MINDEN — Nick Abreu returned the second-half kickoff for a touchdown to give the Douglas High football team its first lead Friday night and Luke Houghton returned an onside kick attempt for a touchdown that clinched the Tigers’ 23-13 Homecoming victory against Spanish Springs.
Douglas (2-5, 0-1 Sierra League) received a big boost from a defensive unit that came up with three red zone stops in the fourth quarter to preserve its win against Spanish Springs (3-3, 1-0 High Desert League) at Keith Roman Field.
Abreu broke up a 7-7 tie when he returned the second-half kickoff 79 yards for a touchdown. The senior has scored on three kick returns in the last four weeks.
Adrian Gonzalez kicked a 30-yard field goal to extend the lead to 17-7 later in the third quarter. Cale Kynett’s 52-yard run up the middle sparked the drive.
Spanish Springs had one threat end when a fourth-down pass was knocked down in the end zone by the Tigers’ Cody Ball and sophomore defensive back Tre Jackson intercepted a second-and-goal pass in the end zone to stop another threat with 5:22 left to play.
The Cougars pulled to within 17-13 on Clay Moore’s 1-yard touchdown run late in the fourth quarter. Houghton took the ensuing onside kick attempt 55 yards for a touchdown that pushed the lead to 23-13.
Spanish Springs took a 7-0 lead in the first quarter after a short punt set up a four-play, 29-yard drive. Cyle Schaefer caught a 16-yard touchdown pass from quarterback Jase Ryals to cap the drive.
Douglas got on the scoreboard late in the second quarter when the Tigers were able to capitalize after the Cougars turned the ball over on downs at the 41. The Tigers only needed seven plays to drive 59 yards before Cale Kynett caught a second-and-11 pass and burst 23 yards up the middle for the touchdown.