THE RACE TO GAIN GROUND | RecordCourier.com

THE RACE TO GAIN GROUND

Charles Whisnand
cwhisnand@nevadaappeal.com

While they don't get the credit, offensive lineman look at the stat line, too.

And when they've paved the way for a team to have 340 yards on the ground while having no sacks that's obviously a stat line offensive lineman like to see.

That was the stat line for the Douglas High offensive line in the Tigers' 59-22 win against Sparks to open the season on Friday at Keith Roman Field.

"I was really proud of them," said Douglas coach Ernie Monfiletto about the offensive line. "We were really happy about the way we ran the ball."

About the entire offense, Monfiletto said, "I thought they executed well and did what they were supposed to do."

The win didn't come without a price, though, as the Tigers lost leading rusher Isaiah Johns to a knee injury. Johns ran for 148 yards and four touchdowns on 19 carries.

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Monfiletto said Johns either strained his knee or sustained a partial tear. "We're looking forward to getting him back at some point," Monfiletto said.

And Monfiletto said he has players who are capable of replacing Johns. "We've got other kids," he said. "That's why they practice and work hard every day, to get an opportunity to play."

Douglas has a bye this week and plays again when it travels to El Dorado, California, to play Union Mines on Aug. 31.

"Absolutely," said Monfiletto about welcoming this week's bye. "It's not a bad thing at all."

Monfiletto said his team will use the bye week to shore up its special teams. He was prophetic when he said the lack of outdoor practices early in the season due to bad air quality as a result of the California wildfires would affect special teams the most.

Douglas allowed a kickoff return for a touchdown that allowed Sparks to pull to within 36-22.

"It was a concern going in," Monfiletto said. "It reared its ugly head. We didn't take care of business."

Monfiletto did say he was pleased with the overall play of his defense.

He was also pleased with the play of quarterback Colton Weidner, who completed 9-of-15 passes for 118 yards and one touchdown and rushed 5 times for 39 yards and a score.

Other standouts included Gabe Wetzel, who rushed for 92 yards and two TDs on eight carries and Race Coman, who had 40 yards on five carries.