Douglas D had its highlights |

Douglas D had its highlights

by Dave Price

Douglas High football coach Ernie Monfiletto would have liked his team's chances last Friday night if he had known beforehand that the Tigers would limit undefeated Damonte Ranch to 354 yards in total offense and seven points in the second half in their Sierra League contest.

Then again, things didn't entirely play out the way Monfiletto hoped in that game, as the Mustangs (1-0 league, 7-0 overall) capitalized on some big special teams and defensive plays to run off with a 42-7 homecoming victory.

Tai Allison returned the opening kickoff for a 93-yard touchdown, and the explosive Mustangs pulled away late in the second quarter, aided by a fumble recovery and long punt return. Damonte Ranch scored three touchdowns in a span of one minute of 38 seconds at the end of the first half to break open what had been a 14-7 struggle against Douglas (0-2, 2-6).

"Our defense played well," Monfiletto said. "We held them to 354 yards and our goal was to keep them under 400. But they score on a kick return to start the game, then we blew coverage (on a long touchdown pass), and we're down 14-0 before we know it."

Junior quarterback Cade McNamara, who has committed to Notre Dame, threw a 76-yard scoring strike to Dru Jacobs on the Mustangs' second offensive play from scrimmage to make it 14-0. McNamara finished 15-for-30 with 216 passing yards.

Among the bright spots for the Tigers was the performance on defense and offense by senior Andrew Williams.

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"Andrew is a key component of our defensive secondary and receiving core," Monfiletto said. "Andrew plays full-time on the defensive side of the ball and rotates series on offense. He is a team leader and a reliable defender, receiver and punt returner."

Jayden Foster scored on a 28-yard touchdown sweep in the first quarter to bring the Tigers back to 14-7, however, Damonte Ranch broke the game open with 21 points in the final 3:06 before halftime.

"We talked at halftime about what we needed to do," Monfiletto said. "We held them to three 3-and-outs."

Offensively, the Tigers were unable to capitalize on two opportunities after they drove into the red zone. The Tigers ended the first half with an incomplete pass in the end zone after they got a second chance when a roughing the kicker penalty was called on a missed field goal attempt.

"We just didn't finish," Monfiletto said. "Offensively, we weren't where we needed to be against a quality (Damonte Ranch) defense."

Now, the Tigers are on a bye week as they prepare for their next game next Thursday at home against Galena. They finish the regular season on Nov. 3 with a home game against arch rival Carson.

Douglas needs to win at least one of those games to extend a streak of appearances in the Northern 4A Region playoffs that dates to 2000.

"The week off is going to help us get a little healthier," Monfiletto said. "We're going to use the time to get ready for Galena and move forward. The main thing, we want to address is everyone's responsibility to come out fired up and ready to play football."