Tigers hold off Grizzlies, 37-23 | RecordCourier.com

Tigers hold off Grizzlies, 37-23

A glance at the scoreboard Friday evening showed the Douglas High football team held a 23-16 lead going into halftime at Galena. The Tigers had been outgained and outplayed through two quarters, however, and were in need of a spark in this key Sierra League contest.

That spark came in the form of a 10-play, 63-yard drive capped by quarterback Hunter Hickey's short touchdown run to give the Tigers some breathing room en route to a playoff-clinching 37-23 victory in Reno.

Hickey ran for two touchdowns while Dawson Coman scored on a 44-yard run and 97-yard kick return in the first half to lead Douglas (2-1 league, 4-4 overall).

The Tigers are now assured of no worse than a third-place finish in the league and are in position to move up to second-place with a win in Thursday's rivalry showdown at Carson (2-1, 5-3).

There were a few anxious moments Friday during Galena's homecoming game, as the Grizzlies held a 262-159 advantage in total offense at halftime.

Douglas seized the momentum to start the third quarter with its drive that ended on Hickey's 3-yard run up the middle. The key play came on third-and-11 when Hickey completed a play action pass over the middle to tight end Reagan Roberson for 16 yards to the 15. Roberson had a 20-yard reception on the drive's second play.

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Nick Pedroza recovered a fumble to set up another opportunity, and the Tigers responded with an eight-play, 43-yard drive that culminated with Hickey's 1-yard run on third-and-goal.

Pedroza also had a drive-stopping interception at the goal line in the final minute of the third quarter.

Galena (0-3, 2-6) absorbed its fifth straight loss, however, the stubborn Grizzlies made things interesting during 75 hectic seconds before halftime.

First, Tristan Smithers scored on a 34-yard touchdown pass from Derek Kline to cut the Douglas lead to 16-9 with 1:15 left in the second quarter.

Coman only needed 14 seconds to answer when he dashed to his third kick return touchdown of the season.

The Grizzlies came right back and scored again when Tommy Corcoran caught a 4-yard touchdown pass from Kline as time expired at halftime.

Douglas took an early 7-0 lead on its first possession of the night thanks to a fake punt in which Hunter Simpson threw a 40-yard touchdown strike to Kane Hoyopatubbi. That capped a 12-play, 70-yard drive kept alive by three fourth-down conversions.

Coman's 44-yard run made it 14-0 and then the Tigers extended their lead to 16-0 on a safety after an errant punt formation snap sailed into the end zone.

Douglas 37, Galena 23

Douglas 16- 7-14- 0 — 37

Galena 0-16- 0- 7 — 23

First quarter

D — Hoyopatubbi 40 pass from Simpson (Gurule kick), 6:00

D — Coman 44 run (Gurule kick), 3:49

D — Safety, ball kicked out of end zone, 2:57

Second quarter

G — Sluchak 27 field goal, 5:52

G — Smithers 34 pass from Kline (kick failed), 1:15

D — Coman 97 kick return (Gurule kick), 1:01

G — Corcoran 4 pass from Kline (Sluchak kick), :00

Third quarter

D — Hickey 3 run (Gurule kick), 8:41

D — Hickey 1 run (Gurule kick), 5:18

Fourth quarter

G — Kline 11 run (Sluchak kick), 8:19

Individual statistics (unofficial)

Rushing — Douglas (45-196): Coman 8-100, DeSomber 20-79, Hickey 14-11, Williams 3-6. Galena (31-215): Dennis 10-68, Brandt 9-67, Kline 7-45, Corcoran 5-35.

Passing — Douglas: Hickey 7-9-0-71 (one sack, 11 yards), Simpson 1-1-0-40. Galena: Kline 19-36-1-190 (two sacks, 8 yards).

Receiving — Douglas: Roberson 2-36, Hoyopatubbi 1-40, DeSomber 1-12, Harker 1-10, Coman 1-6, Brown 1-6, Williams 1-1. Galena: Smithers 5-68, Brandt 3-24, Dennis 2-13, Derevianko 2- 11, Pezonella 2-10, Corcoran 2-6, Sakelaris 1-31, Rasmussen 1-27, Werbeckes 1-0.