By Darrell Moody

ELKO -- One second Dusty Cooper was puking his guts out on the Douglas High sideline, and the next he was making Elko High's defense look sick.

Cooper, who said he was worn down, rushed for a career-best 219 yards and three scores to spark the Tigers to a convincing nonleague 30-7 road win over Elko Friday night.

The win was Douglas' second straight, and it was the second consecutive blowout win for the Tigers, who pounded Reed 42-16 in their opener.

Cooper, a senior, had scoring runs of 12, 74 and 54 yards thanks largely in part to offensive linemen Garrett Hostetler, Austin Glenn, David Silvestro, Paul Mannelly and Johnson Riggs. Douglas collected a season-high 504 yards total offense.

"I had no clue I had that many yards," Cooper said as he made his way to the locker room. "The line did a great job blocking; like they always do. They also did a great job on pass protection. I don't think they gave up a sack all night."

Coach Mike Rippee echoed Cooper's statements.

"The offensive line did a helluva job," Rippee said. "Dusty had a great, great night out there. Our offense is going to be OK. We sputtered a couple of times when we had good field position."

After Elko's Miguel Garcia returned a kickoff 88 yards for a score to give the Indians a 7-3 lead, the Tigers' offense and defense went to work.

On the first play following the kickoff, Cooper took a handoff from quarterback Luke Rippee and dashed 77 yards for a score. The play was washed out when wide receiver Andy McIntosh was flagged for a holding penalty.

Cooper did get credit for a 12-yard gain up to the 35. After Rippee threw an incomplete pass, Cooper broke loose for 10 yards, and then Rippee (12-for-21, 101 yards) completed a 25-yard pass to McIntosh (five catches for 90 yards) for a first down at the Elko 40. A.G. Reed gained 12 yards down to the 28, and Cooper scored two plays later on a 12-yard run.

Elko pinned Douglas deep into its own territory at the 8, but that didn't faze the Tigers in the slightest.

Keenan Copp gained 13 yards out to the 21. After a 5-yard penalty on Elko, Cooper broke loose again. He took the handoff and started left. When Elko defenders overran the play, Cooper cut back to the middle and outraced the Indians' secondary to the end zone. Eric Emm's extra point made it 17-7 with 10:11 left in the half

Elko's offense, which managed just 100 yards total offense, managed just one first down the remainder of the opening half, and only three the remainder of the game.

After a short Elko punt late in the third quarter, Cooper and the Tigers struck again. Cooper raced 54 yards for his third score of the night to give Douglas a 23-7 lead.

Tommy Welton, who intercepted two passes against Reed in the season-opening win, picked off a Brad Steelman pass near midfield, and Douglas was again blessed with great field position.

After a short run by Cooper, Elko was hit with a personal foul, giving Douglas a first down at the Elko 30. Two plays later, Cooper gave the Tigers a first down at the 9 with a 17-yard gain. Rippee took over, scoring from the 2-yard line two plays later. Emm's extra point made it 30-7 with 53 seconds left in the third quarter.

The defense, the most inexperienced part of the squad has been awesome in the past two weeks, allowing only 223 yards total offense.

"We were stuffing them," coach Rippee said. "It wasn't so much that I was worried about the defense, we just needed that unit to build something. You win titles with solid defense."

And, that's exactly what the Tigers have done in their first two games.


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