Tigers host Panthers tonight
So, what do the San Francisco Giants pitching staff and Douglas Tigers football team have in common right now?
They’re both in need of a complete game.
All kidding aside, and unrelated to the bullpen woes in San Francisco, Douglas coach Ernie Monfiletto is the first to say his Tigers need to play four complete quarters tonight in their non-league contest at home against North Valleys.
Douglas is 1-2 overall and North Valleys 0-2 coming into the game — serving as Douglas’ inaugural Military Tribute Night — which is set for a 7 p.m. kickoff at Keith Roman Field.
First off, the Tigers are looking to rebound from back-to-back losses, 53-16 against Reed on Sept. 2 and 51-27 at Spanish Springs last Friday. Even in their 20-14 overtime win to open the season at McQueen, they have shown inconsistency to start a game and in finishing it.
“We have to work on playing four quarters of football,” Monfiletto said. “We made progress last week, but there are things that we need to work on. We need to play a complete game … to be consistent in all phases of the game.”
The Tigers produced big plays to score their 27 points against the Cougars: Dawson Coman scored on 90 and 89-yard kick returns in the first half, Haydn Brown on a 52-yard interception return shortly before halftime and then Dakota Lowden broke a fourth-quarter run 86 yards for the game’s final touchdown.
Spanish Springs surged to a 35-7 lead during what could be called a wild first quarter that included two touchdown kick returns from Gabby Ordaz and an interception return for another score. The Tigers scored their first touchdown on Coman’s 90-yard kick return.
On the other hand, the North Valleys Panthers cannot be overlooked despite their record, which includes a 28-14 loss to Bishop Manogue on Aug. 25 and a 49-10 defeat last Friday against Galena. Unlike the last two years when they used deception from the Wing-T offense to defeat Douglas 35-27 and 42-7, the Panthers now feature a new look.
“They run a spread and we’ve seen them in double tight ends with a fullhouse backfield,” Monfiletto said of the Panthers. “We just need to come prepared to play and we need to continue to get better on defense.”
North Valleys returns quarterback Matt Sneed (6-0, 205), who rushed for 112 yards and passed for 137 plus a touchdown last year in Minden. Cardayell Morgan also ran for two touchdowns against the Tigers last year and had a rushing TD against Manogue three weeks ago.
Morgan also plays inside linebacker behind a defensive front that presents a challenge inside with tackles P.J. Braun (6-4, 290, senior) and Juan Lopez (6-4, 305 junior).
Douglas returned home with some positive notes last week. Lowden had a hand in 16 tackles (four solo, 12 assists) from his linebacker position and Kane Hoyopatobbi contributed 11 tackles (four solo, seven assists) at free safety.
Senior middle linebacker Reagan Roberson, sidelined at Spanish Springs due to a shoulder injury, is still listed as week-to-week for his return.
On the offensive side, Lowden rushed for 100 yards on three carries, Ryland DeSomber had 37 yards on eight carries and Coman 16 yards on eight carries. Quarterback Hunter Hickey was 4-for-14 passing, good for 19 yards, the longest on an 18-yarder to Michael Cobb.
Notes: As part of the Military Tribute Night ceremony, each of the Tigers’ 39 players will escort a veteran or active military member who has been selected from the community. “We believe it’s important to pay respect to the people who have served and defended our country,” Monfiletto said. “This is something we want to do every year right around 9/11.” The military honorees will be recognized during a team dinner on Thursday. … Douglas holds a 7-3 lead in the overall series against North Valleys dating back to 2002.