Tigers, Senators collide
There will be playoff implications. The Douglas Tigers and Carson Senators will be playing for pride and bragging rights in the renewal of a series that dates to 1923.
That alone should make for one heckuva show in a game that kicks off at 7 p.m. at Keith Roman Field.
“You always want to beat your rival,” Douglas coach Ernie Monfiletto said. “In a rivalry, it’s an important game 365 days of the year.”
Both teams are locked into the Division I Northern Region playoffs. Carson (3-0 Sierra League, 6-2 overall), has clinched its No. 1 seed going into the playoffs and Douglas (1-2, 2-6) is assured of the No. 4 seed.
But first, there is a matter of taking care of business tonight. And despite the differences in the win-loss records, don’t be surprised to see a replay of last year’s game, which the Tigers won 27-25 on Conner Greth’s field goal with 10 seconds left.
This will be the third shot in a varsity rivalry game for Douglas quarterback Wes Hundley.
“It’s rivalry week, it’s always the biggest game of the year,” Hundley said. “I’m glad it’s the last game of the year because it’s always somebody’s Senior Night, and I’m glad this one is going to be our Senior Night.
“We’ve got to execute,” he added. “If we do every play the way it’s supposed to be, I think we’ll do well.”
Hundley has been a playmaker all season with his arm and feet, and at clutch times. Just consider his game-winning touchdowns in the fourth quarter against both Hug and Bishop Manogue. His 14-yard touchdown run with 7.2 seconds remaining was the difference in a 14-6 win at Hug and he scored on a 13-yard run two weeks ago to provide the go-ahead points with 6:21 to go in a 26-16 win against Bishop Manogue.
Hundley is looking forward to another close contest against the Senators.
“The games are always so even,” Hundley said. “I think it’s the rivalry that makes them so good.”
The Senators have won three straight league games, including thrillers against Damonte Ranch (38-35 on Oct. 4) and Galena (27-26 on Oct. 18). The Senators clinched their league title last week with a 45-28 win at Manogue.
“They are a quality team with some great team speed,” Monfiletto said. “Our goals are to contain them, to give our offense good field position and to execute.
“They’ve won some quality games, some of those were games people didn’t expect them to win,” the Tigers’ second-year head coach added. “And we’ve lost some games we believe we should have won, so we’re hoping it’s our turn to pull one of those out.”
Douglas is riding a streak of 12 consecutive playoff appearances dating to the 2000 season. The Tigers will travel to either Reed or McQueen for their first-round playoff game.
“We don’t care who we play,” Monfiletto said, referring to the first round of the playoffs. “To be honest, we haven’t thought about anybody other than Carson for two weeks.”