DHS set for showdown with Carson
Can high school football get any better than this? The Douglas Tigers will play host to the Carson Senators – their biggest rivals – on Friday at Keith Roman Field in the final game of the regular season.
Both teams have already qualified for the playoffs, so some of the pressure is off, but there is still a heck of a lot more to play for than pride.
The winner of Friday’s game will finish second in Division II. That second-place finish guarantees the victor a home game in the first round of the playoffs. The team that looses on Friday likely will be headed on the dreaded six-hour bus ride to Elko for a road game against the Indians.
And it was those same Indians, remember, who defeated the Tigers, 51-7, on their home turf earlier this season.
Douglas head coach Mike Rippee said the Tigers are more concerned with executing their game plans on offense and defense against Carson than they are worried about having to make another trip to Elko.
“If we’re going to play competitive football in the playoffs, we’re going to have to beat the McQueens and the Woosters and the Elkos,” Rippee said. “My goal is to finish as high as we can (in the division). Elko did beat us up there, but it’s not where you start it’s where you end up. And I’d like to stay home for that first playoff game.”
The Tigers haven’t hosted a playoff football game since they played 2A ball in the 1970s, according to Rippee, who was even more excited than usual after his Monday afternoon meeting with his coaching staff.
“This is what football is all about,” he said. “It’s always fun to play against the team you have your best rivalry with.
“It’s an exciting time. Both sides are probably feeling a little pressure. That’s what makes this game what it is to play. There are times in your life when you have to step up to the challenge, and this is one of those times.”
In addition to being the last game of the regular season, Friday’s contest will also be Seniors’ Night for the DHS Tigers.
Also, six former players will be inducted into the Douglas High Football Hall of Fame. Those players are: Ron Wilcks, who played during the 1950s; Jack Byrom Lance Modispacher and Steve Watson, who played during the 1960s; and Lamont McCann and Albert Aikines, who played during the 1980s.
Carson brings its Wing-T attack to town. The Senators’ attack features outstanding senior running back David Krueger (6-2, 190) and quarterback Jordan Payette (6-3, 195) who has a good arm and several quality targets at the receiver position.
Friday’s game will be the first time the Tigers have seen a full-time Wing-T offense since the Elko game. Rippee isn’t afraid of the Wing-T, which is based on misdirection and deception.
“Schemes don’t beat you, players do,” the coach said. “Any offensive scheme can be stopped. We have a tremendous amount of respect for them and we know it’s a dangerous offense. We just have to get up and play good football.”
The key for the Tigers, as it has been all year, will be stopping the Senators from breaking any big plays.
“You have to make sure Krueger doesn’t run wild on you, but you can’t forget about everyone else,” Rippee said. “Everyone has to execute their assignments.”
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