A Senior Night challenge | RecordCourier.com

A Senior Night challenge

Douglas quarterback Hunter Hickey dashes around Bishop Manogue's Preston Helu Friday night during the Tigers' 32-28 homecoming victory.
Brad Coman |

It’s Senior Night and the Douglas High football team has some momentum going in its favor, including a share of first-place in the Sierra League.

Even so, the Tigers are going to need any edge they can find to keep that momentum going tonight against Damonte Ranch in what shapes up to be a key matchup between league rivals. The Tigers’ final home game of 2016 is scheduled for a 7 p.m. kickoff at Keith Roman Field.

Douglas (1-0 league, 3-3 overall) is coming off a 32-28 win against Bishop Manogue last Friday, however, Damonte Ranch (0-0, 5-1) will clearly present a more difficult challenge.

The Mustangs have won five straight games since losing their opener, 49-12, on Aug. 26 against Cathedral Catholic in San Diego. They have scored more than 50 points in three of those games — 63-13 against Hug, 56-17 against McQueen and 54 against Shasta (Redding, Calif.) last weekend.

When the two teams met last year in Reno, the Mustangs rolled up 588 yards in total offense as they pinned a 68-21 loss on Douglas. The Tigers had no answer that night for freshman quarterback Cade McNamara, who threw five touchdown passes, or for speedy sophomore Cameron Sandoval, who rushed for 185 yards and three touchdowns on just eight carries.

Both are back and will be focal points for the Douglas defense tonight. Sandoval has rushed for 824 yards and 11 touchdowns, in addition to 15 receptions for 317 yards and four more touchdowns (the longest a 96-yarder). McNamara has thrown for 1,480 yards and 16 TDs with seven interceptions. McNamara’s favorite target has been junior Dru Jacobs — who has run 10.90 for 100 meters on the track — with 23 receptions for 517 yards.

Two key seniors to keep an eye out for are senior tackle Adonis Williams (6-3, 275) and defensive back Bryson Toles (6-3, 180).

Douglas has put up good offensive numbers as well, highlighted by an average 278.5 rushing yards through six games. The Tigers rushed for 421 yards against Manogue.

The Tigers have had success rotating senior tailbacks Ryland DeSomber and Dawson Coman. DeSomber has a team-high 544 yards on the ground and Coman 394, while quarterback Hunter Hickey has rushed for 358 yards. Coman and Hickey have run for five touchdowns each and DeSomber four.

Hickey is 48-for-98 through the air for 367 yards. Wingback Will Williams is the team’s top receiver with 12 receptions for 126 yards, while Alex Harker has caught 10 balls for 66 yards.

One key for the Tigers will be their ability to take care of the ball since they have averaged two turnovers per game, including two lost fumbles against Manogue.