Tigers host Miners for homecoming | RecordCourier.com

Tigers host Miners for homecoming

Bryce James

A matchup between the Bishop Manogue Miners’ defense and Douglas Tigers’ offense figures to be a deciding factor tonight when the two teams collide in their Sierra League season opener.

Douglas (0-5) is celebrating its homecoming against Manogue (1-4) in a game between teams looking to take a step toward the playoffs when they line up for the 7 p.m. kickoff at Keith Roman Field.

Bryce James, the Tigers’ senior quarterback, is knocking on the door to surpass 1,000 yards passing to lead an offense that is averging 21.4 points for the season. James has thrown for 949 yards and five touchdowns through five games — 85-for-138 (.616 completion percentage) — plus he leads the Tigers in rushing with 399 yards.

James threw for 182 yards, including a 32-yard touchdown pass to Cody Ball last Friday night when the Tigers fell to a 67-20 defeat at home against four-time defending Northern Division I Region champion Reed.

On the receiving end, the trio of Tomas Leitenbauer, Taran Grove and Ball have combined to account for 62 completions from James. Leitenbauer has pulled in 22 receptions for 206 yards to lead the team. Ball has 20 receptions for 321 yards and Grove, a 6-foot-5 tight end, has 20 receptions for 254 yards. Will Williams also has 11 catches for 109 yards.

Tailback Sam Melhus has rushed for 265 yards on 73 carries for the Tigers.

On the other hand, the young Manogue Miners have banked on a competitive defensive unit that only allowed 145 yards in total offense and logged seven tackles for negative yardage in a 21-14 victory at Hug on Sept. 11. The Miners had not allowed more than 30 points before falling to a 59-7 defeat last Friday at Reno.

The Miners like to put pressure on the opposing quarterback, as can be seen from their 15 sacks. Michael Lynch (6-3, 250) has been credited with four sacks, Chase Ortiz (6-0, 185) has three and Johnny Cavila (5-11, 180) three.

Manogue has been limited on the offensive side of the ball, however, having only scored 27 points through five games after starting the season with shutout losses against Bishop Kelly (Boise, Idaho) and Spanish Springs. The Miners are averaging 125.6 yards in total offense and have had freshman Lincoln Hauck at quarterback the last two weeks.

And remember, even though these teams have combined for only one win, this represents the start of a new season. The Tigers and Miners are 0-0 in league and looking to take a step toward a berth in the playoffs next month (four of the Sierra League’s five teams will advance).