Football: Carson, Douglas celebrate ‘platinum’ anniversary |

Football: Carson, Douglas celebrate ‘platinum’ anniversary

by Joey Crandall

If we were talking weddings, tonight would be a platinum anniversary of sorts.

However, there’s been little love lost between Carson Senators and Douglas Tigers over the years. Tonight, the schools’ football teams meet for the 70th time with a 7 p.m. kickoff at Carson High School.

Carson and Douglas met for the first time on Oct. 13, 1923. It was Douglas’ first-ever home game and only the second in the football program’s existence. Carson won 76-6.

In the time since, there has been no team either school has seen, or anticipated, more than its arch-rival.

Few would give any argument that it is the most tradition-rich, not to mention the most-heated, rivalry in the state. It’s also one of the few that has withstood the test of time.

“It’s exciting every year,” Douglas coach Mike Rippee said. “It’s only enhanced itself over time. We really are the only true rivarly left in the state.”

Aside from the competitive balance – the game has been decided by a touchdown or less 26 times with three ties and three overtime games over the last 88 years – the game brings with it unparralled atmosphere and build-up every season.

“You look at last season’s game (a 16-13 win for Carson in overtime), I don’t thinking anyone has every played in front of such a big crowd from either of our schools,” Rippee said. “It didn’t work out for us, but what a great experience for the kids to be a part of something like that.

“There have been some real exciting games, some real close ones over the years.”

No coach has been a part of more matchups than Douglas coach Mike Rippee, who has gone 13-13 against the Senators during his tenure.

“I can remember going in 4-0 and Charlie Kerfield kicking a long field goal to beat us,” Rippee said. “I remember Matt Williams throwing a touchdown pass to win the game for Carson with no time left on the clock before I was a head coach.

“There’s been some nailbiters.”

Forty-five times Carson has emerged victorious. Douglas has won 21 times. The other three the schools had to call it a draw.

The 1966 game, a 21-12 win for Carson, was the final meeting between the schools for 12 years. The schools met back up in 1979 and have seen each other in each season since. Carson holds a 17-15 advantage during the latest stretch.

“It’s cleaned up a lot over time,” Rippee said. “The game stays on the field, which is the way it should be. You don’t get the postgame stuff off campus as much anymore. For the rivarly to remain healthy, it has to stay on the field, which is what it’s done.”

Joey Crandall can be reached at (775) 782-5121, ext. 212.