Douglas vs. Carson: The trenches are key | RecordCourier.com

Douglas vs. Carson: The trenches are key

Douglas quarterback Hunter Hickey (18) tries to elude Galena's Hayden Werbeckes (48) Friday night in Reno.

When the Douglas Tigers and Carson Senators Clash Thursday night in the 75th renewal of Nevada's oldest prep football rivalry, the winning team is most likely going to be decided by one time-honored belief.

The belief, you see, is that football games are won or lost on the line of scrimmage. It's what Hall of Fame coaches such as Walt Powers and Keith Roman at Douglas as well as Ed Jesse at Carson were saying back in the 1940s, '50s and '60s.

Now, listen to what current coaches Ernie Monfiletto of Douglas and Blair Roman of Carson said this week.

"They're solid on both the offensive and defensive lines," Monfiletto said of the Senators. "One key for us is to control the line of scrimmage. This is a game, without a doubt, that is going to be decided on the line of scrimmage."

Those words were echoed by Roman, who formerly played quarterback at Douglas and whose father was a longtime coach in Minden.

"This game is going to come down to whomever wins in the trenches," he said.

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The regular season-ending contest on Carson's artificial turf kicks off at 7 p.m., and at night's end, the outcome will determine second-place in the Sierra League standings. Of significance, the second-place team will host Spanish Springs to open the playoffs next week, while the loser travels to Reno.

One reason the battle of the trenches looms so large is that both teams use a run-first approach and have been successful all season. Douglas has used running backs Ryland DeSomber and Dawson Coman along with quarterback Hunter Hickey to rush for 2,000-plus yards this season.

"They are running the ball more this year," Roman said of the Tigers. "They have a combination of speed (Coman) and power (DeSomber). Their quarterback (Hickey) is the type of quarterback who can hurt you with his feet. He's a solid passer, too."

The Tigers are coming in with a simple plan, Monfiletto explained.

"On offense, we need to control the football and eliminate mistakes," he said.

Meanwhile, Carson has relied heavily on 5-foot-10, 195-pound junior Abel Carter, who has combined power and speed to run for 1,506 yards and 21 touchdowns so far this season.

"Our clear mission on defense is to slow down or stop No. 34 (Carter) and to eliminate big plays," Monfiletto said.

The focus on Carter figures to be amplified since the Senators are now without senior quarterback Jace Keema, who has been lost for the season due to a foot injury. Carson played with Daniel Morrison at quarterback in a 34-17 loss at Damonte Ranch on Oct. 14, however, the Senators have had their bye week to make adjustments.

"They've had an extra week to prepare for us, so anything is possible," Monfiletto said. "They ran some Wildcat (with Carter against Damonte Ranch), so we expect to see something Thursday night.

"And they are a talented team," he added. "They're not a one-man show. No team gets to this point with only one guy."

Needless to say, the Tigers are happy to be in this position after going through a stretch in which they've only won seven games the last three seasons.

"We're excited. Just to be playing a meaningful game is great because the last couple of years, it's just been able beating Carson," Monfiletto said. "First and foremost, we want five wins; second, we want to finish the regular season with a win and get an opportunity to play at home in the first round; and third, we want to beat Carson. And I don't think any one of those three reasons is any more important than the others."

Douglas vs. Carson

(Carson leads series 49-22-3)

1923 — Carson 76-6 (d)

1924 — Carson 26, Douglas 0 (c)

1924 — Carson 7-0 (d)

1934 — Carson won 13-6 (d), 6-0 (c)

1935 — Carson 44-0 (d), Carson def. Douglas (c)

1936 — Carson 19, Douglas 0 (c)

1937 — Carson 7-0 (d)

1938 — Douglas 24-0 (d), Douglas 13-0 (c)

1939 — Carson won 6-0 (d), 6-0 (c)

1940 — 6-6 tie (d)

1941 — Carson 12-0 (c)

1942 — Carson def. Douglas (c); Carson 17, Douglas 6 (d)

1943 — Carson 18-6 (c), 21-6 (d)

1944 — 12-12 tie (c)

1945 — Carson 40-12 (d)

1946 — Douglas 12-6 (c)

1947 — Douglas 25-20 (d)

1948 — Carson 46-0 (c)

1949 — Carson 21-0 (d)

1950 — Douglas 19-7 (c)

1951 — Douglas 22-14 (d)

1952 — Carson 18-14 (c)

1953 — Carson 40-6

1954 — Carson 31-9

1955 — Carson 38-12

1956 — Carson 70-0 (c)

1957 — Carson 38-12 (d)

1960 — Carson 26-0 (d)

1963 — 0-0 tie

1964 — Carson 21-0

1965 — Carson 14-7

1966 — Carson 29-12

1979 — Carson 35-18

1980 — Douglas 18-9 (d)

1981 — Douglas 14-6 (c)

1982 — Carson 7-6 (d)

1983 — Carson 33-13 (c)

1984 — Carson 19-0 (d)

1985 — Carson 14-7 (c)

1986 — Carson 19-7 (d)

1987 — Carson 23-13 (c)

1988 — Douglas 28-22 (d)

1989 — Carson 20-3 (c)

1990 — Douglas 20-7

1991 — Carson 20-18

1992 — Douglas 40-7

1993 — Carson 21-0

1994 — Douglas 13-7, OT

1995 — Carson 20-6

1996 — Douglas 35-3 (c)

1997 — Carson 35-30 (c)

1998 — Carson 13-10, OT

1999 — Douglas 13-9

2000 — Carson 19-7

2001 — Carson 42-6

2002 — Douglas 43-32 (d)

2003 — Douglas 37-7 (c)

2004 — Douglas 41-0 (d)

2005 — Douglas 53-19 (c)

2006 — Douglas 19-12 (neutral)

2007 — Douglas 48-20 (c)

2008 — Douglas 48-20 (d)

2009 — Carson 34-6 (c)

2010 — Carson 16-13, OT (d)

2011 — Carson 31-29 (c)

2012 — Douglas 27-25 (c)

2013 — Carson 19-13, OT (d)

2014 — Carson 49-6 (c)

2015 — Carson 42-13 (d)

Note: (d) denotes the game was played at Douglas and (c) denotes Carson.