Douglas takes on Mustangs tonight |

Douglas takes on Mustangs tonight

Coming off a bye week — and before that a 56-17 loss at Galena — the Douglas High football team is ready to return to action tonight.

At the same time, the Tigers (2-5 overall, 1-1 league) are well aware they are up against a formidable challenge in taking on Sierra League foe Damonte Ranch in Reno. Quite simply, the Mustangs are better than their 3-5 overall record (1-1 league).

“We had a great week of practice and the kids looked good again today,” Douglas coach Ernie Monfiletto said on Monday. “We’re excited for the opportunity to face a quality team, and make no mistake about it, they are a quality team.”

For example, Damonte Ranch was competitive on Sept. 4 in its 58-39 loss against undefeated Reed. One week later in Auburn, Calif., the Mustangs only trailed undefeated Placer by eight points when they were stopped on a goal line stand midway through the fourth quarter; then moments later, Placer scored on a 92-yard touchdown run to close out a 41-26 win. On Oct. 9, the Mustangs absorbed a 49-19 loss at home against Cathedral Catholic (San Diego).

Last week, Damonte Ranch rebounded to post a 63-28 win at home against Bishop Manogue. Speedy senior Sam Banghart rushed for 109 yards and two touchdowns, plus he caught a 43-yard touchdown pass, while Cameron Sandoval rushed for 103 yards and another score. Sandoval ran for 186 yards against Placer plus he scored three touchdowns and broke a 71-yarder in the Mustangs’ season-opening 42-7 win over Spanish Springs. Freshman quarterback Cade McNamara has thrown for 1,363 yards and nine touchdowns this season.

“The main thing we need to do is slow them down,” Monfiletto said. “We need to force them to be uncomfortable and the offense needs to take time off the clock.” Douglas has had success moving the ball most of this season. The Tigers put 17 points on the scoreboard against Galena two weeks ago, including a kick return for a touchdown by Cody Ball, while senior quarterback Bryce James threw for 116 yards and ran for one touchdown.

James is 110-for-183 on his pass attempts this season, good for 1,174 yards, six touchdowns and six interceptions. He also leads the team in rushing with 528 yards (5.7-yard average) and nine touchdowns. Ball has 34 receptions for 481 yards and two touchdowns, while Sam Melhus has 430 yards rushing (3.98-yard average) and four touchdowns.

“The kids are doing everything they can in order to achieve success,” Monfiletto said. “And that’s all I can ask, for them to do their best and try to keep improving.”