Douglas takes advantage of Fallon's loss

The Fallon Greenwave was without its leading rusher and leading tackler Friday night in Minden ‹ a fact which the Douglas football used to its full advantage in taking a 35-0 in the Sierra League opener for both teams.

Douglas posted its first shutout in two years and kept the Greenwave out of the red zone for the entire game in rolling to the win.

"The most important thing is playing hard, tough defense," Douglas coach Mike Rippee said. "We didn't give up the big play and that's a real key for us. That's what happened to them a little.

"We've been in that situation where you're a little outmanned and give up some big plays. That will take you out of the football game pretty quick. It's what happened to us down in Vegas to start this year."

Fallon was missing running back/safety Colton Oney, who injured his ankle last week in a loss to Reno.

Douglas held Fallon in check offensively, allowing only 95 rushing yards in the game and 159 total. Will Dornbrook and Danny King each came up with interceptions for the Tigers. Douglas also totalled three sacks and forced four fumbles (all of which Fallon recovered) in the game.

The Tigers didn't allow the Greenwave to cross the 50-yard line until just over five minutes remained in the third quarter (Fallon did have a drive start on the Tiger 36 late in the second, but the ensuing drive went for minus-7 yards on four plays before time expired on the half.

On the other side, Johnny Pollack (12 carries, 104 yards, one touchdown) and quarterback Zack Williams (7 carries, 95 yards, two touchdowns) led a rushing attack the piled up 251 yards on 31 carries.

Williams was also 10-of-15 passing for 175 yards and a 36-yard touchdown to Austin Neddenriep.

Colton Hughes carried the ball 10 times for 52 yards and Luke Peterson carried twice for 15 yards and a score.

Charlie Heck led Fallon with 42 yards rushing on eight carries. Alvin Juris had 36 yards on 15 carries and Andy Fiske passed for 64 yards.

Fallon did have a number of defensive highlights in the game as Tyler Johnson and Chad Squires each recovered fumbles and Brett Carey had a sack.

The teams traded punts on the game's first three drives before Douglas put together its first scoring drive.

The Tigers drove 57 yards on seven plays, culminating with Williams finding Neddenriep wide open behind the coverage for a 36-yard touchdown with two minutes left in the first quarter.

After forcing another Fallon punt, Douglas drove 70 yards on five plays, this time finishing with a nice 30-yard cutback run by Williams on a keeper with 8:46 left in the half for the 14-0 lead.

Later, Dornbrook's interception gave Douglas the ball at its own 24 with 4:40 left. The Tigers drove to the Fallon 42, only to fumble, which Squires recovered.

King came up with his interception on the next play, setting Douglas up again at its own 24. A holding penalty on the following play moved the Tigers back to their own 10 with a little over two minutes left in the half, but Williams completed a nice 46-yard pass to Luis Pina-Duarte. Pollack took the next play 41 yards on a nice run for the touchdown and the 21-0 lead heading into halftime.

"I though emotionally, we came out a little flat tonight," Rippee said. "Fallon's top running back was gone, but you worry about that emotional thing. Last year, we went down there after we'd beaten Reed and they played us toe-to-toe at their place.

"It was one of those nights, we had some guys out, we had some other guys like (defensive tackle/end) Garrett Tenney and (defensive tackle) Zach Falanga, who were sick this week but still played. We were kind of flat emotionally but we went out and did some good things and took care of business.

"We keep talking about, if you are going to be considered one of the top teams, you have to get out there and take care of business week after week. You have to play two halves and I think they did that tonight."

Fallon got a little something going just before the half when Johnson recovered a fumble at the Tiger 36. A sack moved the Greenwave back to the 43, but a last-second pass from Fiske fell just through the grasp of Joe Floyd at the goal line as time ran out.

The Greenwave forced a Douglas punt, which the Tigers' Matt Metz made a great play on to down at the Fallon 1, to open the second half.

Despite the poor field position, Fallon proceeded to put together its best drive of the night, going 59 yards on 13 plays before stalling at the Tiger 40. They converted three third downs along the way and ran over five minutes off the clock before Pollack ended the drive with a sack for an eight-yard loss on fourth down.

Williams carried the ball on consecutive plays when the Tigers reassumed possession and scored on a 45-yard run. He appeared to be wrapped up at the 35-yard line, but broke the tackle and skittered down the sideline for the score.

Juris got the Greenwave going on the following kickoff, returning it the Fallon 49 and appearing well on his way to the touchdown before kicker Nikolai Vasquez was able to stop him.

After Heck rumbled for a first down on the next carry, Douglas stalled the drive at the 32, forcing Fallon to turn the ball over on downs.

Lucas Peterson and Colton Hughes led Douglas to its final score, splitting the carries on a five-play, 38-yard drive to complete the scoring at 35-0.

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