Tigers lose to Elko, 14-0
Two things bothered Douglas football coach Mike Rippee most about his team’s 14-0 loss to the Elko Indians on Friday at Keith Roman Field.
And both sources of irritation were found in the rushing statistics, where Elko pounded out a 257-16 advantage.
“You have to be able to run the ball and you have to be able to stop the run,” Rippee said Monday evening. “I didn’t think we did either well.”
Douglas (1-1) will need to improve in both categories by Friday, when the Tigers travel to take on the Galena Grizzlies (0-2). Galena had two touchdowns called back by penalties in a 21-0 loss to Carson on Friday. In the first game of the season, the Hug Hawks scored in the final minute to beat Galena, 21-18, and overcome a 300-yard rushing performance by the Grizzlies’ Damian Rivadeneyra.
“We need to refocus,” Rippee said. “We’re in a situation where anybody we play can beat us and we can beat anybody we play.
“We need to have a good week of practice. We need to get better. We need to know our assignments and we need to go full tilt.”
The Tigers punched the ball inside the Indians’ 35-yard line five times, but weren’t able to put any points on the scoreboard. Two quarterback sacks, two interceptions and a holding penalty ended the five promising possessions.
Douglas moved the ball easily between the 20-yard lines, as quarterback Jared Kenison completed 18 of 36 passes for 270 yards. Gabe Hatchett caught 10 passes for 172 yards and Jordan Ovard added 80 yards on six receptions.
But the bad news for the Tigers was the fact that Kolt Clore, their leading rusher, managed only 26 yards on seven attempts as Elko’s defensive line played like a brick wall.
“No question about it, you have to be able to get the tough yards,” Rippee said. “I still think a strength of this team is those guys up front, but we got rocked Friday. We were on our heels a lot. They played real hard, but we were inconsistent and ineffective running the ball.
“Jared did a great job throwing the ball and Gabe and Jordan are fine receivers, but we have to be able to establish the running game and get those tough yards inside.”
Elko coach Bob Milligan appeared relieved after the game.
“We barely got out of here with a win,” Milligan said. “Douglas was well prepared and their kids played well. They played a whole lot better than they did last week (in a 15-0 win over Fallon).
“They had a real good passing attack. That number 2 (Gabe Hatchett), he’s a fine receiver. And the quarterback (Jared Kenison) did a nice job getting him the ball. We were just an eyelash away a couple of times from some big plays they didn’t quite connect on.”
Another bad sign for the Tigers, according to Rippee, was the number of tackles the Douglas defensive backs, including strong safety Drew Hall and cornerback Romaine Smokey, were forced to make.
Rippee said cornerback Andrew Andrews played well in his first extensive outing, filling in for Billy Brandstetter, who was ill. The coach also said Shane Cauley turned in a good game at free safety, which allowed Hatchett some time to catch his breath between offensive series.