Football: Douglas overcomes slow start to beat Hug | RecordCourier.com
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Football: Douglas overcomes slow start to beat Hug

by Joey Crandall

With the score tied 14-14 at halftime, Douglas football coach Mike Rippee

saw things very simply.

“I didn’t yell or scream or shout, it was very matter-of-fact,” Rippee said.



“This is going to come down to whichever group of seniors wants it more.”

The Tigers came up with a clear answer.



Douglas scored three third-quarter touchdowns and rode its increasingly-strong defense to take a 34-21 win over Hug in Minden Friday night.

The Tigers improved to 2-4, 2-3 in league play while Hug remained winless on

the season.

Coming off an emotional overtime loss to Carson last week, Douglas was

hoping to avoid an early letdown.

Hug took quick control of the momentum though, as Jaevis Johnson broke free

on the opening kickoff for a 98-yard touchdown return.

Douglas answered later in the first quarter as Zack Williams capped a

nine-play, 51-yard drive with a one-yard keeper to tie the game 7-7.

An errant snap that sailed over punter Steven Werth¹s head, though, set Hug

up in Tiger territory and the Hawks capitalized three plays later when

quarterback Dionte Blanton connected with Johnson for a 41-yard touchdown

and the 14-7 lead.

Three plays into the Tigers’ next drive, the Hawks intercepted a Williams

screen pass, setting the offense up at the Tiger 26.

“Hug was ready to play,” Rippee said. “We’re both in a situation of needing

every win we can get and they got us off-balance at the beginning there.

“The kids had a good week of practice. I don’t know what it is but we have

had slow starts all year. There aren’t any excuses, it¹s something we just

have to find a way to work through.”

Fortunately, the Tiger defense was up to the task, forcing the Hawks to lose

18 yards on the following two plays and removing the scoring threat.

The defense held Hug to minus-14 rushing yards in the first half, didn’t

allow a sustained drive from the Hawks (more than four plays) until the

fourth quarter and didn’t give up a first down (excluding the 41-yard

touchdown pass) until the final play of the third quarter.

They also corralled standout running back Jevon Brown to just four yards on

eight carries.

“Jevon Brown is a great running back,” Rippee said. “The guys up front did a

great job on him. Hug has a couple of guys that can break a big run off on

you and we didn¹t allow them to do that tonight.

“I feel we’ve been very good defensively all year. They give us a chance

every game. They’ve been very consistent for us, it’s something the kids are

really starting to hang their hats on.”

Douglas tied the game at 14 with less than three minutes left in the first

half when sophomore running back Conner Peterson scored from seven yards

out.

Peterson also got things going for the Tigers to start the second half, breaking free for a 61-yard run on the first play from scrimmage.

The Tigers scored five plays later when Williams hit tight end Trevor

Shaffer for an 11-yard touchdown.

Douglas controlled the line of scrimmage on both side of the ball for most

of the game, but really emphasized the point to start the third quarter.

The Tigers ran the ball on 16 out of 20 plays in the quarter, gaining 149

yards.

Following Shaffer’s score, Douglas ran it all five plays of their next drive, which culminated with a four-yard run from Ryen Ake.

Ake tacked on a 14-yard touchdown run later in the quarter to cap the Tigers’ scoring on the evening. Ake led the team with 30 carries for 164 yards and two touchdowns while Peterson had 10 carries for 102 yards (marking the second time the sophomore has eclipsed the century mark this season) and Williams carried six times for 38 yards.

Rippee credited the 283 rushing yards as a team to the offensive line, which

was led by Ben Reed, August Greth, Zac Tierney, Spencer Fellows, Matt Wylie

and Trevor Shaffer.

“The guys up front really opened up some nice holes for the running backs,”

Rippee said. “Ryen ran the ball real well tonight and the sophomore had a

nice night too. We’re confident with both of those guys.”

Defensively, Zach Falanga had a sack, Riley Griffith recovered a fumble and

Conner Hughes had an interception.

Douglas travels to Damonte Ranch next Friday for a 7:30 game.