Douglas starts strong, pulls out 30-24 victory
Douglas High School appeared to be in for a big night offensively after taking the opening kickoff and driving 64 yards on four plays to score a touchdown against North Valleys in Reno.
In the end, however, the Tigers needed a scoring drive at the end of the fourth quarter to pull out their first win of the season, 30-24. Quarterback Hunter Hickey, who had a hand in each of the Tigers’ four touchdowns, scrambled seven yards and got the ball past the pylon with 1:37 left to break a 24-all tie in the non-league contest. Hickey broke loose for a 42-yard run on the second play from scrimmage and then ran 16 yards for a touchdown to give Douglas (1-3) a 7-0 lead just 85 seconds into the game.
In between, there were a number of key plays for both teams during North Valleys’ homecoming game.
■ Douglas threatened again on its second possession, however, Hickey was stopped on a fourth-and-5 run by a defensive charge led by Raymond Leslie.
■ North Valleys (0-3) answered with a drive of its own that eventually stalled on a fourth-and-3 play when Austin Aiken made a stop one yard short of the yardstick.
■ The game’s third straight fourth down stop came on the final play of the first quarter when the Panthers’ defensive front stopped Douglas tailback Dakota Lowden on fourth-and-1 from the 2.
■ Chris Flores gave the Tigers a 10-0 lead early in the second quarter when he converted a 37-yard kick for his first field goal of the season. One play later, the Panthers’ Jalen Weaver ran under a long pass for a 76-yard touchdown — and the game went back-and-forth the rest of the way.
At the end of the offensive slugfest, Douglas had amassed 472 yards in total offense (232 rushing, 240 passing). The Tigers did most of their damage in the first half with 331 yards on 38 plays. They ran 21 offensive plays in the second half.
North Valleys, operating with its spread formation, gained 512 yards in total offense (390 rushing, 130 passing). The Panthers gained 292 yards in the first half.
Hickey was named the Tigers’ MaxPreps.com Player of the Game for a performance in which he led the team in rushing with 121 yards and threw for another 240. The senior’s biggest play may have been a 36-yard touchdown pass — thrown just as he was hit by two defenders — that an open Jack Overton caught to give the Tigers a 17-12 lead shortly before halftime.
Junior wide receiver Devon Ryan had nine receptions for 157 yards while Lowden rushed for 114 yards on the night. North Valleys, which had scored only 27 points total in previous losses against Bishop Manogue (60-13) and Galena (48-14), received a spark from junior running back Garrett Pennington with 284 rushing yards on 28 carries.
Next up: The Tigers will be at home on Friday for their second annual Military Tribute, a non-league game against undefeated Reno that kicks off at 7 p.m. The Huskies feature Brandon Kaho (6-3, 220), the 2016 High Desert League Player of the Year, and Siaosi Finau (6-0, 250), who was the league’s Defensive Player of the Year.