Douglas High football’s playoff aspirations face first test against Wooster on Friday
WOOster (1-4) at Douglas (2-3)
Where: Douglas High School
When: 7 p.m. Friday
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Douglas welcomes Wooster to town for Homecoming on Friday and Tiger head coach Ernie Monfiletto put it bluntly when it came to his game plan for the Colts.
“We need to get after them,” said Monfiletto. “They are capable of hanging around and we can’t let them do that.”
Specifically, Monfiletto was referencing what the Tiger defense needs to do against the Wooster quarterback and wide receiver combo of Jace Papke and Donovan Ratfield.
Ratfield has pulled in nearly 40 percent of the Colts’ completed passes this season and averages 16.8 yards per reception while hauling in four touchdowns in five games.
“He’s a pretty talented kid who does a lot of good things,” said Monfiletto of Ratfield.
Wooster also marks the beginning of Sierra League play for Douglas.
Monfiletto said his Tiger defense has been improving this season and hopes that trend continues in the same direction as the Tigers look to start league play 1-0.
The Colts enter with a 1-4 record, including a 28-7 loss to Reno and a 20-18 win over Hug — two opponents Douglas has already faced this season.
Douglas’ defense showed no signs of struggling against Spanish Springs in the opening half two weeks ago, but the Cougars were able to post 26 unanswered points to secure a 33-7 win.
“Wooster has hung in their with everyone a little bit,” said Monfiletto. “Bo (Sellers) has done a great job with them.”
After a bye week that couldn’t have come at a better time, according to Monfiletto, a win will put Douglas back in the drivers’ seat for its postseason aspirations.
With some injury concerns early in the season, the Douglas coach thinks the Tigers are as healthy as they can be.
One piece Douglas will be without is senior tight end and defensive back Nick Ryan, who will miss the rest of the season after suffering an ACL injury against Reed.
Wooster defensive looks
Douglas should be ready for a lot of different looks Friday as the Colts’ defense has morphed and adjusted to each opponent.
Monfiletto added that he expects to see a number of different looks while making sure the Douglas offense can pick up where it left off in the season’s first few weeks.
“I wish I could tell you,” said Monfiletto. “Last week that sat in a 30 front with zone coverage. … There’s times they are sitting in a 3-3 and bringing heat. It’s depended upon who they’ve played.”
After the Douglas offense was held to seven points against Spanish Springs, getting ahead of Wooster early is a “must” for Monfiletto.
“We don’t want them to gain confidence against us, that’s for sure,” said Monfiletto.
Douglas managed just 186 total yards against Spanish Springs last week and getting the team rolling early is a priority for the head coach.
Monfiletto feels the Homecoming crowd will certainly help with building the confidence of the Tigers.