Football: Tigers host Galena tonight |

Football: Tigers host Galena tonight

by Joey Crandall

Last October, the Tigers traveled up to Galena riding high after a 51-14 statement victory at home over a solid Spanish Springs squad.

Galena was reeling its way through a 1-7 season just looking for a strong showing for its Senior Night.

Douglas took an early 7-0 lead on a 34-yard fumble return by Zach Falanga, but the Grizzlies pushed ahead to take a 20-14 lead at halftime.

Douglas reclaimed the lead at 23-20 in the third quarter but a 27-yard touchdown pass and a 50-yard field goal put the Grizzlies back up at 30-23 in the closing minutes.

The Tigers drove the length of the field and scored on a one-yard run, but the two-point conversion attempt failed and Galena managed to hang on for the 30-29 win.

The circumstances are oddly similar heading into tonight’s Douglas-Galena game, scheduled for a 7 p.m. kickoff at Douglas High in Minden.

Galena is struggling through another 1-win season (1-8 with its win coming against Hug, just like last year) while Douglas is on an upswing having won its last three games (just like last year).

The difference this year, though, is that Galena has an outside shot at a playoff spot as an added incentive.

A win against Douglas, plus a large amount of help from North Valleys (vs. Manogue), Reed (vs. Spanish Springs) and Damonte (vs. Hug), could vault the Grizzlies into the playoffs.

If Damonte were to lose to winless Hug and Spanish Springs loses to league-leading Reed, Galena could clinch a No. 7 seed with a win over Douglas.

Douglas, though, has looked sharp in its past three games (wins over Hug, Damonte Ranch and Spanish Springs) and led at halftime against both Carson and McQueen the previous two weeks.

The Tigers are playing for either a fifth or sixth seed. A win clinches the No. 5 seed and a trip to Reno next week for the first round. A loss opens up a variety of possibilities that could include trips to either Reed, Carson, McQueen or Reno next week.

Junior running back Conner Peterson just became only the fifth player in school history to rush for 2,000 yards in a career (Lamont McCann, Spike Agost, Johnny Pollack and Junior Kizer are the others) and junior quarterback Michael Nolting has completed 66 percent of his passes for 1,895 yards and 15 touchdowns.

One more completion will tie the school record for completions in a season (Tim Rudnick, 157 in 2008) and the 1,895 yards are the third best single-season mark in school history behind Rudnick (2,550 yards in 2008) and Luke Rippee (1,968 in 2003).

Peterson has 209 carries for 1,032 yards and 13 touchdowns on the year, which makes for an average of 4.93 yards per carry.

The defensive line, in particular, has shown immense improvement over the past four weeks, with defensive end Trevor Shaffer becoming a regular occupant of the opposing backfield with his six sacks on the season.

Opposite end Jackson Ketron has a pair of sacks on the year, tackle Trevor Hemsath has been a run-stopping force inside and the rotation of Justin Tenney and Nick Fickle at the other tackle spot has been strong as well.

Special teams has also been big as Douglas has returned a kickoff for a score in each of its last three games. The defense has scored twice in the past three weeks.

Douglas leads the all-time series against Galena 8-3. While Galena won last year’s matchup, the Tigers won the previous five meetings.

Two of Galena’s three victories in the series have been in Minden. They won 14-8 in 2001 and 7-6 in the 2002 playoffs.