Tigers try to bounce back | RecordCourier.com

Tigers try to bounce back

Carter Eckl
ceckl@recordcourier.com

Douglas High football head coach Ernie Monfiletto didn’t hide behind his disappointment in the Tigers’ 25-24 loss to Galena last week.

After the Grizzlies scored in the game’s final moments, the Tigers fell to 1-1 in Sierra League play and right into the thick of teams gunning for the same select playoff spots.

It won’t get any easier this week for Douglas as it heads to Bishop Manogue to take on the 3-3 Miners. who are also 1-1 in league play.

Douglas sits at 3-4 on the year and a win over the Miners would go a long way in the playoff race given the Tigers host league-leading Damonte Ranch next Friday.

This week the attention has turned to raising the team’s confidence level.

“My kids are going to bounce back and get after those Manogue Miners,” said Monfiletto. “They were extremely upset with how they finished that game (Galena). We didn’t close the door on them. Now, we are trying to lift them up.

“They are focused and determined. It’s going to be a tall task,” Monfiletto said about the Miners. “They’re a very talented football team and we are going to have to play great football. We are capable of playing great football.”

Miner dual-threat offense

Douglas gave up 252 yards through the air to Galena last Friday, but Bishop Manogue will likely test the Tigers on the ground more often than through the air.

The Miners are coming off a 45-7 win over Carson in which they ran for 365 yards on the ground behind a big performance from senior halfback Zeke Lee (No. 24), who had 186 yards on 14 carries.

Lee had two long runs of 73 and 54 yards against the Senators and Monfiletto knows the Tigers can’t let the big play burn them for a second week in a row.

“If we don’t eliminate the big play … those big plays can’t happen for us to be successful,” Monfiletto said.

Bishop Manogue also has a junior quarterback in Drew Scolari (No. 12), who possesses the ability to get out and run if defenses leave him with space.

A positive for Douglas is the strength of its linebacking core, who are the team’s three leading tacklers.

Sophomores Gabe Foster (No. 30) and Christopher Smalley (No. 31) have proven the ability to plug holes alongside senior Isaac Leigh (No. 2) as all three backers average at least eight tackles a game.

“Those down lineman are going to have to fight to keep people off the backers,” said Monfiletto. “Those backers are going to have to stay disciplined and play assignment football. I have faith those kids will rise to the occasion. It’s just a matter of how well we match up everywhere else.”

Last week, the Miners flexed their strength on the ground through the zone read and that serves as priority No. 1 for Monfiletto and his defense this week.

Along with the zone read, Douglas should expect to see plenty of power runs to the strong side from the Miners.

Keeping the offense flowing

When the Douglas offense has been rolling, nobody has been able to keep pace.

Douglas is 3-0 this season when scoring 40 or more points, but 0-4 when posting 25 points or less.

The Miners have yet to allow 40 points in a game this season.

Trevor Kruger got back on his top-tier league rushing pace with 126 yards on the ground for Douglas last week.

The Tigers should expect to see a 3-5-3 defensive scheme designed around confusing offenses and bringing pressure.

Bishop Manogue had racked up 16 sacks prior to its contest against Carson last week so Douglas’ offensive line will have to open running lanes and keep quarterback Isaac Shaver protected to keep the offense moving.