weeks of the season on varsity as the Tigers backup quarterback and defensive back.

Graham was called up when junior backup QB Shane Cauley suffered a broken thumb in his non-throwing hand prior to the first scrimmage. Cauley was able to make key contributions on defense last week against Elko and has returned to the No. 2 spot at quarterback.

With his team trailing 14-0 early in the fourth quarter, Graham completed a 50-yard pass to Craig Bell and then tossed a 15-yard touchdown pass to Ben Schuler.