Douglas High football sets sights on 2-0 in league play and leg up in playoff race
Douglas (3-3, 1-0) at Galena (2-3, 1-0)
Where: Galena High School
When: Friday at 7 p.m.
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Douglas High School football has a chance at a 2-0 start in Sierra League play, coming this Friday against Galena.
A 2-0 start would leave Douglas needing just one win over its final three games to lock up a postseason berth.
After getting to 1-0 in league play with a 20-point win over Wooster last week, the Tigers have a shot to take advantage of another team having some issues putting points on the board.
Scoring hasn’t been a problem for the Tigers this season.
The Tigers have scored 20 points or more in five of its games this season, something the Grizzlies have only accomplished once this season in a 39-0 win over Hug on Sept. 13.
Galena was only able to muster one touchdown last week at home against Carson, leaving Douglas head coach Ernie Monfiletto with a similar message to his team.
Get out in front quick.
“It’s always the goal,” said Monfiletto. “It’s important for us to get the upper hand. We want to knock it out of them.”
In fact, Douglas has posted 209 points through six games this season while Galena has 84 through five.
After last week’s performance, Tiger quarterback Isaac Shaver sits on top of the Sierra League passing leaderboard with 899 yards. The sophomore QB has also thrown a league-best 12 touchdowns.
The Tigers’ potent offense hasn’t been solely via the air as Trevor Kruger is second in the Sierra League in rushing yards with 799 to go alongside 12 touchdowns.
Douglas will need to keep an eye on a few Galena defenders in order to continue having offensive success.
In the secondary is Chase Nelson (No. 10), who had five interceptions through four games this season after picking off eight wayward passes last year.
The Grizzlies’ pressure up front has also forced 11 sacks this year, including three last week.
“Defensively, they play great football,” said Monfiletto.
Monfiletto also wants to see his offensive line continue to improve after seeing a string of improvements over the last few weeks.
His O-line will see a number of blitz packages from the Grizzlies, who typically like to sit in cover zero and bring pressure up front.
“They’re critical,” said Monfiletto of his offensive line. “Galena plays with a lot of pressure and we have to manage that pressure and take advantage of times being out of position.”
Though respectful of Galena’s defense, Monfiletto had plenty of praise for his offensive players as well.
He added that he doesn’t think there is a better group of receivers to get out and make catches to help out his sophomore quarterback.
Coming off a week in which Cameron Swain and Isaiah Geilenfeldt combined for four touchdowns, Friday will highlight a battle of strengths between the two squads.
Galena’s offensive looks
Offensively, Galena’s offense presents a few similar challenges to the one Douglas faced last week in Wooster.
On the ground, the Grizzlies haven’t found much success, averaging 3.7 yards per carry as a collective team. Three different backs have 20 or more carries between Austin Coombs (No. 6), Alex Laird (No. 9) and Logan Shima (No. 21).
Laird’s main role is at quarterback where Galena has done a majority of its damage. The senior has completed 50 passes this year for a total of 642 yards through the air and six touchdowns. Laird has shown some inconsistency as he also had nine interceptions thrown for Galena.
“Offensively, I think they’re very similar,” said Monfiletto about Galena compared to Wooster. “They present the same kind of challenges.”
Douglas’ defense had one tough quarter last week, but if the Tigers can make some quick adjustments and keep plays in front of them, Douglas should have a good night on the road.
Douglas will head to Galena with opening kickoff coming at 7 p.m.