Tigers prep for season | RecordCourier.com

Tigers prep for season

Douglas running back Sam Melhus finds daylight after getting the ball from quarterback Bryce James Friday night during a scrimmage against Fernley.
Brad Coman |

Even though Douglas High football coach Ernie Monfiletto says a lot of work remains to be done, he believes the Tigers made some positive progress last Friday during their preseason scrimmage at Fernley.

“I think we’re going to be fine if we do the things we’re supposed to,” Monfiletto said. “We need to continue the progress we’ve shown over the summer and try to become a better football team with every game … every snap of the ball.”

There were some highlights defensively and offensively during the scrimmage, which served as a tuneup for the Tigers’ season opener Friday night at home against McQueen.

Cornerback Alex Harker had an interception, Luke Houghton played well at strong safety and Trevor Tierney made a touchdown-saving play to break up a fade route in the end zone, Monfiletto pointed out. Free safety Tre Jackson missed the scrimmage due to illness, however, Hadyn Brown played well in his absence, the coach added.

Inside linebacker Reagan Roberson provided another bright spot on defense.

“Reagan was a force in the middle of the field,” Monfiletto said of the 6-foot, 225-pound junior. “If he continues to be coachable and continues to read his keys, he is capable of doing anything he wants.”

Tailback Sam Melhus ran for two touchdowns, while H-back Dawson Coman had a 60-yard touchdown on a pass from backup quarterback Bucho Abina. Sean Rigdon also caught a touchdown pass from Abina.

Senior Bryce James, the Tigers’ returning starter at quarterback, ran the first-team offense behind a brand new offensive line that only has one returnee from last year (tight end Taran Grove).

“I thought Bryce did a tremendous job,” Monfiletto said. “He made things happen with his feet and did a good job of leading the team.”

The Tigers faced a good challenge from a Fernley team that went 7-4 and qualified for the Division I-A playoffs last year. One of the Vaqueros’ featured players is 6-7, 290-pound senior lineman Tyler Roemer, who has been recruited by a number of Division I college programs, including Louisville and San Diego State.

“Fernley is a pretty good football team. I think they’re going to beat a lot of teams in that (1-A) division,” Monfiletto said. “They brought a lot of pressure, so that was a christening for our kids and that was good. There’s no doubt, the McQueen Lancers will bring a lot of pressure against us.”

Note: Friday’s opener against McQueen is also the Tigers’ Hall of Fame Game, with five graduates due to be inducted into the Football Hall of Fame.