Football: Douglas program turning into a perennial power
Starting about six years ago, things started to change around the Douglas High School football program.
It can be attributed to just about anything, from increased committment to the weight program to longevity in coaching to increased talent coming through the system.
But the simple fact of it is that the Tigers went from a program that had suffered through three consecutive losing seasons to one that is a perennial title contender.
In the past six years, Douglas has been in the top two spots in the Sierra League five times and has won the title outright twice.
The Tigers have compiled a 32-5 record in league play and have qualified for the playoffs in each season, winning three playoff games during that stretch.
This season only helped solidify the Tigers’ presence as a league power.
After stumbling out of the gates against Reed, the Tigers won eight of their next nine games to take the Sierra League No. 2 seed heading into the regional playoffs.
Unfortunately, that only brought Reed back into town for the Tigers, and that spelled the end of the season.
Douglas boasted one of its largest lines on both sides of the ball in years and it showed in the box scores as the season went on. The Tigers rumbled for 2,465 yards on the ground offensively and gave up about 127.5 yards per game defensively and held their opponents under 100 yards rushing five times and held one opponent to negative yardage.
Running back Brock Peterson led the offensive charge, leading the region in scoring with 21 touchdowns to go with 1,620 rushing yards. He also caught 17 passes for 240 yards on the year and averaged just over seven yards per carry.
Every one of those rushing yards came with huge help from the Tiger line, which included big tackles Trevor McCarthy and Parker Robertson, quick guards Jordan Volk and Curtis Hartzell and the unit was anchored down in the center by Mike Colyer.
The Tigers got a balanced attack offensively with 1,460 yards throught the air. Ten different receivers caught the ball for Douglas this season off the hands of two different quarterbacks.
Senior David Laird started the season under center and moved into No. 3 in the school record books for career passing yardage and completions before junior Tim Rudnick took over at the helm.
Rudnick threw for 687 yards and eight touchdowns in the last four games of the season, setting himself up for a big senior season.
Defensively, lineman Jeff Nady led the way with 10 sacks, three fumble recoveries and an interception while senior Sean Peralta picked off five passes and junior Tanner Thomas had four interceptions.
As a unit, Douglas was one of the top defenses in the region, giving up 2,783 yards total on the year ” an average of 253 per game ” with 19 takeaways, 26 touchdowns allowed and 22 sacks.
After posting an 8-3 record overall, the Tigers lose four of five starters off the offensive line, their entire starting front eight on defense and two of three starters in the defensive backfield.
The good news, however, is that both the Douglas junior varsity and freshman teams went undefeated this year and seven starters will be returning including Rudnick, top receiver Zack McFadden (25 catches, 339 yards, four touchdowns).